Lieutenant William N. Hanna
SAC 1908-1910

Lieutenant William Neil Hanna was born in Sarnia on January 18, 1895, the only son of Jean Neil and the late Honourable William J. Hanna (M.P.P., Provincial Secretary and Registrar, and former President of Imperial Oil), of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. He attended Sarnia Public School, Sarnia Collegiate Institute, St. Andrew's College from 1908 to 1910, followed by Victoria College, University of Toronto from 1913 to 1915 where he was a member of Delta Upsilon.

In the spring of 1915 Hanna enlisted in the 26th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, and went overseas in September. He obtained his commission in England in the Royal Field Artillery and went to France with his unit early in 1916. He was severely wounded at Mametz Wood in July, and for some months was under treatment and came home on leave. On rejoining his unit he was unable to continue in the Artillery, and transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, 36th Squadron. He returned to the French front in January 1918 and in October went to Italy, where he was engaged in flying over the Austrian front. A few days after the Armistice, while observing the Austrian retreat, he was accidentally killed on November 20th, 1918 at the age of 23. He is buried in the Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Extension, Italy (Grave Number: Plot 9. Row A. Grave 6.) 

The Italians entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria, in May 1915. Commonwealth forces were at the Italian front between November 1917 and November 1918, and rest camps and medical units were established at various locations in northern Italy behind the front, some of them remaining until 1919. Between April 1918 and February 1919 those who died from wounds or disease in the 9th, 24th and 39th Casualty Clearing Stations were buried either here or at Dueville. Certain graves were brought in after the Armistice from other burial grounds in the area. Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Extension contains 439 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. 

  • Canadian Virtual War Memorial Page for William Hanna. This page also includes a link to his commemoration on Page 588 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

With information from "University of Toronto, Roll of Service, 1914-1918"