Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- Charles John Whelan -

Unknown person Name : Charles John Whelan

Son of James F Whelan.

Born 1884, Maidstone, Kent.

Married 29 Sep 1918, Amelia Christina Coxhead, at St Wilfred's R.C. Church, Ventnor.

Children : Patrick Charles James (born 1919); Julia Mary Christina (born 1933).
  Census information :

1891 : not found

1901 : James Whelan (widower), with Charles, aged 16, is at 70, Station Road, Epsom, Surrey. James Whelan is a Gymnastics Instructor.

1911 : Charles Whelan, aged 26, is a Boarder with the Thompson family at 59 Gordon Road, Gosport, Hampshire. Charles Whelan is a House Painter.

  Electoral Roll information :

1922 - 1925 : Resident at 2 Aldbury Terrace, Newport Road, Ventnor.

1929 - 1938 : Resident at Ailsa Craig, Southgrove Road, Ventnor.

1947 : Christina A. Whelan : Resident at The Bungalow, Grove Road, Ventnor.

  Service Details :

Cpl. 8468 Charles John Whelan, 1st Bn. Rifle Brigade.

  Death Details :

Died 31 Dec 1946, aged 62, at Ventnor.

  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Isle of Wight Old Contemptibles Roll of Honour
  Documents :


Friday, September 27, 1918 Page 3

MARRIAGE. - The wedding of Pte. John Richard Hall, of the 4th Australian Postal Corps, eldest son of Sergt.-Major Hall of Western Australia, a former instructor of the 5th Hants Artillery at Ventnor, and Miss Stella Mary Channing, third daughter of Mr. William Channing, of Penbury, Dudley Road, took place St. Wilfrid's Church on Thursday. The ceremony was conducted by Rev. A. Steggall, assisted by the Rev. Father Scantlebury. The bride's dress was of cream silk alpaca, with veil and real orange blossom from Palestine. She was given away by Mr. F.W. Channing, eldest brother. There were two bridesmaids, Miss Carrie Channing, sister of the bride, and Miss D. Barry, cousin of the bridegroom. The best man was Mr. Charles Whelan, cousin of the bridegroom. There was a large congregation of relatives and friends, and wounded soldiers from the Bonchurch Convalescent Home formed a guard of honour outside the Church. The bridegroom has seen considerable service in Egypt and on the Western Front and it is interesting to recall that the newly married couple are old scholars of St. Wilfrid's School. The presents were numerous and useful.

The bride is the sister of Percy Channing who died 6 May 1916 in Mesopotamia.


Friday, October 4, 1918 Page 3

MARRIAGE. - On Saturday the marriage took place at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Wilfrid's of Mr. Charles John Whelan, of Gosport, and Miss Amelia Christina Coxhead, second daughter of Mrs. C. Coxhead, Blendworth Terrace, Ventnor. The bride, who was given away by her eldest brother, Mr. G. Coxhead, of Ryde, looked very pretty in a dress of white crepe de chine, prettily embroidered with white silk. She wore a wreath and veil and carried a bouquet of white roses. The bridesmaids were Miss Maude Coxhead, sister of the bride, and Miss Dorothy Barry, cousin of the bridegroom. They wore frocks of pale mauve, with black hats. Mr. W. Nigh carried out the duties of best man. The presents numbered over seventy. The bride, who has very capably managed Smith and Sons' bookstall at the Railway Station for two and a half years, is succeeded in the post by her husband.

Marriage report for Charles Whelan and Amelia Coxhead, sister of Albert Coxhead who died 19 April 1917 in Gaza, Palestine.

His son, Patrick Whelan (born 1919), trained as a pilot with the Civil Air Guard at Lea Farm Airport [later Isle of Wight Airport, Sandown] :


Friday, June 30, 1939 Page 2

VENTNOR MAN'S FIRST SOLO FLIGHT. - Congratulations to Mr. Pat Whelan, our popular young townsman, on successfully making his first solo flight from Lea Airport on Saturday. Mr. Whelan, a keen and enthusiastic member of the Civil Air Guard, is son of Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Whelan, of Ailsa Craig, Southgrove Road.


Friday, September 26, 1941 Page 3

Mr. Pat Whelan a Prisoner of War.

Mr. and Mrs. C. Whelan, who are now living at Freshwater Bay, received a card on Tuesday from their son Pat informing them that he is a prisoner of war in Germany, fit and well and quite happy. This news came as a great relief after five months of suspense. Mr. Pat Whelan, who was formerly a clerk in the employ of Messrs. Pickfords at their Ventnor office, joined the R.A.S.C. as a transport clerk when war broke out. He went abroad on January 7th of this year and his parents had a few letters from him whilst he was at sea. Later they had a wire from him stating that he was quite safe after the fighting in Greece. That was five months ago, since when no further news of him had come to hand until this week.
We are glad to hear that so far he is safe and well, and can only add that we hope the period of his detention will not be unduly prolonged, in other words, that this terrible war will soon be over.


Friday, April 23, 1943 Page 1

Mr. Leslie Wright, now a driver in the R.A.S.C., is, as mentioned a fortnight ago, in a military hospital in Shropshire recovering from pneumonia, and we are glad to hear of his progress. In the course of a letter to this office … Mr. Wright says : "I had one rather strange happening soon after coming here. Two ladies came round seeking information re men reported missing. They had long lists, dating back to the time of Dunkirk. I was asked to look through them and see if I could find anyone I knew. Imagine my surprise and interest when I saw the name 'Patrick Whelan' (missing). I thought the name too much of a coincidence to be other than our young townsman, so I volunteered the information that a soldier of that name from my home town had been missing, but I had seen it in print in our local newspaper that he was now known to be a prisoner of war. This information was noted and passed on to a higher authority."
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, April 13, 1945 Page 3

Prisoner of War for Four Years.
Pte. Pat Whelan's Return To Ventnor.
On Tuesday Mr. and Mrs. Whelan received the glad news that their son, Pte. Pat Whelan, of the R.A.S.C., who has been a prisoner of war in the hands of the Germans for four years, had been liberated and was in England. He had been a prisoner at Stalag 8C, and no news of him had been received since December last. Pat was given a hearty welcome when he arrived home on Wednesday night.


Friday, April 20, 1945 Page 3

Prisoner of War For Four Years.
Ventnorian Liberated By the Americans
As briefly recorded last week, Pte. Patrick Whelan, R.A.S.C., son of Mr. and Mrs. Whelan, Grove Road, returned home on Wednesday week. For four years he had been a prisoner of war in the hands of the Germans, and last week his parents received a telegram informing them that their son had arrived in England. Next day Pat was in Ventnor.
In a chat with a Mercury representative, Pte. Whelan, said that he was captured in Crete on Whitsunday, June 1, 1941, and with his comrades was taken to Germany by boat and train in the following August. He was detained at various prison camps. This year, when at Stalag 8 C, the Russians got very close to the camp, and in consequence the Germans put the men on the road. They were marched for 34 days to Stalag 9 B, near Frankfurt on Maine. Needless to say the march was pretty hard going, especially in view of the meagre rations allowed. These consisted of a quarter of a loaf of bread per man per day, and on an average seven men to a tin of meat or cheese. Sometimes the allowance worked out at a little more, but sometimes it was less. Occasionally a little soup came their way. During the journey several of the men died from exhaustion.
Pte. Whelan was fortunate to have as his companion, most of the way, Ernie Atkinson, who was chauffeur to the late Col. Samman, of Madeira Hall, and who, happy to relate, is now safe home too; they were able to discuss, as well may be imagined, many local topics of mutual interest. During this march the men slept in the snow some nights, and sometimes in farms and barns. They managed to "scrounge" a few potatoes from the farmers, who, on the whole, treated them decently.
A fortnight after the march commenced the men had got into a weak condition, and to use Pte. Whelan's words, "were pretty well fed up" by the time the Americans overran their camp. A tank crashed right through the gates and released them and within a few days the men were in our transports en route for dear old England. During the time they were with the Americans the men were treated remarkably well.
Pte. Whelan, who cannot speak too highly of the value of the Red Cross parcels, and who expresses sincere gratitude to the people at home who continue to make such possible, said that the parcels were handed to them by the Germans without much interference. During his four years' captivity he lost only one clothing parcel sent him by his mother.
Rations issued by the Germans in most of the camps were : Morning - A cup of ersatz coffee which looks as much like coffee as does mud.
11 a.m. - A litre of soup consisting mostly of water; sometimes swedes and water, sometimes peas and water.
6 p.m. - One loaf of bread for seven men; 15-20 grams of margarine, and sometimes potatoes cooked in their jackets.
Occasionally, not regularly, a cup of mint tea, and an exceedingly minute sugar ration. The last-named Pte. Whelan had never tasted.
On the whole Pte. Whelan kept pretty well, but on one occasion had to be attended to by a German doctor, who did his best in the absence of essential accessories.
Local men met Pte. Whelan during his stay in Germany were Bernard Channing, Charlie Jago (Niton), Ernie Atkinson and Bobby Sach, step son of Mr. Uffa Fox.
Our young townsman, now in the best of spirits will have six weeks rest before again reporting to his unit. He says he will be glad to get back once more to civil life. Before enlisting he was with Messrs. Pickford's at the Ventnor branch.

Sandown Airport Photo Gallery

Sandown Airport History (somewhat out of date)

Stalag VIII C

An account of the march from Stalag VIII C by John Leslie Sorsby on WW 2 People's War : (not yet found parts 2 and 3 online)
(part 1)
(part 4)
(part 5)

Patrick Whelan died in 1999 aged 79.
  Acknowledgments :

Janet Griffin for newspaper research
  Page status :
Page last updated : 24 November 2014 (added further report for Patrick Whelan)


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