H. I. White
Service no. 550898
Rifleman, London Regiment, 12th Bn (Queen’s Westminster Rifles)
Died 15 August 1917, aged about 30
Remembered Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belguim
Son of William George and Emma White, of 11, Stirling Rd., Stockwell, London.
This identification was made by Chris Burge, who writes:
Henry Ingham White was born in 1887, the youngest of William George and Emma White’s two sons. He was baptised on 20 July 1887 at St Barnabas, Pimlico, where William and Emma had been married seven years before. The family lived at 3 Union Street, Pimlico Bridge. Henry’s father worked as a ‘shopman’. Within a decade the White family had moved to 11 Stirling Street, off Clapham Road. Young Henry was still at school, this brother William John, then aged 17, assisted their father who managed a trunk shop.
In the 1911 census, the four members of the White family were living in relative comfort as occupants of the seven-room property at 11 Stirling Street. The census revealed that only two of William and Emma’s six children had survived into adulthood. William John, then 28, and Henry, then 22, were part of the family business. Henry’s father was the manager of a trunk and bag manufacturer, his brother William John was the secretary, while Henry was a ‘fancy leather worker’. The location of their premises and full extent of their business is not known.
The key surviving document in understanding the war service of Henry Ingham White is his entry in the Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects. A low service number of 3308 was added beneath the 550898 number and his war gratuity amounted to £13. The 3308 service number may not appear on Henry’s medal records, but the Soldiers’ Effects information indicates someone who joined in 1914.
When Henry Ingham White decided to volunteer, his links with Pimlico drew him to 58 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, home of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles, the 16th Battalion County of London Regiment. The QWR had departed for France on 1 November 1914 and were recruiting for their reserve. Perhaps Henry met Frederick Watson Haggett from Clapham as he stood in line on 7 November 1914. New recruits were posted to the battalion’s 2nd or 3rd reserve for training. Henry White became private 3308, and Frederick Haggett private 3309. Frederick Haggett and men with similar numbers were drafted in France at the end of June 1916, soon to be on the Somme. It is possible Henry was held in England for other duties. It is certain that Henry was in France by 19 April 1917, a replacement for men lost in the Arras offensive.
The QWR were in action in July and August 1917 near Ypres in what is commonly known as Passchendaele. Henry was wounded on, or shortly before, 15 August after trenches held by the QWR were heavily shelled. He was evacuated to the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station at Remy sidings, some five miles behind front lines. Hundreds of casualties passed through the Station between 14-16 August. Henry Ingham White was one of the five deaths noted on the 15 August 1917.
It was a bitter blow for Henry’s father who had lost both his wife Emma and sister Caroline in 1916. William George White passed away in 1924, aged 65. An image of Henry’s CWGC headstone and the White family grave may be found here: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10778460/henry-ingham-white.