Friday, 7 March 2014

George White 1891-1915

George White (photo from Memories of Barnsley issue 17)
11 August 1891 in Barnsley probably at 5 Watson Street
Baptised 6 September 1891 at St Mary's, Barnsley (although the entry is annotated St John)

Son of:

George White b.1860 Wroot, Lincolnshire d.1932 Barnsley

1911: Blacksmith at Glassworks living at 9 Meadow Street, Barnsley
married at Barnsley in Q4 1888 to 

Clara White (nee Hodgson) b.1870 Westwoodside, Lincolnshire d.1941 Doncaster

Position in family: The eldest son of five boys and a girl
1. George White b.11 August 1891 Barnsley d.1915
2. Arthur Percy White b.7 March 1893 Barnsley d.1918 WW1 DIED OF WOUNDS
3. Harry White b.4 February 1895 Barnsley d.1917 WW1 MISSING/KILLED IN ACTION
4. Harold White b.9 May 1897 Barnsley WW1 SERVICE
5. John William White b.1900 Barnsley d.10 July 1918 Barnsley
6. Lillian White b.1906 Barnsley

Home address, age and occupation:
1901: 3 Watson Street, Barnsley aged 9 a scholar
1911: 9 Meadow Street, Barnsley aged 19, Blacksmith's Apprentice at Glass Bottle Works

Marriage: George was unmarried - but the newspaper cutting below mentions a Miss Jackson - fiance or girlfriend maybe?

Military Service:
Enlisted: *date* at the age of **years
Regiment and Battalion:    York and Lancaster Regiment 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion

Arrived in France: 13 April 1915
Service number and rank:  1110 Sergeant
Awards: 1915 Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal

Death:     10 September 1915 aged 24 years
Buried at: Ferme Olivier Cemetery
Grave Reference: Plot 1 Row G Grave 4

Information from Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
Son of George and Clara White, of Barnsley, Yorkshire.

Barnsley, St Mary's Church, Combined Memorial
Barnsley, Redfearn Brothers Glassworks & Aldham Works 
Barnsley Regent Street Congregational Church Memorial 


A page about George and Harry White with pictures of their medals and various letters and other photographs collected by RP.

From Memories of Barnsley issue 17 (presumably from the Barnsley Chronicle):

"George's brother, Harry White was in the same regiment as George.  Harry wrote home to his parents: 'I came out of the trenches with George and he was not long before he was being despatched to hospital.  They carried him out of the trenches as quickoy as they could after he had been wounded'.
Then followed the sadder news of the lad's death, and in his letter Harry says the authorities would not let him know how badly injured George was. 'Do try to take things as lightly as you can.  I know it is hard for you all, and I cannot keep my spirits up for thinking about my dear brother.  It has been a hard blow to me.  I am trying to get a pass for home for a day or two, for if I don't it will drive me mad.  May God bless you all.  May he give you courage and strength in this time of sorrow'.
George had recently written home: 'I can assure you that I say my prayers every day, for it seems hard to see our comrades falling.  I seem to think that I shall come through safely.  It makes a man think when he has so many narrow escapes.  I never flet better in my life and this too, after 15 days in the trenches and up to the thighs in mud.  Our Battalion haas been granted general leave and all being well I shal be home within a month.  I am pleased I have left such a good name behind me'.
One of George's friends, Lance Sergeant W Fletcher wrote to George's parents: 'Dear Mrs White, I hardly know how to commence this letter to you.  I am deeply sorry I have to convey such sad news.  Your son was with his Platoon in the trenches last Thursday night, when he was seriously wounded by a bullet which struck him in the stomach.  He was rendered unconsious.  His wound was speedily dressed and he was carried out of the trenches and taken to hospital with all speed.  Everything that was possible was done for him, but in spite of all medical attention, he died a few hours afterwards.  I hope you will accept my most sincere and deepest sympathy in your terrible loss.  I need scarely say how very sorry I am.  He was one of my dearest chums and I shall miss him more than I can say.  I was only speaking to him a few hours before he was wounded.  He told me he was looking forward to coming home on leave in about three weeks time.  He was then in good health and quite cheerful.  You can guess how shocked I was when I heard he was wounded.  I am very sorry I was unable to see him when he was brought out of the trenches. He is buried in a soldier's grave alongside many other brave fellows who have fallen.  It may be some consolation to konw that he gave his life for his countries cause and died a noble death.  He was a good soldier, thoroughly efficient in all his work, and was held in the highest esteem by all who come in contact with him.  My sympathy also goes out to Miss Jackson.  Please tell her how truely sorry I am at George's death and tell her to bear up under her most trying ordeal.  I pray God will give you all strength and courage to bear your irreparable loss'.

Father George and his sons all worked at Redfearn's Glassworks.

An aerial view of Redfearn Brothers' Glassworks with Meadow Street bottom left
and Watson Street top centre (from YOCOCO)
Link to blog post here about George and his family including a newspaper cutting reporting his brother Arthur's death and commenting on the deaths of his brothers.

George, Clara and their fifth son John William are all buried in the same plot in Barnsley Cemetery.  As John died aged just 18 in 1918 the obvious suspicion is that he died in the flu epidemic.

1 comment:

mary lipscombe said...

I find this very sad, all those who gave their lives serving their country, were heroes.

Thank you for the details.

Mary Lipscombe