Hurst War Memorial, St.Nicholas Church, Hurst, Berkshire
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H.M.T. Aragon in 1915
H.M.T. Aragon
Cape Helles Landing
Cape Helles Landing
S.S. River Clyde, Gallipoli
S.S. River Clyde, Gallipoli
image: The War Illustrated, 12 June 1915
Previous: Herbert West
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White, Frederick

Frederick White
1914-1915 Star
1914/15 Star
Victory Medal
Victory Medal
British War Medal
British War Medal
Silver War Badge
The Silver War Badge
Private Frederick White (12971)
Died after discharge on Sunday 28th October 1917
Discharged due to wounds/illness, aged 28
Son of Henry & Alice White
Father's occupation: Carpenter
Born 1890 at Alton, Hants
7 sisters, 3 brothers, position in family: 8
Relatives: Brother of Pte Thomas White, 30663 Staff Sergt Harry White & Pte Sidney White
Local address: Gloster Cottage, Hurst
Battalion:4th Bn.
Went overseas:Sunday 25th April 1915
Died:Sunday 28th October 1917
Cause:Died after discharge
Action:Discharged due to wounds/illness
Battalion at:Home
Commemorated:Grave at St. Nicholas Churchyard, Hurst

Frederick White was born in Alton, Hants in 1890 to Henry and Alice White. He was the eighth of eleven children and had three brothers and seven sisters. His father was an Assistant Oilman at the time of Frederick's birth.

Ten years later his father had become a carpenter and the family had moved to 143 Elm Park Road, Reading. Nothing is known of Frederick's life from this point until the First World War, by which time his parents were living in Gloster Cottage, Hurst. Frederick enlisted before, or shortly after, the start of the war and served with 4th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment from the Gallipoli campaign onwards.

4th Battalion was one of the last regular army Battalions to be recalled from overseas duty after war broke out. They returned from Burma and landed at Avonmouth on 1st February 1915. They then transferred by train to billets around Banbury where the Battalion joined other units of the newly formed 88th Brigade, 29th Division.

One month later 88th Brigade moved to the Warwick area and 4th Battalion marched to billets at Leamington on 5th March 1915. They soon found that 29th Division had been allocated to the forthcoming operations planned for the Dardanelles and on 12th March the Division was reviewed by the King at nearby Dunchurch. Next day came secret orders for embarkation and, after a busy week of preparation, the troops began the first stage of their journey by train.

Thousands of well-wishers turned out to see the troops off and 4th Battalion left Leamington in three trains, commencing on the evening of 21st March. By breakfast time next day the whole Battalion was reassembled at Avonmouth. There foreign-service helmets were issued and at 11 a.m. four troopships came alongside for embarkation.

Officially the destination of the force was a secret and the orders issued at Avonmouth were only to proceed to Gibraltar. In reality the final objective was well known and no one was surprised when, on 27th March 1915, the convoy steamed through the Straits of Gibraltar and on into the Mediterranean.

Malta was reached on the last day of March and ships from the French Adriatic fleet welcomed the convoy into Valetta harbour. After coaling, the transports resumed their journey and arrived in Alexandria at daybreak on Easter Sunday , 4th April. By nightfall on 8th April the whole Battalion had disembarked, re-organised and re-embarked onto a single ship, being accommodated together with the 2nd Hampshires on HMT Aragon, 9588 tons.

HMT Aragon sailed from Alexandria on April 11th and, after passing safely through the Aegean Islands, reached the rendezvous for the invasion force at Lemnos. A week later detailed orders were issued for the forthcoming operations. 29th Division's task was to effect a landing on the end of the Peninsula, in the neighbourhood of Cape Helles. The objective of the Division was to seize the tip of the Peninsula, including the height of Achi Baba, up to a line some five miles north of the Cape.

29th Division landed on five small beaches, codenamed S, V, W, X and Y, and the battle commenced at first light on the morning of 25th April 1915. 88th Brigade was in reserve and landed later in the morning on beaches V and W once the initial beachhead had been made. HMT Aragon took them to within a few miles of the Cape and at 8.30 a.m. a minesweeper came alongside to take the men closer in towards the shore. They moved forwards under the protective fire of British warships and passed boats full of wounded men already being evacuated.

Two miles from shore batches of men transferred to open boats towed by a steam launch. The initial flotilla headed for V beach where a large steamer, the River Clyde, had been beached to form a landing jetty. Bullets were sweeping the water and striking the metalwork as they pulled alongside the River Clyde. Once onboard the ferocity of the firing made landfall impossible and the first men who tried were cut down. The remainder waited for the cover of darkness.

Meanwhile the subsequent boats diverted to W beach where the beachhead was more secure. Once ashore 4th Battalion pressed forward and scaled the slopes of Hill 138, seizing two Turkish strongholds despite heavy losses. This was the start of nine weeks of relentless fighting in which 4th Battalion lost half its complement as casualties. Then ensued several months of stalemate until the Battalion was evacuated from Gallipoli on 2nd January 1916 and retired to Egypt.

It was not long before 4th Battalion was ordered to proceed to France and they disembarked at Marseilles on the morning of 20th March 1916. During the Battle of the Somme in July they took part in the attack on Beaumont Hamel. Then at the end of July, 4th Battalion moved north by train to Ypres and served there for two months before leaving again for the Somme. In the spring of 1917 the 4th Battalion was involved in the Battle of Arras and then in July 1917 they found themselves back at the Ypres Salient.

At some time in the course of these various actions Frederick White was wounded. He was subsequently discharged from the army and awarded the Silver War Badge, indicating that his discharge was due to sickness or wounds contracted or received during the war. Frederick died on 28th October 1917 and rests in St Nicholas Churchyard, Hurst; he was twenty-eight years old. It is unclear whether his death was due to the wounds he received in action. Frederick's older brother Thomas was also killed in the First World War and is buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Ypres.


Frederick White at St. Nicholas Churchyard, Hurst
St. Nicholas Churchyard, Hurst
Rest in peace

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in morning
We will remember them.
Lawrence Binyon