Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War
Captain Archie WHITE. VC, MC.
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Captain Archie Cecil Thomas WHITE, VC, MC.
Archie Cecil Thomas White was born on 5th October 1891 the elder of two sons
of Thomas and Jean White (nee Finlayson) who lived at Norwood House, Langthorpe
near Boroughbridge. Thomas White ran an outfitters shop in Boroughbridge,
a market town in North Yorkshire. Archie was educated at the same time
as Donald Bell (later to also win the VC) at Harrogate Grammar School where
he won a scholarship to study English Literature at King's College London.
He graduated in 1912 and became a teacher at Westminster School.
On the outbreak of the Great War, Archie White was commissioned into the 6th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment on the 14th October and made a temporary Lieutenant on 10th December 1914. He was made a temporary Captain on the 1st July 1915 before his battalion sailed to Gallipoli. His younger brother, Second Lieutenant John Finlayson White was killed in a night assault on Lala Baba at Sulva Bay on 6th/7th August whilst Archie was sick with dysentery.
In July 1916, the battalion moved to France. Captain A.C. T. White won the VC for bravery at Stuff Redoubt near Thiepval between 27th September and 1st October 1916. It was announced in The London Gazette on 26th October 1916.
He was later Mentioned in Despatches and was wounded twice.
He became a staff officer in France first as a GSO3 on 30th June 1917 then a Brigade Major on 28th March 1918. He was awarded the Military Cross which was gazetted on 3rd June 1918. He was Brigade Major for the Archangel (Russia) Relief Force between 29th May to 5th October 1919. He relinquished his commission in the Green Howards on 13th November 1920 because he was only offered a peacetime Lieutenancy as opposed to a Majority in the newly created Army Education Corps which he joined on 25th November 1920, aged 29 years, with the rank of Major.
Major Archie White VC, MC became an instructor at RMA Sandhurst between 1921 and 1925. He was Commandant of Queen Victoria's School, Dunblane between 1925 and 1929 then returned to Sandhurst to become the Senior AEC Instructor from 1929 and 1933. He then took various tours of duty with the AEC in India and Burma before joining the Cypher Office as a Lieutenant Colonel at the outbreak of WWII. He became Command Education Officer (Northern, Southern and AA Commands) between 1940 and 1943 and Chief Education Officer 21st Army Group between 1943 and 1945. He was Mentioned in Despatches on 9th August 1945. He served in South East Asia before retiring as Honorary Colonel on 17th November 1947.
He became the Principal of the City Literary Institute between 1948 and 1953, a member of the Senate of the London University and appointed as a Fellow of Kings College, London. Colonel White married Jean Will and they had three daughters, two of whom were twins. His wife died after a long and painful illness in 1960.
He was appointed the Deputy Commandant of the RAEC 1960-69 and wrote The Story of Army Education 1643-1963.
Colonel A.C.T. White VC, MC, BA died quietly at his home at 'Brucklay', Upper Park Road, Camberley on 20th May 1971, aged 80 years. He was cremated at Brookwood Crematorium, Woking, and his ashes scattered in Tennyson Lake Garden. His
Captain White's VC and medals are on loan to the Green Howards Regimental Museum in Richmond.
The above information is taken from "Beyond Their Duty" by Roger Chapman. This book was specialy written to commemorate the only occasion on which all 18 Victoria Crosses won by members of the Green Howards regiment were together (April to October 2001, in the Green Howards Museum). The book may be purchased from the Green Howards Museum Shop.
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