George Stuart White: Wikis


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Sir George Stuart White, VC
July 6, 1835(1835-07-06)[1] – June 24, 1912 (aged 76)[2]
George Stewart White-001.jpg
Sir George Stuart White
Place of birth Rock Castle, Portstewart
Place of death Chelsea Hospital, London
Resting place Broughshane Presbyterian Churchyard, County Antrim
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1851 - 1905
Rank Field Marshal
Battles/wars Indian Mutiny
Second Afghan War
Third Anglo-Burmese War
Mahdist War
Second Boer War
Other work Governor of Gibraltar

Field Marshal Sir George Stuart White VC, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, GCVO, (6 July 1835[1] — 24 June 1912[2]) was an officer of the British Army and recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces


Early life

He was born at Rock Castle, Portstewart,[3] County Londonderry, son of James White of Whitehall, Co. Antrim and Frances Ann Stewart. He was educated at Bromsgrove School, Worcestershire and later at King William's College on the Isle of Man. From 1850 White attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst where he achieved the rank of Under Officer.[3]

After graduating from Sandhurst, White was commissioned into the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot and saw service in the Indian Mutiny.

During his time in India he met his future wife, Amelia Baly - the daughter of the Joseph Baly, Archdeacon of Calcutta. He went on to have 5 children.

He fought in the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1879 as second-in-command of the 92nd Regiment of Foot (later The Gordon Highlanders).

The Victoria Cross

He was 44 years old when the following deeds took place in Afghanistan for which he was awarded the VC:

For conspicuous bravery during the engagement at Charasiah on the 6th October, 1879, when, finding that the artillery and rifle fire failed to dislodge the enemy from a fortified hill which it was necessary to capture, Major White led an attack upon it in person. Advancing with two companies of his regiment; and climbing from one steep ledge to another, he came upon a body of the enemy, strongly posted, and outnumbering his force by about 8 to 1. His men being much exhausted, and immediate action being necessary, Major White took a rifle, and, going on by himself, shot the leader of the enemy. This act so intimidated the rest that they fled round the side of the hill, and the position was won.

Again, on the 1st September, 1880, at the battle of Candahar, Major White, in leading, the final charge, under a heavy fire from the enemy, who held a strong position and were supported by two guns, rode straight up to within a few yards of them, and seeing the guns, dashed forward and secured one, immediately after which the enemy retired.[4]

Later life

He became the commanding officer of the 92nd Foot in 1881. White was knighted in 1886 for his military service in Burma, and became Commander-in-Chief, India in 1893. He was appointed Quartermaster-General to the Forces in 1898 holding that post until the following year.

He was commander of the forces in Natal during the opening of the Second Boer War and commanded the garrison at the Siege of Ladysmith 1899–1900. He became Governor of Gibraltar (1900–1904) and was made field marshal in 1903. He died in the Chelsea Hospital, London on 24 June 1912.

The Relief of Ladysmith. Sir George White greets Major Hubert Gough on 28 February, 1900. Painting by John Henry Frederick Bacon (1868-1914).

His son Jack White after service in the British Army became an Irish republican and anarchist who co-founded the Irish Citizens Army along with James Connolly and James Larkin.

A statue of White is currently located at Portland Place, London. He was buried at Broughshane, a village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, the ancestral home of White, where a memorial now stands.[5]

The medal

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen, Scotland.


  1. ^ a b "I - The Whites of Whitehall". The life of Field-Marshal Sir George White, V.C.. Volume I. Edinburgh, London: W. Blackwood. 1915. pp. p. 9. Retrieved 2009-12-01.  
  2. ^ a b "XXI - Last Days: 1911 - 1912". The life of Field-Marshal Sir George White, V.C.. Volume II. Edinburgh, London: W. Blackwood. 1915. pp. p. 314. Retrieved 2009-12-01.  
  3. ^ a b "II - Childhood and Early Life". The life of Field-Marshal Sir George White, V.C.. Volume I. Edinburgh, London: W. Blackwood. 1915. pp. pp. 10-20. Retrieved 2009-12-01.  
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 24981, p. 2859, 3 June 1881. Retrieved on 23 October 2009.
  5. ^ Statue in Portland Place

Listed in order of publication year

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Frederick Roberts
Commander-in-Chief, India
1893 – 1898
Succeeded by
Charles Nairne
Preceded by
Sir Richard Harrison
Quartermaster-General to the Forces
1898 – 1899
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Clarke
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Biddulph
Governor of Gibraltar
1900 – 1905
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Forestier-Walker


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