Capt Alfred Philip White

white medals

Killed during a raid on Prof John Carolan's house in Drumcondra on 14 Oct 1920. He had served in the Boer War, and risen through the East Surreys and South Staffords, where he was the CO at the end of the war. He appears to have accepted a low grade position in Intelligence in Ireland in 1920. His pension record is available. It shows that he was on "special assignment" at Dublin Headquarters, and that Capt Catbill of MI5 dept in the War Office had the full details of his assignment.

On the 11th of October 1920, Treacy and Breen were in a safe house - Fernside - at Drumcondra when it was raided by a British Intelligence unit. In the ensuing shootout, two British officers were killed, Major Smyth and Captain White as well as the homeowner, Dr. Carolan. Treacy and Breen managed to escape by jumping from the second floor, through the roof a a glass conservatory. Both were injured either by gunshots or from the fall. The injured Breen was smuggled into Dublin's Mater hospital where he was admitted under a false name. Treacy had been wounded but not seriously.

The raid on Prof Carolan's house in Drumcondra was carried out by 9 men under Lt Phil Attwood and included RD Jeune, Major Smyth, Capt White (who was also killed), Corporal Worth (wounded) and Michael ? (recorded as firing his revolver in the garden). Witness statements come from 6 men and do not appear to include either Corporal Worth nor Jeune (presumably as he had same evidence as Attwood, witness 8). 3 men went to the top floor and were in the elderly lodgers room, "Witness 3, Witness 4 and Capt White), 2 men were shot as they went past the door where Breen abnd Treacy were hiding (Major Smyth and Corporal Worth and witness 5 was with them), 2 were downstairs questioning Carolan and guarding the hall (Witness 6 and witness 7) and 2 men were in the back garden (Attwood who was witness 8, and Jeune, not called)

As far as one can tell from the Court of Inquiry Capt White went up with two other men (witness 3 and witness 4) to the top floor. They found an eldery lodger in bed in that room. Then there was a noise with a soldier calling out "ryan" the men in the room moved towards the door of that bedroom, and at that moment shots were fired across the corridor, with Capt White, the man in front gegting hit and mortally wounded.

1882 born Alfred White, Dublin registration Jan - Mar 1882 Vol: 2, Page 545. His father must have died in the next few years

1890 Jul/Sep Philip Paul Purcell marries Madeline/Madelina Johanna A T Waldmann-White registered at Conway Vol 11b, p628 (and on MIC one can see his mother is "Mrs White-Purcell". She later applies for and receives a pension when he is murdered, on the grounds that she was wholly dependent on him. A Philip Purcell dies in W Derbys in 1916 age 66, which could be him.

1891 census

1891 census living at 38 Grosvenor Rd, Westminster. With his parents. I assume his mother remarried

1899 Aug 1. 4th Battalion, The East Surrey Regiment. Lieutenant Alfred White..In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 66b , Regulations for the Special Reserve, the undermentioned Officers are granted seniority in their present rank from the dates stated:

1899 Dec 1 The 4th Battalion East Surrey Regiment was Embodied and reported to its HQ at Kingstown.

1900 Mar 6 It is sent to a new post at Enniskillen under Lt Col Haines with details from the 2nd Battalion a total of 935 men. It is then at Finner Infantry camp on the Atlantic coast being replaced at Enniskillen and Derry by the 5th Royal Irish Rifles.

1900 Mar 21. The Battalion seems to have been split since the 4th Battalion East Surrey Regiment also arrives at Cape Town on the 'Oriental' along with other drafts 21 March 1900.

1900 Mar 23. 3rd Battalion, the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), Alfred White, Gent., to be Second Lieutenant.

1901 census. I cannot find Alfred, and his mother is not to be found either, although Philip Purcell is. One assumes he was in South Africa with 3rd West Riding, as his army record shows him in South Africa until Oct 1902. .

1901 Apr 16. London Times
The Manhattan left yesterday evening from Albert Docks for South Africa. She carried 4 companies of M I and 357 remounts besides the following officers: .......
W Riding – 2/Lieutenant & Quartermaster A White
She will call at Queenstown for 150 additional remounts.

1902 Jan 1. Major E F Sulivan Reserve of Officers, formerly of the Hampshire Regiment appointed to command the 4th (Militia) East Surrey Regiment. He is still in command when it returns to the UK in Sept 1902.

1902 Feb 4. 3rd Battalion, the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), The under mentioned Second Lieutenants to be Lieutenants :—A. White.

1902 May 11. Later Army List give him as "Hon Lt in Army" at this date

1902 Sep 12 London Times, The Tagus left for England Sep 6, with the following on passage home: 4/E Surrey – Lieutenant Colonel E F Sulivan, Major F G S Moon, Captains RE Benson, J H Dresser, C O’Malley, C R Etches, C G Gordon, B G F Garnett, T H Stringer, Lieutenants A A A Gilbert, A White, G V D A Innes, L E Haines, 2/Lieutenants C Tredcroft, R M B I Cromie, J B Humphrey, H B A Maling, H H G N Burke, P Percival, Clark, M G H Barker, T H Curtis, T S King and 824 men

1904 Aug 12. 4th East Surrey Regiment - Lieutenant A White from 3rd Battalion the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), to be Lieutenant

1909 Mar 26 Bankrupts receiving orders . Gazette Alfred White, 4th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, the Barracks, Kingston, Surrey, officer in H.M. Army. (there is another Lt A White gazetted to 4th East Surreys in Aug 1904 from 3rd West Riding Yorkshire Regt. and it would be difficult to be sure which of the two was the bankrupt. However "our" Alfred White up to now, and in fact till his death used just "Alfred White" in the army. But if the army had known he was bankrupt, then he could not have continued as an army officer.)

1909 Nov 30. 4th Battalion, The East Surrey Regiment, The undermentioned Lieutenants to be Captains:— Alfred White. Gazette (an Army List gives him as employed 19 Bn Manchester Reg on this date)

1911 census. There is a boarder Alfred Philip White at 16 York Buildings, Adelphi, London W C. Alfred Philip White is given as born Dublin, Ireland, but resident in "this country". His occupation is "none", so one assumes not in the army at this date

1911 July. Army List:
East Surrey Regiment, 4th battalion. Captains: White, A. (Hon. Lt. in Army 11 May. 02)(H) 30 Nov.09. Marked with crossed swords and p.s.*
Under the 4th battalion heading the following is noted:Officers serving on 25Sept.02 in the corresponding Militia unit hold honorary Army rank equivalent to the Militia regimental rank they then held. Other officers entitled to honorary Army rank have it shown against their names. * Abbreviations from Army List (Crossed swords) Officer serving with Special Reserve of Officers, Territorial Force, Reserve of Officers, &c, who has War Service. p.s. Subaltern or Captain (other than of Artillery) who has passed School of Instruction for rank of Field Officer, or, in the case of Infantry, has been attached to Regular Forces and obtained a satisfactory report for rank of Field Officer; or Medical Officer who has obtained a satisfactory report after 14 days' attendance at the Depot, R.A. Med. Corps, orat a selected Military Hospital; or Veterinary Officer who has obtained a satisfactory report after 14 days' attendance at a Veterinary School, or attachment to a Mounted Unit of the Regular Forces. (H) Officer of the Special Reserve of Officers, Militia, Territorial Force, or Volunteers qualified at a School of Musketry

1914 Aug 8. Army List. 4th East. Surrey Captain (passed school of instruction for Captain) (previous War Services) White, A.(Hon Lt in Army 11 May02) (Qualified at School of Musketry), 30Nov09

1914 Sep 25 Lands in France

1914 Dec 31. Army List. 4th East Surrey. Captain Attached to 1st Battalion (passed school of instruction for Captain) (previous War Services) White, A.(Hon Lt in Army 11 May02) (Qualified at School of Musketry), 30Nov09

1916 Oct 31 4 East Surrey, Captain. Attached to 1st Battalion (passed school of instruction for Captain) (previous War Services) White, A.(Hon Lt in Army 11 May02), (Qualified at School of Musketry), (empld 19 Bn Manchester Reg) 30 Nov 09

1917 Aug 7. Acting rank of Major

1917 Nov 26. Major White takes temporary command while Lt Col Lamond on leave

1917 Nov 28. Army List. 5th South Staffordshire. Major (passed school of instruction for Captain) (previous War Services) White, A.(Hon Lt in Army 11 May02). (Qualified at School of Musketry), Capt 4th Bn, East. Surrey Regiment

1918 Oct 3 I/5th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel A. White, D.S.O., Commanding Officer. The Battle of Ramicourt The necessity for securing the right flank of the Division had, very naturally, caused the whole Brigade to move much further to the right than had been intended in the original plans, and this caused the formation of a gap 1,000 yards wide between the left battalion of the I37th Brigade and the right flank of the 138th Brigade. This situation was at once remedied by the O.C. 1/5th South Staffords, who threw the whole of his remaining forces into the gap, attacking and carrying the Fonsomme line on the left of the Brigade sector, and capturing a number of prisoners and machine guns. This, however, left the Brigade entirely without support, until the arrival of the 5th Leicesters from the Reserve Brigade.

1918 Nov28. Army List 5th South Staffordshire. Major (passed school of instruction for Captain) (previous War Services) White, A.(Hon Lt in Army 11 May02) (Qualified at School of Musketry), Capt 4Bn, East. Surrey Regiment. (acting rank) 6sept18

1919 Mar 8 Alfred (Philip) White's D.S.O. was originally promulgated as "Arthur White" in London Gazette . Capt. (A./Lt.-Col.) Arthur White, 4th Bn., E. Surr. R., attd. 1/5th Bn., S. Staffs. R., T.F. Award was corrected in London Gazette, 12th July 1920 to "Alfred White"

1919 Oct 4. His DSO citation, London Gazette "Capt. (A./Lt.-Col.) Arthur White, 4th Bn., E. Surr. R., attd. 4/5th Bn., S. Staffs. R., T.F. On the 28th September, 1918, his battalion on the day previous to a general attack on the St. Quentin Canal, was heavily attacked by the enemy in our outpost line near Bellenglise. During the succeeding night he reorganised his battalion and completed with three companies preparations for an attack which was organised for four companies. He led his battalion to the attack, and its success was largely due to his forethought in preparation and his coolness in action.

1919 Nov 25 Special Appointment A.G.'s and Q.M.G.'s STAFF.- Cl. BB.— Capt. A. White, D.S.O. 4th Bn Surr. R., .Spec. .Res., and relinquishes the temp, rank of Maj.

1920 Jun 2 Special Appointments. He was re-mobilised at this point. Class II is a low grade for a man of his age and experience.
Also on this listing is Bennett, Jeune and Brown

1920 Sep 11. Pay grade increased to HH, which equated to a district commander of special appointment men.

1920 Oct 12 Alfred Phillip White has Registration in Dublin North Oct - Dec 1920 Age (at Death): 40 Vol 2 Page 309

obituary A P White

Buried at Kingston Cemetery, but unfortunately White's grave is unmarked. However, the detailed cemetery plans which are held by the office confirm that White's grave (A220) is, as would be expected (from experience it's not always the case!), next to grave A219; this is that of Maud Sara Gaze which does have a memorial and is shown to the left of the photo (although not easily readable in this reduced size photo, the surround is marked with A219 in its right hand corner). Note that there is then a further unmarked plot (A221) to end this row, with the grave to the right of that orientated at right angles as part of a row facing outwards to, and along, the plot's perimeter path.

1921 Jun 10. Compensation Court awarded £3000 to his mother

British Intelligence in Dublin Castle