Lance Corporal James White

 

James White was born on 12 November 1890 at Tattygare, Lisbellaw, County Fermanagh, the last of four children of petty sessions clerk Henry White and his wife Mary (nee McFarland). By 1911 he was living with his parents and one sibling at Tattygare and working as a farmer.

White enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 29 November and 23 December 1910 (No.559 – later Corps of Hussars No.71037). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons.

During August or early September, White was wounded. He was evacuated to the UK, where he was admitted to the Military Hospital at Colchester. According to the Belfast News-Letter of 18 September 1914:

Mr. Henry White, Lisbellaw, County Fermanagh, has received news that his son, Private Jim White, of "C" Squadron North Irish Horse, was wounded while in action at Mons. He was struck by a bullet, which passed through both bones of the right forearm. Private White was a crack rifle shot.

Fellow Horseman Robert Sterling described the action in a letter home that October:

I don’t know whether it has been mentioned in the papers or not about the gallant action of one of our men – a corporal named James White, from Lisbellaw, Co. Fermanagh. He and a trooper, also named White (from Co. Monaghan) were out on a reconnoitring patrol one afternoon when they were fired on by a party of Germans secreted in the fringe of a small plantation. Both men were wounded and Trooper White’s horse was shot dead. Although suffering great agony, and whilst still under fire, Corporal White succeeded in getting his comrade up behind him on his own horse, and both got away from further danger. White deserves every credit for his heroic action.

White remained with the regiment throughout the war. He was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 11 February 1919.

After the war he returned to Lisbellaw. Like his father he became a clerk of petty sessions. He died at Erne Hospital, Enniskillen, on 24 April 1965.

 

White's brother Henry Edwin also served during the war, as a lieutenant in the Royal Irish Rifles.