681609 GNR. F. L. WHITE.  R.F.A.

 

Frank Leslie White was born on 18 August 1898 in Wolverhampton.  His father was Henry White (b. 1868 in Old Brompton, Middlesex), a plasterer.  His mother was Ellen Alice Bennett (b. 1868 in Oakengates, Shropshire).  Henry and Ellen were married in 1891 and they had four children, 3 of whom survived infancy: Bernard (b. 1892), Frank, and Dorothy (b. 1904).  Henry’s father was also a plasterer and Frank probably joined the family trade too.  In 1911, Bernard was working as a plasterer and Frank and Dorothy were still at school.  The family lived at 179 Leicester Street, Wolverhampton.  They subsequently moved to 99 Molineux Street, Wolverhampton.

 

Frank was only 16 when War broke out and he was still under age when he signed up the following year, 1915.  He was assigned service number 681609 and posted to “B” Battery of 286 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.  This was part of the divisional artillery for 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division.  57th Division landed in France in February 1917 and they were deployed in the first half of 1917 in the defence of Armentières.  On 2 May 1917 the War Diary reports that “a raiding party of the enemy, strength unknown, attempted to enter our trenches… but were at once caught in our barrage fire and withdrew”.  Four men from “B” Bty were killed that day, among them was Frank White who was still only 18 years old. 

 

Rank:  Gunner

Service No:  681609

Date of Death:  02/05/1917

Age:  18

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, “B” Bty, 286 Bde.

Cemetery/memorial reference: VI. A. 20.

Cemetery/Memorial:  CITE BONJEAN MILITARY CEMETERY, ARMENTIERES

Additional Information:  Son of Henry and Ellen Alice White, of 99 Molineux Street, Wolverhampton.

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