Field Marshal Sir George Stuart White, VC, GCMG, GCVO

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George Stuart White, Field Marshal Sir, V.C.

Birthplace: Rock Castle, Portstewart, Londonderry, Ireland
Death: Died in Chelsea, London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of James Robert White and Frances Ann White
Husband of Amelia Maria White
Father of James Robert White, Captain, D.S.O; Rose Frances White and May Constance Currie

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:

About Field Marshal Sir George Stuart White, VC, GCMG, GCVO

Field Marshal Sir George Stuart White VC, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, GCVO, (6 July 1835[1] – 24 June 1912) 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

White was born at Rock Castle, Portstewart, County Londonderry, son of James White of Whitehall, Co. Antrim and Frances Ann Stewart. His mother was a daughter of George Stewart, Surgeon-General to the British Forces in Ireland, and his wife Frances, daughter of Colonel William Stewart M.P., of Killymoon Castle, Co. Tyrone.

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.

After graduating from Sandhurst, White was commissioned into the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot in 1853 and saw service in the Indian Mutiny.

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.

Later life

He became the commanding officer of the 92nd Foot in 1881. White commanded a Brigade during the Third Anglo-Burmese War of 1885 as a result of which he was promoted to Major-General and was knighted in 1886. In 1889 he took command at Quetta District.

He 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, for which he was appointed GCMG. He became Governor of Gibraltar (1900–1904) and was made field marshal in 1903. He was Governor of the Royal Chelsea Hospital from 1905 until his death there on 24 June 1912.

He was buried at Broughshane, a village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, the ancestral home of White, where a memorial now stands.

The medal

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

He was invested as a Knight Grand Commander, Order of the Star of India (G.C.S.I.).

He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Order of St. Michael and St. George (G.C.M.G.).

He was decorated with the award of the Order of Merit (O.M.).

He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath (G.C.B.).

He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Royal Victorian Order (G.C.V.O.).

He was invested as a Knight Grand Commander, Order of the Indian Empire (G.C.I.E.)

He was decorated with the award of the Victoria Cross (V.C.) in 1879.

He fought in the Siege of Ladysmith between November 1899 and March 1900.

He held the office of Governor of Gibraltar between 1901 and 1905

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Field Marshal Sir George Stuart White, VC, GCMG, GCVO's Timeline

July 6, 1835
Londonderry, Ireland
December 5, 1876
Age 41
Age 43
Whitehall, Broughshane, County Antrim, Ireland
June 24, 1912
Age 76
Chelsea, London, England