Engineer Harry Arderne Schoults White

Date of Birth 3 October 1887
Age at Death 29
Date of Death 11 April 1917
Service Number
Military Service Royal Fleet Auxillary Thrush Mercantile Marine Reserve
Merton Address 8 Dupont Road, Merton
Local Memorial Rutlish School, Merton

Additional Information

Harry Arderne Shoults White was born at 37, The Grove, Camberwell, London SE, on 3 October 1887 to Henry Taylor and Emily Charlotte Elizabeth White (nee Ogle). He was christened on 12 February 1888 at St Giles Church, Camberwell. His parents married on 8 March 1885 in the St Saviour registration district.

Harry was aged 3 when the 1891 census was taken. He was living with his parents, Henry a 27 year old printer, and Emily aged 34, at 18, Lucas Road, Beckenham, Kent. Later that year, on the 8 August 1891, Harry's only sibling, sister Hannah Margaret was born.

The family were living at 8, Dupont Road, Merton, Surrey when the 1901 census was taken. Harry's father was working as a linotype operator in the print trade.
By the 1911 census the family had moved to 33, Adela Avenue, West Barnes Lane, New Malden, Surrey. Harry's father was working for a printer as a compositor, whilst sister Hannah was a ledger clerk for a seed merchant. Harry himself worked for a company called L.G.O. (London General Omnibus) Co., as a 'Motor Car Engineer (Fitter)'.

Harry was drowned when his salvage vessel 'RFA Thrush' foundered in St George's Channel, Larne, Co Antrim on 11 April 1917. Nine men drowned when she was wrecked during a snowstorm. The rest were rescued by breeches buoy.
The following obituary appeared in the Wimbledon Borough News dated 21 April 1917:

"A Technical School Master Drowned on Active Service.

We very much regret to learn of the death of Harry A. S. White, A.M.I.A.E., Senior Motor Engineer in one of H.M. ships, S.V., R.F.A., who was drowned while in the execution of his duty on Wednesday, April 11th, aged 29 years. He joined the Admiralty Salvage Service on March 15th, 1916, and from that date to the time of his death was engaged on important Government Salvage work. Born in the Parish of St. Giles, Camberwell, on October 3rd, 1887, his family moved to Merton (Bushey Mead) in 1898. He attended the Central Schools, Wimbledon Common, under Mr. Selby, and also was a pupil at the Rutlish School.

In 1903 he was apprenticed to Mr. C. S. Drewry, motor engineer, of Herne Hill, S. E., afterwards the Drewry Omnibus Co., Teddington. On the completion of his apprenticeship he joined the London General Omnibus Co., and after two years he started in business at "The Garage," Melrose-road, Merton Park. He will be principally remembered in Wimbledon for his work in connection with the Wimbledon Technical Institute, joining as a student in electrical and motor-car engineering. By his ability and hard work he obtained a position on the staff as teacher of motor-car engineering, which he retained until he joined up. He was also appointed teacher of the engineering section of the Technical Day School. In 1912 he passed the Final Honours Examination of the City and Guilds of London Institute on the same subject and was placed on the roll of registered teachers of the Institute. In June, 1913, he was elected as an associate member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers.

The internment took place on Wednesday in Merton Parish Churchyard, the Rev. J. E. Jagger, M.A., officiating, and was largely attended. A detachment of the 11th Battery, Surrey Volunteers, under Sergeant Davis was present; the firing party gave three volleys and the bugles sounding the "Last Post" at the conclusion of the service. The floral tributes were many and beautiful, but space will not permit of a list of the donors being given."


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