Geoffrey Saxton White

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Lieutenant-Commander Geoffrey Saxton White, V.C., R.N. (2 July, 1886 – 28 January, 1918) was an officer in the Royal Navy killed when his submarine was fired upon in the Dardanelles. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Life & Career

Born in Bromley, Kent.

White was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 October, 1908.

On 30 November, 1911, White was appointed in command of the submarine C 27.[1]

White was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 1 October, 1916.

Lieutenant-Commander White was in command of the submarine E 14 at the time of her loss on 28 January, 1918.[2] He had left Mudros on 27 January with orders to force the Narrows and attack the Goeben, which had reportedly run aground near Nagara Point. Unable to find the enemy ship, White turned back.

At 8.45am on 28 January, he found another target and fired a torpedo. But eleven seconds after firing the weapon, an explosion sprang the forward hatch and knocked out all the lights. The leaking boat was briefly blown to the surface, where Turkish forts opened fire in vain before she dived again. The effort to return to base continued as air ran short, finally forcing White to decide to try to make for home on the surface. As the boat plugged away as White steered her from below, enemy fire became effective. White decided to steer the sub toward shore to allow the men a chance to escape.

White was killed by a shell as he stood on the deck, but his efforts to save his crew left nine survivors. He would receive a posthumous V.C. for the action.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
George F. Cholmley
Captain of H.M.S. C 27
30 Nov, 1911[3]
Succeeded by
Claude C. Dobson
Preceded by
Edward C. Boyle
Captain of H.M.S. E 14
? – 28 Jan, 1918[4]
Succeeded by
Vessel Lost


  1. The Navy List. (July, 1913). p. 395a.
  2. Naval Operations. Vol. V. pp. 90-1.
  3. The Navy List. (July, 1913). p. 395a.
  4. Naval Operations. Vol. V. pp. 90-1.