Richard Forster White

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Captain Richard Forster White, O.B.E., R.N. (16 July, 1877 – 18 April, 1932) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

White was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 December, 1899.[1]

In 1900, he was in charge of all ammunition being provided for guns at the Cape, working under Captain Bearcroft. His work earned a commendation from the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Robert Hastings Harris.[2]

Known familiarly as "Jock", White was skilled at football, cricket and, in 1906 was quickly becoming a good golfer.

His command style was centered on his personality. Rear-Admiral Winsloe described White as "plenty of resource, weak on discipline." One new sub-Lieutenant in Swale discovered in White "a great character, even in those days when 'characters' abounded." He was noted for a hot temper and hastily meting out punishment, even incarcerating the preceding sub-lieutenant – a misfortune that did not even trouble the man, as it was so customary under White's command. The men had great confidence in their commander, but he took tremendous chances and asked a lot of his crew to make it work out. For instance, he commonly quit his ship for some time ashore, even when he knew this would not be permitted him had proper permission been sought. It "took matters of real moment to get him on the bridge at all; but when there he was a very pillar of strength."[3]

Someone, however, misplaced a Signal Book in 1908 while he was in command of Swale, attracting blame to White. In March 1909, an Able Bodied sailor died appeared to cast some disfavour upon White owing to the state of discipline aboard the ship, but he delivered good results in torpedo firings in 1909.[4]

On 5 January, 1912 while in command of T.B. 21, White was reported as sick on shore with cellulitis. It was estimated that he'd be gone at least for a week. He returned to T.B. 21 until 24 May. He was appointed to command T.B. 3 the following day.[5]

White was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1912 and received a very satisfactory inspection report in T.B. 25 in January, 1913. But on February, 1913, he was diagnosed with neuritis and sent to hospital in Portsmouth. He was not found fit before mid August.

White was appointed in command of the destroyer Lurcher on 14 October, 1913.[6]

Great War

Despite having had a series of destroyer commands, White was appointed to the battleship Queen as executive officer on 30 April, 1914. White was sent home by overland route on 29 June, 1916 with "Pyrrhœa" (periodontitis), not to be fit until 8 September, having been been superseded in Queen on 2 August. On 17 September, he was appointed in command of Vulcan, which was the depot ship for the Third Submarine Flotilla. He remained in command until New Year's Day of 1917, but his last month featured a three week sick leave owing to dental issues.[7]

On 2 March, 1917 White was appointed in command of Zaria, for command of a flotilla of armed trawlers. He remained so engaged until March, 1919 when he was appointed to Victorious II, additional, for command of Kirkwall Base.[8]

Post-War

White was awarded a Military O.B.E. for his services as Senior Naval Officer, Kirkwall and in command of the Kirkwall Patrol and Sweeping Forces, gazetted 12 July, 1919. This honour was augmented by a recommendation by the American Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss who commended White for the support he had shown the American forces at Kirkwall.[9]

White was placed on the Retired List with the rank of Captain on 20 January, 1924.[10]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Frederick B. Noble
Captain of H.M.S. Salmon
21 Dec, 1903[11][12] – 28 Oct, 1904[13]
Succeeded by
Hubert S. Monroe
Preceded by
Colin K. MacLean
Captain of H.M.S. Cheerful
29 Oct, 1904[14] – 7 Mar, 1905[15]
Succeeded by
Mark G. Newton
Preceded by
Kenneth G. B. Dewar
Captain of H.M.S. Mermaid
7 Mar, 1905[16] – 12 Feb, 1906[17]
Succeeded by
Harold V. Dundas
Preceded by
Hugh R. Tickell
Captain of H.M.S. Swale
12 Feb, 1906[18][19] – 1 Sep, 1909[20]
Succeeded by
George K. Chetwode
Preceded by
George K. Chetwode
Captain of H.M.S. Earnest
1 Sep, 1909[21][22] – 1 Feb, 1910[23]
Succeeded by
Evelyn C. O. Thomson
Preceded by
William C. Castle
Captain of H.M. T.B. 21
1 Feb, 1910[24][25] – 24 May, 1912[26]
Succeeded by
Arthur D. W. Smith
Preceded by
John H. Smith-Wright
Captain of H.M. T.B. 3
25 May, 1912[27] – 11 Jun, 1912[28]
Succeeded by
Philip W. S. King
Preceded by
Robert J. Buchanan
Captain of H.M. T.B. 25
11 Jun, 1912[29][30] – 12 Feb, 1913[31]
Succeeded by
John F. H. Cole
Preceded by
Claude L. Cumberlege
Captain of H.M.S. Lurcher
14 Oct, 1913[32][33] – 30 Apr, 1914[34]
Succeeded by
Philip W. S. King
Preceded by
William R. D. Crowther
Captain of H.M.S. Vulcan
17 Sep, 1916[35][36] – 16 Jan, 1917[37]
Succeeded by
Martin E. Nasmith
Preceded by
Alick Stokes
Captain of H.M.S. Weymouth
11 Sep, 1922[38][39] – 27 Jun, 1923[40]
Succeeded by
Hugh T. England

Footnotes

  1. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  2. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  3. Dawson. Flotillas. pp. 47-50.
  4. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  5. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  6. The Navy List. (April, 1914). p. 342.
  7. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  8. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  9. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  10. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  11. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  12. The Navy List. (October, 1904). p. 374.
  13. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  14. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  15. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  16. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  17. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  18. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  19. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 380.
  20. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  21. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  22. The Navy List. (January, 1910). p. 306.
  23. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  24. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  25. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 399.
  26. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  27. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  28. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  29. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  30. The Navy List. (August, 1912). p. 399.
  31. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  32. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  33. The Navy List. (May, 1914). p. 342.
  34. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  35. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  36. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 399g.
  37. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  38. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.
  39. The Navy List. (January, 1923). p. 843.
  40. White Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/373. f. 422.