A chauffeur in the pre-war years, Arthur William White died aged 28 towards the end of the war on 29th September 1918. He had been promoted and recommended for the Military Medal. He died without being aware of these honours.
The Reverend A.J. Hutton, Rector of St John the Baptist Church, Windlesham from 1916-1932, writes in the church Roll of Honour about Arthur as follows:
‘Arthur William White was born in Windlesham on July 24th 1890. He joined up on the 29th Nov 1915 in the 2nd Battalion of the Shropshire Regiment. He was in training in England in Bridgenorth until 1916 when he went across to France. There he was transferred into the 1st Gloucester Regiment. On the Saturday before he fell he was promoted to Lance Corporal. He was also awarded the Military Medal for his excellent work in the field at the same time, but this award did not come out in time for him to know of it himself.
He was killed in action on Sep 29th 1918.
The 2nd Lieutnt of his Regiment wrote to his mother after his death. ‘It is with the very deepest sorrow that I write to tell you that your son was killed in action on Sunday last. We were taking a very powerful German position when he was killed instantaneously. He was the finest man I have ever had in my Platoon, and his loss is the greatest I have had. He was brave &fearless in the face of danger; always cheerful & full of courage &most willing. Only Saturday last I promoted him to Lance Corporal and recommended him for a decoration for his splendid work. A few seconds before he was killed, I was with him talking over our scheme. I could always rely on him to assist me in any difficult situation & whenever I had young lads come to my platoon I always asked Arthur and his chum to look after them until they had gained sufficient insight into the work; I always felt that in asking him to look after these lads & leading them in the right ways, I was asking a favour of him, which I knew he was only too willing to do me. Never shall I forget him & I may say I have never heard such heartfelt expression of sorrow & regret not only form my own platoon, but from the whole Battalion. We lost a great man, perfect example & good comrade, but we must thank God for his example & benefit to us. The whole Company wish to express their very deepest sorrow to you, to which I add my own……
In a second letter he adds ‘he is buried with four of his chums on the top of a hill overlooking the S Quentin Valley and a cross has been erected by us to his memory. These letters were written hurriedly in pencil from the front’’
Hutton, A.J., date unknown, Windlesham Roll of Honour