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Remembering World War I Yarmouth Connections
Name: Henry Edward White Rank: Private Service Number: 733645 Service: 112th Battalion, 25th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Forces Awards: British War Medal 1914-1920, Victory Medal 1914-1919, 1 Gold Bar Date of Birth: July 27, 1887 Place of Birth: Yarmouth, Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: February 15, 1916 Place of Enlistment: Yarmouth, Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia Age at Enlistment: 28 Address at Enlistment: Yarmouth North, Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia Previous Military Service: 29th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery Height: 5 feet, 7 inches Complexion: Dark Eye Colour: Brown Hair Colour: Black Occupation: Farmer Marital Status: Married Religion: Roman Catholic Next of Kin: Mary White (Wife), Yarmouth North, Nova Scotia Date of Discharge: July 31, 1918 Age: 31 Date of Death: May 2, 1931 Age: 44 Cemetery: Our Lady of Calvary Roman Catholic Cemetery, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Henry Edward White was the son of Edward White (b. 1849) and Frances White (b. 1848). He was the husband of Mary (Deveau) White (b. 1892) and the father of George Alfred White (b. 1911), Henry Edward ‘Harry’ White (b. 1913), and Mary Elizabeth White (b 1914). Edward and Mary (daughter of Frank and Collette Deveau) married February 7, 1911, in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Edward’s surname is recorded as ‘LeBlanc’ on his marriage record and on his grave headstone. Other records list his surname as ‘White’. Edward was working at the Cotton Mill in 1901 at the age of 15 or 16, where he also worked post-war. After enlisting in February 1916, Henry trained in Canada in the spring and summer of 1916, and embarked in Halifax for the UK on July 23, 1916. He arrived in Liverpool, England on July 31, 1916, aboard the SS Olympic. He joined the 25th Battalion in the field in France on October 22, 1916. He was taken out of the line and transferred from his unit to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance on Jan 13, 1917, with influenza. He rejoined his unit twelve days later Jan 25, 1917. 3 months later, Edward and the 25th Battalion took part in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April. After Vimy, the Canadians then began to push forward, taking out various outposts and advancing over the course of two weeks until mid-April. At that point, they met a larger amount of German resistance. The village of Arleux-en-Gohelle was the next big objective in the Arras Offensive. The Arleux Loop was part of a system of German defences that encompassed the village of Arleux-en-Gohelle. The system was fortified with concrete, belts of wire and a large amount of machine guns. Hoping to blast through this offensive, General Haig ordered a four-battalion attack by the Canadians on the Arleux Loop at Arleux-en-Gohelle. The battalions assigned to take part in the attack was the Western Cavalry, the Winnipeg Rifles, the Canadians, and the Nova Scotia Rifles; known respectively as the Fifth, Eighth, 10th and 25th Battalions. The main attack was launched at approximately 4 am on April 28, 1917, after a major artillery barrage. Edward suffered a gun shrapnel wound to the forehead on April 28, 1917 (and awarded 1 gold bar in the field) during the Battle of Arleux. Robert Lester Goodwin and Frank Kinney of Yarmouth County were killed in action the same day on April 28, 1917, during the Battle of Arleux. Six other men with ties to Yarmouth County were killed on the next day of the fighting on April 29, 1917 – Merton H. Goodwin, Carl Hemeon, Eugene Lewis, Harold T. Long, John Alfred Muise, and Gordon S. Murree. Edward was transferred to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne, France on April 30th and on May 1, he was invalided to the Nova Scotia Regiment Depot Battalion at Bramshott. He was at Military Hospital Chatham on May 2nd, and the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Epsom, Surrey, on May 9th. He was transferred to the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington, South East England on June 12, 1917, suspecting of having TB in his lungs. Once this was determined, it was decided he should be transferred to Canada for further treatment. Private Henry Edward White returned to Canada aboard the HMHS Araguaya (His Majesty’s Hospital Ship) on October 17, 1917, arriving in Halifax on the 27th. He was admitted to Camp Hill Military Hospital in Halifax, in November 1917, December 1917, and January 1918 attempting to address his tuberculosis. He was discharged July 31, 1918, being found medically unfit for further service having suffered from tuberculosis (TB). Henry's Canadian military service records from Library Archives of Canada confirms his illness originated from his military service. His file records he contracted TB whilst in service to the country and suffered from it post-war, resulting in his death. He died on May 2, 1931, and is interred at the Our Lady of Calvary Roman Catholic Cemetery in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Henry Edward White
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Sources: Battle of Arleux Library and Archives Canada findagrave
A stretcher-bearer and German prisoner tend to a Canadian wounded at Arleux. Note the crucifix in the background – one of few shelters left standing in the village. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-00136