Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Samuel Athelstan White

Ray has previously written about Samuel Athelstan White (b1869).  
As we know Samuel Ethelbert White married Catherine Veri Vlieland (1831 – 1916) and amongst their children is Samuel Athelstan / Athelstone White (b1869).  
He is the youngest and only one of the siblings for whom I have found no baptismal record (as yet?)  
The only evidence for the spelling of his middle name is the registration, since the next four censuses simply show Samuel or Samuel A.  
In the last of these (1901) he and Mum Catherine are lodging together and he is shown as a trooper in Lord Strathrona’s Corps (Canada).  
His name is shown throughout thes Canadian records as Samuel Athelstane/Athelstone and it is the latter name under which he is shown in Kingston in the 1910/12 Electoral records.  
It was under this name where I found his first marriage and his record in World War one.   
Not only will we find his wife’s ancestors, the Andersons, in the blog, they are also second cousins – the grandchildren of Samuel White
Samuel Ethelbert’s father Samuel White (1802 – 1870) had a number of children.  These included Sarah Augusta Mills White (1823 – 1902) as well as Samuel Ethelbert White (1828 – 1886).    
Sarah AM married  (b 1861).  William Henry Hulse Anderson (1816 – 1870), the son of Thomas Ajax Anderson.  Her children included Ella Sarah Augusta Anderson Ella and Samuel Athelstone’s marriage is recorded in Wandsworth London in q1 1902, where he had lived 30 years earlier.  
This is the same quarter where Ella (one of three, then, three spinster daughters of Sarah Augusta Milles Anderson (nee White - spouse of William HH Anderson) are shown as beneficiaries in her probate).
Although Samuel Athelstone has applied for land in Canada, he is (back?) in Richmond upon Thames by 1910 and volunteers early (April 1915) in WW1. 
An accomplished horseman in the Second Boer War he joins a force originally designated for service in the Second Boer War and formed from Boer War veterans. 
The City of London's battalion's adopted nickname of the "Rough Riders" (cap badge shown) was taken from the US cavalry regiment that fought in the Spanish–American War.  Joining as a trooper, within weeks he is a corporal but in August Ella has died.
Her probate shows him as a corporal in the Rough Riders but by November the Gazette shows him in the Royal Field Artillery - Second Lieutenant (shown as Cavalry). Even by the standards of WW1 when field promotions following the rapid deaths of officers was commonplace, this is prompt.  
He was married to the daughter of a Major.  Was this of assistance?  Where was he?
On 11 April 1915, the Rough Riders embarked on Scotia and departed Avonmouth for the Mediterranean. The Regiment arrived off Cape Helles on 28 April and stood by to land. However, on 1 May it departed again, arriving at Alexandria on 6 May where it rejoined the 2nd Mounted Division. It was posted to the Suez Canal Defences (near Ismaïlia) by the middle of May and Samuel was awarded the 1915 Star for his service in the Egyptian Theatre of War (TOW 3).
The regiment was dismounted in August 1915 for service in the Gallipoli Campaign. It left a squadron headquarters and two troops (about 100 officers and men) in Egypt to look after the horses.  It is not clear whether one of these was Samuel and there is a blurred out line for his next move / promotion but there is a suggestion that he has moved on to join the Royal Field Artillery.  It is in August that spouse Ella White dies.
The remainder of the regiment landed at Suvla Bay on the morning of 18 August and moved into reserve positions at Karakol Dagh. It moved to "C" Beach, Lala Baba on 20 August. On 21 August it advanced to Chocolate Hill under heavy fire and took part in the attack on Hill 112. Due to losses during the Battle of Scimitar Hill and wastage during August 1915, the 2nd Mounted Division had to be reorganised. On 4 September 1915, due to these continued heavy losses the 2nd Composite Mounted Brigade was formed from the 3rd (Notts and Derby) and 4th (London) Mounted Brigades. The regiment formed part of a battalion sized unit 4th London Regiment.
The regiment embarked for Mudros on 2 November but Samuel’s promotion to Temporary Second Lieutenant came through in November and by now he was in the Royal Field Artillery. The Royal Field Artillery was the largest arm of the artillery. It was responsible for the medium calibre guns and howitzers deployed close to the front line and was reasonably mobile. Samuel Athelstane's service record shows his 'full set ('Pip Squeak and Wilfred' of Medals.
Samuel stayed in the forces after the war, his commission awarded on 18th of May 1921 just before he leaves the service.  He returns to Richmond and his Marriage to Doris referred to before is four years later.


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