Francis Noel WHITE

Francis Noel WHITE

Per his military service record (regimental no. 2395), Francis Noel White was born at Canterbury, Kent, in England. He gave his age as 35 years and 9 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as wheelwright.  His description on his medical was height 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall, weight 12 stone 7 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and fair hair. His religious denomination was Anglican.

He completed his medical at Gilgandra on 7th October 1915, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at Gilgandra on 9th October 1915. He claimed to have had 2 years and 3 days previous military service with the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles. He also stated he had been rejected once before as unfit for His Majesty’s Service with a “hit knee”.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Menangle Light Horse Camp as reinforcement for the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Francis Noel White was reported in The Bathurst Times as having been charged at Bathurst Police Court with ‘having travelled between Sydney and Bathurst without a ticket on the night of February 5’ 1916, and also ‘having attempted to travel on the return journey’ without a ticket, and was described as ‘a member of the Sixth Light Horse, and a rather good-looking Englishman of cultured speech’, who was ‘fortunate enough to be remembered favorably by Captain Hitchen’, and that ‘had not Captain Hitchen came to his rescue’, White ‘would in all probability be now spending two days in the shamed seclusion of the Bathurst Gaol’, instead of back in camp at Liverpool. White said in court that he was on final leave, and that he sailed on Friday. White also said that ‘he was from England originally’, and had been ‘working on stations up to the time’ he joined the Coo-ees. Captain Hitchen ‘informed the Bench that White had come all the way with the “Coo-ees” as a transport driver’, and that White had been in his ‘employ for a few weeks before the commencement of the march’, and that he ‘had found him a man of good character at all times, and one who had conducted himself well right through the piece’, and offered to pay White’s fare.[1]

An initial regimental number of 2254 is crossed out on his service record, and ‘16th REINFTS 6th L.H.’ stamped over 15th Reinforcements 6th Regiment, A.L.H., which had initially been recorded for his unit, so it appears this episode may have held up his embarkation overseas.

On his embarkation roll his address as time of enrolment was not recorded, and his next of kin is listed as his mother, Mrs Merser, c/o Mrs Bosworth, “Linton”, College Lane, East Grimstead, Sussex, England.

Trooper White departed Sydney on the HMAT Hymttus 1 on 3rdof May 1916, as 16th Reinforcements for the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

After arriving in Egypt he was taken on strength by the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Tel-el Kebir on 27th June 1916.

On 8th September 1916 he was temporarily attached to Military Police Headquarters, at Moascar.

On 27th September 1916 a Field General Court Marshal was held at Moascar, where Private White charged with drunkenness when on active service on 20th September 1916, and he was sentenced to 21 days Field Punishment Number 2.

On 1st October 1916 he was admitted to the 24th Stationary Hospital, with Paraphimosis.

He rejoined Police Headquarters from Hospital on 14th October 1916.

On 18th October 1916 he rejoined the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

On 16th November 1916 Trooper White was transferred to the Imperial Camel Corps at Abbassia. On 19th November 1916 he was taken on strength of 3rd Company, Imperial Camel Corps.

Trooper White served with the Imperial Camel Corps in El-Mustagidda and El-Arish in Egypt until 5th February 1917, when after jumping off a camel he aggravated an old injury to his right knee where he had been ‘kicked by a horse 11 years ago’ , resulting in him being hospitalised.  He was taken by hospital train and admitted to the 24th Stationary Hospital with Synovitis knee on 9th February 1917.

On 12th February 1917 he was admitted to the No. 14 Australian General Hospital at Abbassia.

On 8th March 1917 Trooper White embarked from Suez, Egypt, aboard the HMAT Willochra bound for Australia, with Arthritis in the right knee.

He arrived at Melbourne on 25th April 1917. He was discharged medically unfit in Sydney on 25th May 1917.

[1] ‘A Coo-ee charged at Police Court : Captain Hitchen to the rescue’, The Bathurst Times, 8 February 1916, p. 4.



2 responses to “Francis Noel WHITE

  1. I have the Family Bible of Francis Noel White’s parents in my possession. He was born on 27 Dec 1879 in Preston, Kent where he was also baptised,

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