Personal info

  • Name: William Allison WHITE
  • D.O.B: 19th October, 1894
  • D.O.A: 18th September, 1918
  • D.O.D: 13th September, 1974
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Temporary Second Lieutenant, 38th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Battle of Épehy, France 18 September 1918

18 September 1918

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The First World War 1918 

Encouraged by the success of Third Army in the Battle of Havrincourt, the British Fourth Army decided to advance on 18 September 1918 in an attempt to clear the German positions on the high ground protecting the approach to the Hindenburg Line, which from Vendhuile, east of Épehy, ran south along the St Quentin Canal to St Quentin itself. III Corps was at the northern end of the line, and south of it the Australian Corps and IX Corps. In III Corps, 6th (S) Battalion The Northamptonshire Regiment and 25th Battalion The Royal Welsh Fusiliers (TF) were among the troops detailed to capture Ronssoy, south-east of Épehy. It was for his valour in this assault that Lance Sergeant W H Waring was awarded the VC (see also A L Lewis VC 18 and 21 September 1918 below). Further south, 4th Division, Australian Corps, advanced through and around Le Verguier, about five miles north-west of St Quentin. It was in fierce fighting here that Sergeant M V Buckley and Private J P Woods distinguished themselves. Meanwhile, north of Épehy, Third Army was still active. Second Lieutenant F E Young, 1st Battalion The Hertfordshire Regiment, was killed while gallantly fighting off an enemy counter-attack at Triangle Wood, south-east of Havrincourt. To the south-east, in the action at Gouzeaucourt, Temporary Second Lieutenant W A White, 38th Battalion Machine Gun Corps, captured three German machine-guns.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack. When the advance of the infantry was being delayed by an enemy machine gun, he rushed the gun position single-handed, shot the three gunners, and captured the gun. Later, in similar circumstances, he attacked a gun accompanied by two men, but both of the latter were immediately shot down. He went on alone to the gun position and bayoneted or shot the team of five men and captured the gun. On a third occasion, when the advance was held up by hostile fire from an enemy position, he collected a small party and rushed the position, inflicting heavy losses on the garrison. Subsequently, in consolidating the position by the skilful use of captured enemy and his own machine guns, he inflicted severe casualties on the enemy. His example of fearless and unhesitating devotion to duty under circumstances of great personal danger greatly inspired the neighbouring troops, and his action had a marked effect on the operations. 

Seventh Supplement to The London Gazette of 12 November 1918. 15 November 1918, Numb. 31012, p. 13472

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