Extract from "British Commanders in the Transvaal War 1899-1900" published by W.D. & H.O. Wills Ltd:


The subject of our portrait, born in 1835, is, as are Lord Wolseley and Lord Roberts and many other gallant and distinguished soldiers, an Irishman. He entered the army in 1853, and first saw active service in the Indian Mutiny, where he gained great distinction. In 1879, General White fought with the Gordon Highlanders during the war in Afghanistan. At the actions of Charasiah, Kandahar and others our (then) Major behaved with such conspicuous gallantry that he was rewarded with the Victoria Cross. For distinguished service in Burmah he was promoted to the rank of Major-General, and soon after, in 1893, was appointed successor to Lord Roberts as Commander-in-Chief in India.

The exigencies of the situation in Natal during the Autumn of 1899 necessitated the sending out of this distinguished General to command the troops there. His splendid military abilities were immediately evidenced in his methods of dealing with the strategies of the Boer Command. ers, but on November 3rd he found his communications cut off, and the siege of Ladysmith commenced. For 117 days General White heroically defended the town against the attacks of the Boers, the most daring and prominent of which occurred on January 6th, 1900, when the enemy were repelled with a loss of over 800 men. Eventually, on February 28th, the glad news of the approach of the British relief column and the retreat of the Boers was announced, and so ended one of the most memorable of modern sieges.

Last updated 31 January, 2009
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