Five Beer brothers fought in Great War

Posted by - 3 years ago

Five Beer brothers fought in Great War

Five sons of the Beer artist John White served in the First World War.  Four (Peter, Melville, Lawrence and Leicester) joined the British Army, while Robert, who was in Australia when war broke out, joined the Australian Army. Robert is pictured here in uniform with his parents.

All five survived the war, although Robert lost an arm, and Lawrence was to die in WW2.

Peter joined the Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry as a private, and served in Gallipoli. He was there at the same time as his younger brother Melville, who was in the same regiment.

Peter was later transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, and won the Military Medal.

Melville’s Yeomanry unit was merged with another to form the 16th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, which was involved in the British capture of Jerusalem before moving to France in May 1918. They had reached Belgium when peace was declared.

Lawrence’s service record from the Great War has not survived, but it is known he went on to join the Worcestershire Regiment in World War Two, and died in Nigeria in 1943.

Leicester was in the Hampshire Regiment, and, again, his service record is not available.

Robert was in Australia when war broke out, and signed up in Melbourne in 1915. He was sent at first to Egypt, and then on to France with the 28th Battalion of the Australian Infantry. Twice wounded, he lost an arm after being shot in July 1918 and was in Britain recovering in hospital when the war ended. Seven months later he returned to Australia.

  • Post your comment
    • 1.

      Saturday 14 February 2015 1:06 AM
    • susan gosling wrote:
    • Am trying to out more of my grandfather Leicester charles white son of artist john white I believe he was in the Dorset reg medical corp . Served in 1st and 2nd w.w.

    • 2.

      Tuesday 24 February 2015 9:36 PM
    • J wrote:
    • Hi, I found your article when I was looking up John White. I am related to him, I believe, through Peter white who I think was my great gran's husband. Do you know anything about him? What did he get the medal for?
      I'm sorry, I don't know anything about Leicester but as far as I know John white adopted two girls, Effie and Queenie.

    • 3.

      Tuesday 24 February 2015 9:44 PM
    • J wrote:
    • My great grandfather was Peter White. Does anyone know what he got the medal for or anything else about him?
      Sorry Susan I don't know anything about Leicester but I can see if the family do.

    • 4.

      Sunday 05 April 2015 5:51 PM
    • susan gosling wrote:
    • Hi Susan here, sorry but as yet have no other info' on any of John Whites sons, have asked my Aunt, his Grand daughter for anything am awaiting reply.

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