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Lance Corporal Herbert Hill White



Date of birth: 1880-07-30
Place of birth: Clarksburg Ontario Canada
Next of kin: Martha White, mother. 901 Chateau Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Marital status: single
Occupation (attested): Printer
Occupation (normalized): Printer, General
Address: 901 Chateau Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Religion: Methodist
Date of death: 1943-02-02


Regimental number: 264619
Rank detail
  1. Lance Corporal, 6th Battalion, Infantry (Army). 1918-04-01 ?
  2. Private (Army). 1916-10-11 to 1918-04-01
Degree of service: Europe
Survived war: yes


Herbert H White (left) with an unidentified companion, taken in Brussels, Belgium in early Dec. 1918.,


LAC ID: 311289
Attestation record(s): image 1, image 2
Service file: B10291-S047
Uploader's Notes: He sailed from Halifax on board the Titanic's sister ship, the HMS Olympic on Dec 15th, 1916 and arrived in England on Dec 18th, 1916 according to his Casualty Form - Active Service form. However, a second form included in his military records is stamped that he "arrived in England S.S. Olympic 28 12 16." He was posted to Purfleet where he was in the 211th Battalion on transfer to the Canadian Railway Troops. On March 21st, 1917 he was transferred to the 8th Battalion CRG and on the 31st he was transferred to the 6th Battalion. He was sent to France, where he arrived on April 3rd, 1917. He was promoted to Lance Corporal with pay on Apr 1st, 1918, and was granted "one G.C. Badge L/CPL" on Oct 11th, 1918.He embarked on H M T Celtic in Liverpool to return to Canada on March 10th, 1919.
The following is from "A Call to Arms - The Organization and Administration of Canada's Military in World War One" by David W. Love, page 251:"Being attached to all the British Armies, Canadian Railway Troops came under separate establishment and authority than that of the Canadian Corps. They were also separate, until 1918, from the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps. To handle the influx of units and subsequent reinforcements, a 'Canadian Railway Troop Depot' was established at Purfleet, England.

By April 1917 there were six Canadian railway battalions equipped and operating in the field. As well, four companies of skilled railway employees had been sent overseas, and subsequently redesignated according to their specific functions (the 58th Broad Gauge Operating Company, the 13th Light Railway Operating Company, the 69th Wagon Erecting Company, and the 85th Engine Crew Company). Each company had an establishment of three officers and two hundred and sixty-six other ranks.
The Corps of Canadian Railway Troops was created in the early summer of 1918, when the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps, the 58th Broad Gauge Operating Company, the 13th Light Railway Operating Company, the 69th Wagon Erecting Company, and the 85th Engine Crew Company and the other existing Canadian railway battalions were brought together under a common 'Headquarters, Canadian Railway Troops.' The four Skilled Railway Employee Companies were again redesignated as Nos. 1 — 4 Sections, Skilled Railway Employees. Further railway battalions were also raised through redesignation of other units and use of personnel from the Canadian Railway Troop Depot. About the same time the Officer Commanding, Canadian Railway Troops was also appointed 'Director of Construction'. As such, his duties encompassed all construction of civil a engineering character in the zone of the British Armies."
The Canadian Railway Troops weren't involved in any of the fighting on the Western Front. Their main function is as their war diary suggests, grading railroad beds, laying tracks, digging ditches and any other job required to build rail lines. The 6th Canadian Railway Troops war diary give an excellent day-to-day account of their duties. Again from Love's book, page 250:
"The largest body of Canadians on the Western Front, separate from the Canadian Corps, was the Corps of Canadian Railway Troops. A force of experts on railway construction. From early 1915 to the signing of the Armistice, Canadian Railway Troops were responsible for the construction of all the light railways in the areas occupied by the five British Armies and sixty percent of the standard gauge lines radiating from the channel ports to the actual battle zones (light and standard gauge railways were steam-powered, Canadian Corps tramways were gasoline powered). Considered as non-combatant troops, railway workers were unarmed for most of their service at the front."
You might be interested to know the 6th Canadian Railway Troops was formerly the 228th Infantry Battalion, CEF.
Uploader's Research notes:

WeRelate Wiki

View his war diary at The Canadian Letters and Images Project

His mother, Martha White nee Smith (1835-1919) was listed as his next of kin. She was living with her son Frank in Cincinnati.

[Private Army Canadian Infantry 213th Battalion Lance Corporal Army Canadian Infantry 6th Battalion ]


Date added: 2013-12-22
Last modified: 2014-03-30