Warrant Officer Class 1 George White

{ Chalky }

  • Africa Star medal
  • France and Germany Star medal
  • Mentioned in Despatches medal

George White enlisted in Yorkshire, into The Green Howards 13 October 1932, aged 19. He served with them in France 1940 and was awarded an MID. Later in N.Africa in the 50th Infantry Division he was wounded. 

He then volunteered for the airborne forces and successfully passed parachute jump instruction at Kabrit on course K29. He arrived as the new RSM The 10th Para Bn on 8 March 1943. 15 September 1943 at Gioia Del Colle he was a member of the 'Skeleton Bn HQ' that was tasked with investigating routes into Gioia and discovering the locations of enemy positions outside the town. 

He took part in Op. Market Garden. George was wounded in his descent on Monday 18 September 1944, and was unconscious for some time. George recalled:

"Small arms fire was whizzing about our plane as we jumped. Being 2ic of the 'stick', I was last out. I was knocked out on landing. When I woke up - I do not know how long I was out - I was still in my harness. There was a yellow Celenese triangle marker above my head. There was a silence except for some distant small arms firing. I tried to gather my wits about me, but could not think straight. Two men of the Mortar Pln helped me out of my harness and then to a Dressing Station for treatment. Later I went back to Battalion HQ to fight on."

During the withdrawal George recalls:

"After withdrawing to the railway crossing near Wolfheze, Bn HQ had become too cluttered up by personnel from various sub units and I felt we ought to thin out a bit. The Adjutant ordered parties to attempt a break through to Oosterbeek. He set us off in intervals. The idea was that small parties would have a better chance to get away, not causing too much noise. Sgt Kincaid and the Int Section went towards Wolfheze railway station. then the Provost Sgt with the Provost Section, went in the opposite direction. Next myself and 6 others went back the way we had come but we did not have much luck, and I was taken prisoner the next day." 

George was held in Stalag Camp 8c and issued the POW number 89090

He was discharged from the Army 7 January 1946 (KR 1940 Para.390 (XVI))

Profile image shows George's tunic held in the Airborne Assault reserve collection. Note wound stripe. 

Airborne Assault Team and the book 'Desert Rise - Arnhem Descent' by Martin Peters and Niall Cherry with John Howes and Graham Francis. 

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Service History

AA WO1 George White Tunic museum number CR 2024.70

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