Date of birth: 5th July 1892Place of birth: Ryde, Isle of Wight
Date of Marriage: 1917
Place of Marriage: Southampton
Rank: Assistant Cook
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Battalion/Ship: H.M.H.S. “Llandovery Castle” (London”
Died: 27th June 1918 aged 24 years
Death Location: At Sea
Life before the War
Ernest was born 5th July 1892, baptized 21st August 1892 Ryde, Isle of Wight, to parents Richard and Elizabeth nee Bessie nee Roach, who married on 9th July 1878 at All Saints, Ryde. All their children were baptized at the Roman Catholic Church in Ryde. Ernest was the youngest of their children, his siblings were:
Ellen Margaret b.22nd December 1878, baptized 2nd December 1880
Milia Elizabeth b.9th April1880, baptized 2nd December 1880 – d.1947 married and emigrated to south africa
George Thomas 16th February 1882, baptized 19th February 1882
Constance Edith Mary b.1883 baptised 26th June 1884
Edward Joseph b.15th December1884, baptized 22nd January 1885
Arthur Charles b.21st March1886, baptised19th April 1886
Alice Louise b.21st July 1887, baptized 20th August 1887 and d.1898
Harry John Patrick b.28th February 1889, baptized 21st March 1899 and d.1921
Frederick Francis Wilfred b.9th October 1890, baptized 2nd November 1890 and d.1920
In 1901, the family were living at 42, Albert Street, Ryde. Richard was working as a Coachman/Groom (not domestic), his wife was a Laundress, daughter Ellen was a General Servant Domestic, George was a Butcher Shop Man and Joseph was a Stationers Errand Boy.
They had moved by 1911, to 36, Prince Street, Ryde. Richard was a Coachman, Frederick was a Grocers Errand Boy and Ernest was a Grocers Junior Assistant.
In 1917, Ernest married Ellen Kate nee Murphy in Southampton. They had a son Ernest Evelyn Joseph born 1918 in Southampton. Ernest would have not seen his son. After her husband’s death, Ellen married Humberto Felice Strata in 1920. Humberto was a former Italian prisoner of war.
Tower Hill Memorial Register
“White, Asst. Ck. Ernest Evelyn. H.M.H.S. “Llandovery Castle” (London). Drowned, as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine, 27th June, 1918. Age 24. Son of Richard and
Bessy White; husband of Ellen Kate White (nee Murphy) of 10, Wyndham Place, Southampton, Hants. Born at Ryde, Isle of Wight”
Ryde Memorial, Town Hall, Isle of Wight
Ernest’s name is also remembered on the Memorial, which hangs in the Ryde Town Hall.
A bronze plaque naming casualties from the Great War. There are five panels, each with 2 columns of names.
“B0ROUGH AND DISTRICT OF RYDE
IN EVER GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHOSE NAMES ARE INSCRIBED HEREON WHO, AT THE CALL OF KING AND COUNTRY, LEFT ALL THAT WAS DEAR TO THEM, FOR THE PATH OF DUTY AND SELF SACRIFICE, ENDURED HARDSHIPS, FACED DANGERS, AND FINALLY GAVE THEIR LIVES THAT OTHERS MIGHT LIVE IN FREEDOM
GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918
names as given below
WAS UNVEILED ON SUNDAY THE 13TH AUGUST, 1922, BY
THE MARQUIS OF CARISBROOKE, CCVO
ALDERMAN ARTHUR ANDREWS, JP, MAYOR”
Historical Information – H.M.H.S. “Llandovery Castle”
H.M.H.S. “Llandovery Castle”, was built in 1914 in Glasgow as R.M.S. “Llandovery Castle” for the Union-Castle Line, was a Canadian hospital ship on a voyage from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Liverpool, England that was torpedoed and sank by the German Submarine U-86 (Helmut Patzig), off Southern Ireland on 27th June 1918.
Captain Patzig, aware of his error (torpedoing a hospital ship), decided to kill the witnesses and machine gunned the survivors who escaped in 3 lifeboats.
Of the total of 258 (164 crew, 80 officers and men of the Canadian Medical Corps, 14 nurses), only 24 were rescued in the sole lifeboat afloat by destroyer H.M.S. “Lysander”.
n terms of the number of dead, the sinking was the most significant Canadian naval disaster of WW1. The incident became renowned as one of the war’s worst atrocities. After the war, the case of the “Llandovery Castle” was one of six British cases presented at the Leipzig trials.
First-Lieutenants Ludwig Dithmar and John Boldt, charged with war crimes on the high seas. They were two officers of the submarine SM U-86 that had sunk the hospital ship “Llandovery Castle” and then attacked survivors in lifeboats. They were sentenced each to four years in prison. Their captain Helmut Brümmer-Patzig had left Germany and the court’s jurisdiction.