A MEMORIAL honouring the actions of a teacher-turned-soldier who is among an elite group of people to have received both the Victoria and Military Cross will be unveiled at a ceremony attended by several members of his family.
The commemorative service to Archie White, who was also mentioned in Despatches in both the First and Second World Wars for gallantry in the face of the enemy, will be held in his home town of Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, on October 1, 2016.
It will be the centenary of Captain White, aged 24, leading a counter-attack, against greatly superior numbers, which helped clear Germans from their Stuff Redoubt fortification, during the Battle of the Somme.
His Victoria Cross citation reads: “For four days and nights, by his indomitable spirit, great personal courage and skilful dispositions, he held his position under fire of all kinds and against several counter-attacks. Though short of supplies and ammunition, his determination never wavered. He risked his life continually and was the life and soul of the defence.”
After being commissioned into the Green Howards, the tailor’s son fought in Gallipoli alongside his younger brother John, who was killed during an assault.
After the war Capt White married and had three daughters and rose through the ranks. He served in numerous senior positions, including tours in Burma and India, and in 1945 was recognised for further bravery, before retiring from the Army in 1947 as an honorary colonel. Following an academic career he died aged 80, in 1971.
His Victoria Cross and other medals are on loan to the Green Howards Regimental Museum, in Richmond.
Alongside his family at the ceremony, beside the town’s war memorial, in Hall Square, will be the Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Barry Dodd, several regiments of the Armed Forces, schools, council members and the Royal British Legion.
Drummers from Yorkshire Regiment will sound the Last Post and lower the flag before a memorial paving stone is unveiled.
The ceremony is part of a government campaign to honour all First World War VC recipients that will see paving stones laid out in the their birth places over the centenary four years.
The aim is to honour the bravery of the valiant few while providing a lasting legacy in their home towns and enabling residents to get a better understanding of how their area played a part in the long, hard-fought conflict.