Private R. L. White, Gloucestershire Regiment, late Devonshire Regiment, taken Prisoner of War at the Battle of Imjin River, 26 April 1951
General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, G.VI.R. (22301234 Pte. R. L. White. Devon.) unit officially corrected; Korea 1950-53, 1st issue (22301234 Pte. R. L. White. Glosters.); U.N. Korea 1950-54,
Provenance: Buckland Dix & Wood, July 1995.
Reginald Lewis White was born in Portland, Dorset, on 26 December 1928, and attested for the Devonshire Regiment in November 1949. He married Miss Mary Wood at Weymouth on 15 April 1950, and, according to the Dorset Daily Echo was despatched to Malaya for service with the 1st Battalion the very same day!
He served with a Signals Platoon in Malaya until November 1950, when the Battalion returned to England. However, as he had more than 11 months’ National Service left to complete, he was one of 270 men drafted into the Wiltshire Regiment to bring it up to strength in Hong Kong. Indeed it is well documented in the Regimental Journal of the 1st Devons that the ranks of the Signals Platoon 1st Wiltshires were well represented by ex-Devons.
While serving with the Wiltshires in Hong Kong, White volunteered for service in Korea, as part of a draft of 90 men from the Wiltshire Regiment, and arrived in Japan on 14 April 1951.
The Dorset Daily Echo reports that ‘Chalky’ White underwent a period of battle training before joining the Gloucestershire Regiment, and it is probable therefore that he arrived with the second draft.
He was taken Prisoner of War at the Battle of Imjin River on 26 April 1951, whilst serving with a Support Company; by the end of the Imjin battle 21 officers and 501 men of the Glosters had been captured by the Chinese.
He was eventually released form Camp One on 20 August 1953 along with 90 other Prisoners of War, at least 55 of whom were Glosters, and arrived back at Portsmouth on the morning of 17 October 1953, just in time to attend his sister’s wedding in Weymouth later that day!
He died in Weymouth on 29 February 2012.
Sold together with a copy photograph, taken from Semper Fidelis, showing the recipient wearing a Wiltshire Regiment cap badge.