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Added 4.5.11. Minor edits 2.3.2014. Info added 21.3.2017.

975, Private Thomas WHITE - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born in Shoreditch, London, c.1821.


Enlisted at London on the 1st of December 1838.

Age: 17.

Height: 5' 9".

Trade: Labourer.

Appearance: Fresh complexion. Hazel eyes. Sandy hair.


"Deserted" on the 31st of December 1845 and rejoined the regiment on the 12th of June 1846. Tried by a District Court-martial on the 14th of June and sentenced to "forfeit all of his previous service of six years 197 days" and to be imprisoned for 168 days, with hard labour.

1851 Census

Piershill Barracks, Leith South, Midlothian.

Thomas White, 30, soldier, Private, born London.

Tried by a Regimental Court-martial for "absence without leave," on the 5th of March 1854 and being imprisoned until the 24th of April 1854.

Wounded in action at Balaclava, 26th [PB: typo?] of October 1854, and sent on board ship on the 26th of October "without being seen by the surgeon." He returned to the regiment from Scutari on the 3rd of December 1854.

Thomas White was tried and imprisoned for a total of six occasions for "absence", but his forfeited service was restored from the 15th of January 1847 by War Office Authority, dated the 14th of August 1855:

"Horse Guards,

6th March 1855,

Sir, - With reference to your application of the 15th ult., in connection with the restoration of the forfeited services of No. 930 Private Thomas White, of the 13th Light Dragoons (addressed to the Military Secretary) I have it in command to request that you will transmit to this Department the record of that soldier's services in accordance with the Regulations.

I am, etc. etc.,

R. B. Wood, AAG.

Officer Commanding 13th Light Dragoons, Camp Balaclava."

"Horse Guards,

18th June 1855,

Sir, - With reference to my letter of the 6th March last, I have the honour to request that you will be pleased to transmit to this Department the record of the service of the man named in the margin (975 Private Thomas White, 13th Light Dragoons,) with a view to his name being submitted to the Queen for the restoration of his forfeited services,

I am, etc. etc.,

R. P. Douglas, AAG.

Officer Commanding 13th Lt, Dragoons Depot, Dorchester."

See the record of1231 Morris White, 13th Light Dragoons, for his possible involvement in a fire at Scutari in February 1856.

Discharge & pension

Discharged from Cahir on the 18th of October 1856, as:

"Found unfit for further service. This man suffers from varicose veins of the legs - the result of natural pre-disposition. At the battle of Balaclava he was struck by a piece of shell just above the forehead. The wound was only trifling, and no inconvenience to him has arisen from it. He is proposed for discharge solely from varicose veins. He is able to earn his livelihood when out of the Army."

Served 9 years 296 days, to count. In Turkey and the Crimea: 2 years.

Conduct: "has been good lately."

In possession of two Good Conduct badges.

Aged 35 years on discharge.

He intended to live in Shoreditch, London, after discharge.

Granted a pension of 6d. per day.


Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Alma, Balaclava, and Sebastopol, and the Turkish medal:

"Fresh" medal granted on the 14th of August 1856.


Life after service

He said he intended to live in Shoreditch, London, after discharge.

Originally living in the W. London District, but he was in Hong Kong from 1860, where he died on the 24th of September 1862. His pension was paid to his wife during the time he was out of the country.

Death & burial

Died in Hong Kong, 24th of September 1862.

References & acknowledgements

Census information for 1851 kindly provided by Chris Poole.

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