Samuel John White

Samuel was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk on 11 March 1857. His parents were Mary Ann (nee Parker) and Thomas Harper White. His father was a sailor.

He came from a large family. His siblings were;

Thomas born 1844

Mary Ann 1846

Elizabeth born 1848

 Jane Eliza born1850

Eliza Ann born 1854

Emma Harper born 1859

John Parker born 1862

Alice Kate born 1865.

He was baptised in St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth on 13 April 1857.

In 1861 the family were living on South Quay Great Yarmouth. In 1871 they lived in the Nelson Area of Great Yarmouth. His father was often away at sea, his mother describing herself as a mariner’s wife.

Samuel married Elizabeth Laycock, who was a sailor’s daughter, on 12 August 1878 at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth. He was a publican.

In 1880 his eldest son Egbert was born and Samuel was a licensed victualler. In 1881 the family lived at the Staithe, Hickling Norfolk.

In 1883 Samuel was living at 9 Downsell Road, Leyton, Stratford Essex where his daughter Ella was born. He was working as a railway porter. Stratford was the headquarters of the Great Eastern Railway.

They returned to live in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. By 1889 they were living in Swardeston, Norfolk and Samuel was working as a signalman in Swainsthorpe, Norfolk.

In 1891 their address was The Cottage, Turnpike, Swardeston.

Samuel and Elizabeth had several children;

Egbert born 29 July 1880

Ella Eliza 1883

Grace Maria born 22 December 1885

Sydney Leopold born 11 October 1887

Nora Gwendoline born 6 February 1889

Reginald Vincent born 1 July 1892, killed 16 February 1916

Ralph born 6 December 1896, killed13 October 1915

Samuel’s wife, Elizabeth died in December 1899 and is buried in Swardeston Churchyard.

In 1901 Ella was acting as a housekeeper for her father and looking after the other children. They lived at Town Cottages, The Common, Swardeston and Samuel was still working as a signalman.

On 1 September 1901 Samuel married Agnes Harriet Copeman in Swardeston. She was single and 37 years old. She had worked when she was younger as a waitress in an inn. They moved to live in Saxlingham Nethergate. She died in December 1901 in Saxlingham and was buried in St. Mary’s Church yard on 16 December 1901.

On 27 October 1902 he married Alice Eliza Brighton in Newton Flotman Church. She was 28 years old. She was single but had three children, Charles born 1894, Ethel Alice born 30 July 1897 and Martha Eliza born 11 April 1900.

Samuel and Alice’s daughter Leila Hagar was born in 1903. She died in August 1913 aged 10 years old and is buried in Saxlingham Church yard.

They had a son Alfred Arthur born 2 November 1907.

In 1911 they were living in Saxlingham Thorpe near the Turnpike. Also living at the address were Samuel’s, sons Reginald and Ralph, his step daughters and step son and two granddaughters, Ivy White and Edith White. It is not known who their parents were. Egbert, Ella, Grace, Sydney and Nora were no longer living with their father.

During the First World War Samuel became a member of the Royal Defence Corps, 55th Protection Company, service number 38189.

The Royal Defence Corps was formed in March 1916. It had several Protection Companies, those numbered between 51-100 were part of the Eastern Command. The Royal Defence Corps was made up of men who were too old or medically unfit for active front line service. Their duties were the local defence of the United Kingdom, they were never intended to serve overseas. They guarded ports, bridges and prisoner of war camps.

Two of Samuel’s children were killed in the war, Ralph on 13 October 1915 and Reginald 16 February 1916. His son Egbert was injured and received injuries which resulted in his being unfit for further service and which affected him for the rest of his life. There is no information about Sydney White at this time.

Samuel died in Saxlingham Thorpe in 1938.


England & Wales, Birth, marriage, death index 1837-2005

UK Census Collection

1939 Register-

Norfolk Electoral Rolls-Southern Division Saxlingham Nethergate and Thorpe,  (Absent Voters Lists 1918-1920)

Norfolk, Church of England Diocesan Records, Saxlingham Nethergate, Great Yarmouth, Swardeston and Newton Flotman.

Information about Royal Defence Corps,

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