[Capt.] John Robert White

CriticismCommentary

Life
1879-1946; b. White Hall, Broughshane, nr. Ballymena, Co. Antrim; s. of Field-Marshall Sir George White; ed. Winchester and Sandhurst; served in Gordon Highlanders, and 6th Mounted Infantry in Boer War, made trouserless escape from the Boers and was subsequently decorated DSO; ADC to Sir George in Gibralter; served in India; adjutant of Terrritorial Batt. of Gordon Highlanders; taught in Bohemia; visited Canada; returned to Ireland to support Home Rule; spoke with Casement at pubic meetings; quarrelled with Casement at Rev. J. Armour’s meeting in Ballymoney; supported James Larken in Lock-Out; organised Citizen Army for Larkin; arrested, Mansion House, 1914; quit Citizen Army, May 1914; organised Irish Volunteers in Derry and Tyrone; called on British Govt. to recognise Irish Volunteers as defence force; dismissed from Irish Volunteers; did not enlist, but took an ambulance to France at his own expense; organised Welsh miners’ strike in support of James Connolly, 1916; imprisoned for three months in Pentonville, arriving shortly before the execution of Casement; invited to stand for Workers’ Republican Party in Donegal, 1923, offered himself as Christian Communist candidate, and was refused; settled in N. Ireland; autobiography, Misfit (1930); twice married, first in a love-match with a Catholic girl in Gibraltar (Mercedes “Molly”) Mosley, and later to a Catholic lady (Doreen) who survived him; d. White Hall. DIH

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Quotations
‘I have followed two lines in my life, roughly speaking the lines of Christ and Lenin. They do not yet visibly converge.’ (Misfits; cited by Sir Charles Brett in communication of 23 Feb. 1997.)

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Notes
Maurice Headlam, Irish Reminiscences (1947), records that in 1913 Countess Markievicz ‘generally had with her a Captain White, son of Sir George White, of Ladysmith fame’; further, ‘Mr Ryan’s book [W. P. Ryan, The Irish Labour Movement], implies that he it was he who gave the idea of “arming the workers”. (pp.128-29.)

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