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White, Walter (1841-1917), Petty Officer, HMS SCOUT, East Indies, China and Indian Mutiny


Object connections:

Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

Record details:

Biographical details Walter White was born in Dorking in 1841 and died in 1917. Entered the Royal Navy as a petty officer joining HMS SCOUT on 14 June 1859. During her commission he served in the Second China War and the suppression of the Indian Mutiny being wounded during the latter conflict. He was promoted to petty officer 1st Class in 1863. When SCOUT was paid off in 1864, White left the Navy and returned to his home town of Dorking. He wrote as manuscript account of his time in the Royal Navy, dying in about 1912. Also see ZBA1626, a lead bullet extracted from the leg of PO Walter White after brief skirmish with "Budmashes" during the march on Lucknow, India 1857. Mounted on card with typed inscription. Also see ZBA1627 a miniature oil painting (framed) depicting the broadside view of 'H.M.S. Scout', by Walter White (1841-1917). The painting is framed and glazed.
Description Collection contains:

'Thy log commencing June 1859 and ending April 1864' entering HMS MONARCH [84 guns] then drafted to HMS SCOUT [21 guns] captained by John Corbett. White describes ship life including getting used to his hammock and his breakfast of cocoa and biscuits. The diary continues in a personal manner, which is revealing and is entertaining in places. His commission took him to the East Indies and China and was paid off 24 April 1864.

Diary kept by Walter White between May 1860 and January 1862, serving onboard HMS SCOUT.

Diary kept by Walter White, front cover missing, account beginning 'the street of everlasting prosperity [Tiru Tsui]' in China, 'a night in Shanghai City' a personal account; 'theatre on board ship'; 'the fight at Ningpo'; 'New Years Day in China'; 'How I lost my boat'; 'The first fight at Taku Forts'; 'A hot half-hour with a Malay Pirate'; 'crossing the line'; 'the fight at Canton'; 'the murder of the Bullock'; 'the second fight at Taku Forts'; 'how he went on shore for a holiday and had a fight instead'; 'the cook and the Cochin cock'; 'A burial at sea'; 'General Quarter at Sea.' No dates included but is White's manuscript account of his time in the Navy, circa 1859 t0 1864.

'Recollections of a Sailors Life in India, China, Japan, South America, Borneo, Sumatra etc' by Walter White, and copied from the original log by Herbert G. White [a Royal Engineer between 1915 and 1920]. Walter White adds that 'these recollections are written to amuse my children, and should they be perused by a stranger, the reader will kindly remember the object for which they are written, and refrain from criticism. They are also a simple record of facts, without romance or exaggeration.' This volume contains several photographs including one of Admiral Sir John Corbett who commanded the SCOUT in China; and also newspaper cuttings including some relating to the Peiho River Disaster. This is a copied version of Walter White's own manuscript account.

Family bible annotated and the back with the 36 places he had visited including Rio Janeiro, Canton, Bombay and Cape Town, dated 1858.

Photograph of Walter White, 1922.

White family tree, photocopy, 1 A4 sheet, and 1 photocopy of a photograph of Walter White.
Date made 1859-1864

Finding Reference HSR/Z/41
Catalogue section Manuscript documents acquired singly by the Museum
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent 1 Box
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