Pte Samuel Robert White

Co. Monaghan

how it all began

Samuel Robert White lived in Tullinearly, Creighanroe, Castleblayney in Co. Monaghan before he left for Australia. He was an apprentice to David Boyd for four and a half years. He was a draper by trade. 

From the picture of the map we can see how close to the border Samuel lived.

On the left is a picture of Samuel's family home. In the picture with me is Hilda Montgomery. Hilda and her husband Eric are the current owners of the house.

Above we can see a copy of the 1901 census. Samuel is listed in the 11th spot on the list. As he was apprenticed to David Boyd, he lived in David's house. We can tell from the census return that Samuel could read and write.

On the left edge of the picture, we can see David Boyd's shop where Samuel served his apprenticeship.

This is a picture of David Boyd's shop today. 


Samuel was 33 years and 6 months old when he enlisted for the Australian Army on the 17th March 1915 which was one hundred years ago on St. Patrick's Day this year. He had brown hair, brown eyes, had a dark complexion and was a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Family Backround

His mother’s name was Mary Jane White and his father’s name was Samuel White. 

 He had a brother named Hamilton and a sister named Emily. 

 Samuel Robert listed his brother as his next of kin and not his father. 

Samuel Robert White was a Private in the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion in the Australian Army. 

His date of death was the 26th of August 1916. 

He died in France at the age of 34. 

Samuel was accepted into the army on the 17/3/1915, St. Patrick's Day.

In September 1915, Samuel’s division was dispatched to the Gallipoli Peninsula as reinforcements, and after this the battalion saw their first action after relieving elements of the 2nd Brigade holding positions north of Anzac Cove, allowing them to be withdrawn for rest. The 22nd remained at Gallipoli until the final evacuation took place in December 1915, primarily undertaking defensive duties.

The division was then sent to France to fight on the Western line. Embarking in March 1916, after landing in France the 22nd Battalion entered the front line around Fleurbaix in April. 

 Its first major action came a few months later during the Battle of Poziers, which was part of the wider Battle of the Somme. I believe this is the battle Samuel Robert White was killed in. Their losses between 25 July and 7 August 1916 totalling 27 officers and 656 other ranks killed or wounded.

Samuel was reported MIA in 28/8/1916. 
His date of death was the 26th of August 1916. 
He died at the age of 34.

 Samuel was confirmed as being KIA in 26/11/1917.
During the war, 22nd Infantry Battalion had 854 soldiers killed and 2,378 wounded. 


After his death, Samuel was awarded:

1914/15 Star

British War Medal 

Victory medal 

Then in 1915 my country said: Son, 
It's time to stop rambling, there's work to be done 
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun 
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda 
When the ship pulled away from the quay 
And amid all the tears, flag waving and cheers 
We sailed off for Gallipoli 

"The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" by Eric Bogle 

About me

My name is Kyle McGee and I am 16 years old, I go to school in Castleblayney College in Castleblayney, Co.Monaghan. I first found out about the project through my history teacher. As soon as I heard about the project I knew I was going to try my best to get involved. It sounded very interesting.

From a young age I had a love of history. My father served in the Irish Defence Forces for 23 years, so my interest in the military grew as I got older. Hearing the stories my father used to tell me about his numerous trips overseas always interested me. I remember reading books upon books about both WW1 and WW2. Every book I read was always as interesting as the one before it.

I tried to include as much detail as possible in my entry form. I explained all about my father serving in the Defence Forces and how I grew up with a love for history. My History teacher sent the form away.Some weeks later she broke the news to me that I had won. I was the person who was chosen to represent County Monaghan on this amazing trip. I was ecstatic. I never win anything, so it was a complete shock to get accepted.

As soon as I found out my soldier's name, I began my research straight away. As I carried out my research, I began to become amazed by the amount of information there is about WW1 soldiers on the web. I found everything from pictures of my soldier to information about the medals he earned.

To help my research, I got in contact with a historian from Castleblayney, Daphne HolmesGreer. She helped me find out a lot more information about my soldier's family. I also got to visit the grave of my soldie'rs family. She showed me baptismal records from the Presbyterian Church to help me find the names of my soldier's next of kin. Without Daphne, I never would have been able to visit Samuel's home house. She put in alot of work behind the scenes which I am very grateful for.

I would like to thank Gerry Moore for making this trip possible. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of work Gerry has put into this project and I am very grateful for all the hard work he put in to the project to give us students the amazing opportunity we have. I would also like to thank the organising committee who also put a lot of hard work in to the project to make the trip possible. Last but not least, I would like to thank my History teacher, Ms.Hanratty,  for all of her amazing help. From setting up meetings with different people to help me find out more information to sending me websites where I can find information, I am thankful for the hard work she put in to help me along.