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Lieutenant White RE - first mine exploded by British in the war


David_Blanchard
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I am trying to find more details of the first British mine of the war that was detonated by Lieutenant White RE at Hill 60 on 17 February 1915.

 

That’s about all I can find out about this action- nothing more about Lieutenant White or which company of the RE in which he served so I can find the war diary.


Any more details about the explosion of this mine appreciated.

 

David 

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1 hour ago, David_Blanchard said:

I am trying to find more details of the first British mine of the war that was detonated by Lieutenant White RE at Hill 60 on 17 February 1915.

Rather wondering about your source for this info - hope you can reveal.

 

1 hour ago, David_Blanchard said:

nothing more about Lieutenant White or which company of the RE in which he served

 

I note your comment above.

But ... Do you by any chance have any more personal details about Lt White?

Forename(s), or even initial(s), might help.

:-) M

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David

It is the WD of 171 TC (WO 95/335/1). It starts with a preamble about work done from 26/02/1915 to 04/03/1915. The WD proper starts on 09/04/1915 and records that Captain Wellesley arrived to take over command and that a draft of 38 specially enlisted miners from England arrived. No mention of any Lt White but the April WD is headed 5 Corps so he might be in the WD of the Chief Engineer of that Corps.

Brian

EDIT: The Weekly Mining Reports are in WO 95/335/3 but are only for 1916.

Edited by brianmorris547
typo
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Hi Brian,

 

Does this war diary mention the mine explosion on 17 February?

 

David 

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21 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

... Do you by any chance have any more personal details about Lt White?


 

  I am afraid I don’t have any additional details about Lt White- if you google Lieutenant White RE and 17 February 1915, you will find as much information as I have. None of the sources goes into any more detail.

 

David 

Edited by David_Blanchard
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According to the mother site - ‘On 17 February 1915 the first British mine was blown at Hill 60 by RE troops of 28th Division’

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Looked at the war diaries of the 3 RE Field Companies of the 28 Division, but no mention of the mine explosion - or in  CRE  WD of the division. 
 

David 


 

 

 

3817D438-BEC9-4442-8D8F-59FB1B7807CF.jpeg

Edited by David_Blanchard
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In the CRE war diary there is a mention of a Lieutenant R E White wounded on 5 March 1915- with the 1 Northumbrian Field Company RE.

 

David 

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28th Div HQ WD - here

17th February 1915 -

10.55am - orders issued to blow up Hill 60

11.41pm - 83rd Bde report they had exploded mine under Hill 60 successfully at 9.35pm.

 

The Northumbrian FC RE are also mentioned on the day.

 

Edited by jay dubaya
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I have found a report on the aftermath of the mine explosion in the 83 Brigade’s W D- but nothing about the planning of the mine or the role of Lieutenant White.

 

David 

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2/Lt Ronald Edwin White, Royal Engineers Northumbrian Division. Died of wounds 05 March 1915

Buried Ramparts Cemetery, Lille Gate, Ypres

Martin

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If he was recruited into the Northumberland Fusiliers and was a professional mining engineer he may have been a member of the the North of England  Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers.  They are based in Newcastle and have a website here: https://mininginstitute.org.uk/

 

Best of Luck

 

Gvain

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The preamble in the WD of 171 TC is headed Report on Work Done by 171 TC 26/02 to 04/03/1915. It records that The "Party" detonated two charges, one of 130 Lbs gunpowder to make it difficult for the Germans to mine and the second of 830 lbs gunpowder. No dates or casualties shown. No mention of Lt White being wounded on 04/03. 

The WD 10/04 refers to fuze leads for 6 mines at Hill 60,  12/04 Charged 2 mines with 2700 lbs black powder, 14/04 tamped mines at Hill 60 and on 17/04 Mines fired at Hill 60 7 pm.

On 23/04/1915 the Right half of the Company commenced defensive mining in 28 Div area.

Brian

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Thanks for all the help with this enquiry.

 

I think the original source for Lieutenant White and explosion of the first mine at Hill 60 comes from W G Grieve and Bernard Newman ‘ Tunnellers: The story of the Tunnelling Companies R E during the World War’- 1936. Page 39.

 

Having downloaded the book on kindle- it actually adds very little to the story. 
 

David 

Edited by David_Blanchard
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28th Div HQ WD - here

17th February 1915 -

10.55am - orders issued to blow up Hill 60

11.41pm - 83rd Bde report they had exploded mine under Hill 60 successfully at 9.35pm.-

 

From Jay D, from above. 


 

The frustrating part of this war diary of 28 Division is that at the end there should Appendices and Maps of the operations in February 1915- not included nor in the continuation of the war diary in March- unless I am missing something. 

David 

Edited by David_Blanchard
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There are quite a number of maps and information in the 83rd Brigade diary. The diary seems to be mixed up a bit and worth searching quite a number of pages either side of this page. Had a quick look not sure it mentions White but might be useful

 

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/60779/images/43112_2273_0-00052?ssrc=&backlabel=Return

 

Mike

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