THE VICTORIA CROSS AND CAMPAIGN MEDALS AWARDED TO LIEUTENANT COMMANDER GEOFFREY WHITE, ROYAL NAVAL SUBMARINE SERVICE, HAVE BEEN ACQUIRIED BY THE LORD ASHCROFT VC COLLECTION.
8 September 2016

The Victoria Cross and campaign medals awarded to Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey White, HM Submarine E.14, a First World War Dardenelles award, have been acquired by the Lord Ashcroft VC Collection. The VC group will go on display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery situated in the Imperial War Museum, London.



( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey White,
Royal Navy ( HM Submarine E.14 )

  • Victoria Cross
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 24 May 1919 ], Dardenelles, Turkey, 28 January 1918, Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Saxton White, Royal Navy ( HM Submarine E.14 ).

For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as Commanding Officer of H.M. Submarine "E.14" on the 28th January 1918.

"E.14" left Mudros on the 27th of January under instructions to force the narrows and attack the "Goeben" which was reported aground off Nagara Point after being damaged during her sortie from the Dardanelles. The latter vessel was not found and "E.14" turned back.

At about 8.45am. on the 28th January a torpedo was fired from "E.14" at an enemy ship; 11 seconds after the torpedo left the tube a heavy explosion took place, causing all lights to go out, and sprang the fore hatch. Leaking badly the boat was blown to 15 feet, and at once a heavy fire came from the forts, but the hull was not hit.

"E.14" then dived and proceeded on her way out. Soon afterwards the boat became out of control, and as the air supply was nearly exhausted, Lieutenant Commander White decided to run the risk of proceeding on the surface. Heavy fire was immediately opened from both sides, and, after running the gauntlet for half-an-hour, being steered from below "E.14" was so badly damaged that Lieutenant-Commander White turned towards the shore in order to give the crew a chance of being saved.

He remained on deck the whole time himself until he was killed by a shell.

Geoffrey White's widow was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 12th June 1919.


The submarine E.14 was also involved in a previous heroic act when captained by Lieutenant Commander Edward Boyle who was awarded the Victoria Cross for action in the Sea of Marmara in 1915.


In June 2012 HM Submarine E.14 was photographed in her final resting place 94 years after she went down. The first pictures of the vessel show the submarine looking largely intact. The precise location of the wreck in the Eastern Mediterranian was a mystery until discovered by Turkish divers.

E.14 sank in January 1918 with the loss of 25 lives and the British government will esnure the site is properly preserved as a war grave.

Acquisitions

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Iain Stewart, 8 September 2016