Thomas White story

Stop number YELLOW 4: Walk along to the end of this row and on your right, and slightly up the hill, you will see a CWGC grave for TE White.
TE White grave
TE White grave
Read the story below and when you are ready to move on click on the dot/circle for Edward Sweetland.

T E White's grave Gordon Road
T E White's grave Gordon Road (SWOP MHW08670)
Mrs Ada Hart 1865 - 1953

I am the mother of Thomas Edgar White who we called Eddie. He was born in 1889 in Norwood which is where I was living at the time. But I have a secret which I can share with you only now, because times have changed, but it was such a stigma then that no one talked about it. You see Eddie was illegitimate and we were fearful that this would colour all our lives. So Eddie lived with my parents and because Thomas's grandfather was also called Thomas they always referred to him as Edgar, hence Eddie.

Fortunately I found someone who wanted to marry me, even though I was tarnished goods, and I married Louis George Hart who was four years younger than myself in 1893 and we started a new family in High Wycombe, at Gordon Road. We had both worked in a bakers in Norwood but Louis later became an engineer.

My son Eddie moved to High Wycombe to live with us but, still fearful of my reputation and that of my husband's, he is simply listed as a boarder on the census returns, where as our other children are listed as being ours.

At least my name appears as 'Mother', next of kin on Eddie's army papers so he knew I loved him as much as my other children. He certainly did his bit for King and Country and was wounded three times, during which he suffered a gas attack and had a leg amputated. Then just as we thought nothing else could go wrong he was smitten by pleurisy. He died at Cliveden Hospital, after much suffering, on 29th Sept 1918, aged 28.

His funeral was at the parish church, All Saints, and his body was interred with full military honours. You can read the newspaper obituary for my son, my first born, below.

Obituary for Eddie Cliveden Hospital
Obituary for Eddie Cliveden Hospital


Only a few weeks later, while the country was celebrating the armistice, my thoughts were every much of Eddie.
Ada Hart researched by Sally Scagell and performed by Jan Fanning, Flackwell Local Area History Group
Ada Hart researched by Sally Scagell and performed by Jan Fanning, Flackwell Local Area History Group


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