On 26th August 1920, 23-year-old farmer’s assistant, George White, died of tuberculosis in Bramcote Sanatorium, near Nuneaton, two years after the death of his younger brother on active service.
Bramcote Hospital had opened in 1907 as a smallpox hospital but, as there had not been a case treated there by 1912, it was converted in 1913 into a sanatorium for the treatment of those with consumption.
George was born in Lapworth on 27th October 1896, and baptised at Lapworth parish church on 6th December 1896. He was the eldest of the three sons of parents George (a labourer) and Ellen (née Corfield) who had married at Lapworth in 1896. The couple apparently had another child that had died by 1911.
We don’t have any information about George White’s service, but local researcher, David Gimes, has found that George had volunteered for active service by 1915. We struggled to find which regiment he served with, although his brother, Albert (1899-1918) served with the 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
There has been a suggestion that George White from Lapworth is the Private George White (no. 1892) who served with the Lancashire Fusiliers as a drummer and who died on 1st July 1916. However, these are definitely two different people. This Private White is listed as being born in Blackheath, London, and his next of kin is listed in official records as his sister, Florence. There is also mention of a brother, Frederick. However, George White from Lapworth had no sisters and just two brothers, Albert and Ernest John (1900-1954).
We have been contacted by a researcher who has discovered a pension record for Private George White (no. 303082), which gives his address as “Lapworth Brook, Hockley Heath” so it would seem that this is the correct person. Further research in the medal index cards indicates that he originally served in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (service no. 241727) before being transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers. He was entitled only to the British Medal and Victory Medal, so it doesn’t seem that he served in a Theatre of War before 1916.
Private George White from Lapworth is recorded in Lapworth Parish Magazine, October 1920 as having died of consumption in Bramcote Hospital, having contracted his illness in the service of his country. The death certificate gives George’s occupation as a farmer’s assistant, indicating that he had been discharged from the Army by the time he died.
George’s name appears on the Lapworth war memorial, showing that the local community considered him a war casualty. However, as far as we can tell, he is not listed in official records as such.
If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian