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Lieutenant Colonel
DAVID ARCHIBALD PRICE-WHITE, T.D.
Royal Artillery (T.A.)

by
Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis
2004. All Rights Reserved.

1. INTRODUCTION

This research was begun after the acquisition by the author of a studio photograph of David Archibald Price-White, his father Price Foulkes White, and his son Andrew Stewart Price-White. The photograph was advertised as being of an officer of the Royal Engineers on the eBay auction web site. When it arrived, close examination indicated that the man in uniform (D.A. Price-White) was actually a major in the Royal Artillery. Three names were written in pencil on the reverse of the photograph identifying the individuals as indicated above. Based on the age of the young boy and D.A. Price-White's rank, the photograph was taken circa 1936, when Price-White apparently was serving as a Temporary Major.

My first inclination was to return the photograph to the seller, as the officer in the picture was not a Sapper as advertised and the Royal Engineers are my special area of interest. Before doing so I thought to check a volume of Who's Who to see if the major with the double-barreled name might be mentioned. Sure enough he was, and with details that promised to make for interesting research. The narrative that follows is the result of that research.

L. to R. - David Archibald Price-White
Andrew Stewart Price-White and
Price Foulkes White

2. EARLY LIFE AND FAMILY INFORMATION

The 1891 Census of Wales shows that David's father, Price Foulkes White was a 17-year old student at the time living with his mother Jane Foulkes White at 5 Pensallt Villa in Bangor, Carnarvonshire.[1] Jane Foulkes White[2] was a 44-year old widow and the head of the family. She was an independent woman who, according to the 1891 Census was "living on her own means." Besides her eldest son Price, Jane had two other sons, David (15 years old in 1891) and Elles (13 years old in 1891). Both boys are listed as "scholars" in the 1891 Census. All the boys had been born in Bangor and, like their mother, could speak both English and Welsh.

The census return shows that there were three visitors to the Foulkes White household at the time. These visitors included one Rosa M. Roberts of London, and Fanny Blake and Rosa E. Blake, both of Ireland. Each of these women was "living on her own means." Jane Foulkes White also had a domestic servant by the name of Lizzie Williams living in her home. Lizzie was a local Carnarvonshire girl who also could speak both English and Welsh.

Price Foulkes White married one Catherine Bell. Their son, David Archibald Price-White was born, probably in Bangor, on the 5th of September 1906. David attended Friars School in Bangor and later the University College of North Wales, where he studied law.[3]

3. CIVILIAN LIFE

David Archibald Price-White was admitted to the Bar as a Solicitor in 1932. In 1933 he began to practice as a Solicitor in his own firm known as Price White & Co., Bangor and Llandudno. In 1934 he married Gwyneth Harris, the daughter of James Lewis Harris of Carnarvon. Their son, Andrew Stewart Price, was born in 1936. The Price-Whites also had a daughter; however, her name was not uncovered during this research.[4]

During the years preceding World War 2, Price-White acted as Solicitor for the executors of wills of numerous deceased individuals from North Wales as a representative of the National Provincial Bank Chambers at Bangor.[5] He became a member of the Conservative Party and some time prior to the war he was elected a Member of Parliament for Carnarvon. On the 10th of August 1945, following his release from active military service, he returned to Parliament. This is verified by the entry in the London Gazette of 24 August 1945 (p. 4289), which reads as follows:-

Crown Office, House of Lords, S.W.1.

LIST OF MEMBERS RETURNED to Serve in PARLIAMENT at the General Election, 1945.
Districts of Boroughs of Carnarvon-
David Archibald Price White, Esq.

Price-White resumed his practice as a Solicitor with Price White & Co. in 1945. In 1950 he relinquished his seat in Parliament. At this time his residence was Netherwood, Bangor, Carnarvon.[6] In 1956 he ended his practice as a Solicitor with Price White & Co.[7] and took a position as Principal Assistant with the Central Electricity Generating Board, Midland Regions Headquarters.[8]

In 1963 Price-White was living at Oak Cottage in Samlesbury, Preston, Lancashire.[9] By 1968 he had left the Central Electricity Generating Board and was back in North Wales practicing as a Solicitor with Amphlett & Co. in Colwyn Bay. His address at that time was 49 Conway Road, Colwyn Bay N.[10]

In 1978 Price-White was again a Solicitor and Principal of the firm Price White & Co., Solicitor, Colwyn Bay. The firm apparently closed its offices in Bangor and Llandudno. It is not known whether this was simply a relocation of the law practice or the re-establishment of the firm after it have been inactive for a number of years. Price-White's address at this time was Dolanog, Pwllycrochan Avenue, Colwyn Bay.[11]

David Price-White listed cricket, rugby and golf as his recreations. He was a member of the Constitutional and Carlton Clubs as well as the Conservative (Bangor) Club and the Carnarvon and Anglesey County clubs.[12]

The Carlton Club, formed in 1832, is the most famous political clubs of modern times. For the first 50 years of the club's existence it fulfilled many of the functions of the Conservative Central Office. The Carlton Club's original house was located in Pall Mall. In October of 1940 the building was destroyed by German bombs and only by great good luck were Harold Macmillan, Quintin Hogg and other Conservative notables, who were in the club at the time, not killed. The new Carlton Club building was then located at 69 St. James's Street SW1.[13]

4. MILITARY SERVICE

David Archibald Price-White was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery (Territorial Army) in 1928. Upon commissioning he was assigned Army Number 41972.[14],[15] On the 17th of April 1932 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. At that time he was serving with 242 Battery of the 61st Carnarvon and Denbigh (Yeomanry), Medium Brigade, Royal Artillery (T.A.) and was stationed at Llandudno.[16]

On the 10th of February 1938, Price-White was promoted Captain.[17] He was serving with the Headquarters of the 61st Carnarvon and Denbigh (Yeomanry) at the Drill Hall in Colwyn Bay on the Irish Sea, 5 miles east-southeast of Llandudno. By this time the unit had been redesignated as a Medium Regiment. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Major on the 24th of July 1939, just prior to the start of World War 2.[18]

Major Price-White first saw active service during the war in France in 1940 with the British Expeditionary Force, where the 61st (Carnarvon and Denbigh) Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery was part of the General Headquarters Troops of the BEF.[19] He later served in the Middle East, Sicily, Italy and East Africa.[20] In 1944 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.[21] Since his service papers were not available to the author at the time this narrative was prepared, the units in which he served in each theater of the war are not known.

The 61st (Carnarvon and Denbigh) Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery formed part of the Western Command at Colwyn Bay in North Wales at the start of the war. The regiment went to France with the original BEF in October of 1939, so it seems likely that Price-White was with the unit at that time. In June of 1940 the regiment was with the Home Forces in the UK and in May of 1944 it was assigned to the 21st Army Group. By May of 1944 the regiment was serving in North West Europe. For Price-White to have served in the Middle East, Sicily, Italy and East Africa, it seems likely that he left the 61st Medium Regiment, R.A. for an assignment or assignments with some other formation after the evacuation from Dunkirk.

On the 12th of April 1945 the London Gazette announced the award of the Territorial Decoration to Price-White. The entry reads as follows:-

The KING has been graciously pleased to confer "The Efficiency Decoration" upon the following officer of the Territorial Army:-
Royal Artillery
Capt. (T/Maj.) D.A. Price-White (41972)

5. POSTSCRIPT

David Archibald Price-White's name does not appear in the 1983 Who's Who. It must therefore be assumed that he died prior to that year. A more accurate date of death has yet to be established.

ADDENDUM NO. 1

The information in this addendum was provided by Gail Thomas of Perth, Western Australia, formerly of Pembrey, Wales. The information was received by email in November of 2009 and modified by an email attachment received in March 2012.

While searching for a relative by the name of James Lewis Harris, Gail came upon the author’s web site page for the Price-White family. James Lewis Harris is the son-in-law of Gail’s great-great grandmother, Gwenllian Treharne. David Price-White married Gwyneth Harris, the daughter of James Lewis Harris of Caernarvon, North Wales. Gwyneth was Gwenllian’s granddaughter.

Gwenllian ("Gwenny") Treharne was born in Cwmafon, Glamorganshire in 1849. Her family was extremely poor and in the 1861 census, aged 12, she was listed as picking coal slags. Gwenllian married Walter Hopkins in 1871 and they had two children, David (Gail’s great grandfather) and Mary (who married James Lewis Harris). Walter, a collier, died of tuberculosis aged just 29 in 1876. By 1881 Gwenny had moved to the industrial town of Llanelly, Carmarthenshire with her children and worked in the tinplate works. She also had another son, Gwilym in that year.

In 1901 Gwenny had moved to Caernarvon, North Wales and was living with her daughter Mary and her husband, James Lewis Harris, an insurance clerk, who it appears was born in Pennsylvania of British parentage. Their two children were Clifford and Lilian.

In 1911 the family was still there but there were also children named Elsie, Gwyneth and Arthur Lewis. This is the Gwyneth who married David Price-White and was the mother of their son Andrew. It is fascinating that Gwyneth, whose mother and grandmother had been tinplate workers, married a solicitor who was also a distinguished soldier and Conservative Member of Parliament.

One of Gwenny’s grandchildren, through her son David, was Gail’s grandmother Gertrude Hopkins. Gertrude was born in Llanelly in 1896 and was a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) during World War I from 1917-1919. She married Gail’s grandfather, William James Norham Randell in 1920. Norham was a carpenter who joined the army in WWI but was transferred to the Royal Flying Corp to help build aircraft. He was a 2nd cousin once removed of David Randell, a Llanelly solicitor who was the first Labour MP for the Gower Division in 1888. He was the nominee of the tinplate workmen.

So Gwenllian Treharne, a woman of very humble birth, saw one granddaughter marry a man who became a Conservative MP and another marry a man related to a Labour MP. This illustrates the incredible social and industrial upheaval in Wales and the United Kingdom in the second half of the 20th century.

Gail has also discovered a reference to Andrew Stewart Price-White, the son of David and Gwyneth, in the catalogue of the University of Nottingham. The catalogue lists among the library’s holdings a photograph album of Glenys Wortley. The album contains personal photographs and photographs of University College, Nottingham. One entry in the catalogue is listed as follows: "149-154 (page 33). Six photographs of a boy, labeled 'Andrew Stewart Price White', 1937-1938."

An Internet search of David Price-White’s parliamentary career produced the following information for the seat of Carnarvon or Carnarvon Boroughs:

David Lloyd George – 1890-26 Mar 1945

David Richard Seaborne Davies – 26 Apr 1945-July 1945

David Archibald Price-White – July 1945-1950

This Internet site may be found at the following address:

http://wapedia.mobi/en/Caernarfon_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#3,

ADDENDUM NO. 2

The following information was provided by Carolyn Munro (nee Carolyn Mary Price-White) the un-named daughter mentioned in Section 3 above.  Permission was given by Mrs. Munro to use this information on this web page.  This information adds to the research information already presented and provides some corrections to the research.  Corrected data is shown below underlined.  This information was provided to the author in an email dated 1 April 2010.

ADDENDUM NO. 3

The following information was provided by Mr. Robert Caldicott of Banbury in an email dated 25 October 2011:

Mr. Caldicott was born in Bangor, North Wales in December 1941 in a house called Wellfield where his grandfather worked as a GP.  His grandfather had fought in the Great War and had been awarded the Military Cross and the Croix de Guerre.  When his grandfather died in 1947 his family moved to Meirion Lane, next door to the Price-Whites.

Mr. Caldicott remembers Carolyn Price-White as a lovely girl with long blond hair.  He lost touch with Carolyn and the Price-White family when he moved to the Midlands in 1949 or 1950.  He recalls that Carolyn and her family moved to Birkenhead.

REFERENCES

Books

1. BLAXLAND, G. Destination Dunkirk: The Story of Gort's Army. Military Book Society, London, 1973.

2. LEJEUNE, A. & LEWIS, M. The Gentlemen's Clubs of London. Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., London, 1978.

3. Kelly's Handbook, 1946.

4. Who's Who, 1950.

5. Who's Who, 1963.

6. Who's Who, 1965.

7. Who's Who, 1968-69.

8. Who's Who, 1974.

Periodicals

1. The London Gazette, 26 September 1939.

2. The London Gazette, 26 August 1945.

3. Supplement to the London Gazette, 12 April 1945.

4. Supplement to the London Gazette, 5 June 1945.

5. Monthly Army List, October 1935.

6. Monthly Army List, April 1938.

7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Price-White

8. http://wbo.llgc.org.uk/en/s8-PRIC-PRI-1906.html

 

ENDNOTES

[1] The forms Carnarvon and Carnarvonshire rather than Caernarvon and Caernarvonshire are used throughout this narrative.

[2] Jane Foulkes White was born in Amlwch, Anglesey.

[3] Who's Who, 1950, p. 2271.

[4] Kelly's Handbook, 1946, p. 1572.

[5] The London Gazette, 26 September 1939, p. 6541, et. al.

[6] Who's Who, 1950, p. 2271.

[7] It is not known whether the firm of Price White and Co. was a one-man operation or whether David was a partner in the firm with his father or possibly with his brother(s). Apparently the firm was not dissolved in 1956 as he went back to it in 1974.

[8] Who's Who, 1963, p. 2469.

[9] Who's Who, 1965, p. 2477.

[10] Who's Who, 1968-69, p. 2478.

[11] Who's Who, 1974, p. 2654.

[12] Who's Who, 1963, p. 2469.

[13] LEJEUNE & LEWIS, p. 84.

[14] Who's Who, 1950, p. 2271.

[15] Supplement to the London Gazette, 12 April 1945, p. 1947.

[16] Monthly Army List, October 1935, p. 308c.

[17] Monthly Army List, April 1938, p. 308c.

[18] Supplement to the London Gazette, 5 June 1945, p. 2835.

[19] BLAXLAND, p. 389.

[20] Who's Who, 1950, p. 2271.

[21] Kelly's Handbook, 1946, p. 1572