Harry White was born Haviland White in 1880 in Holdenhurst, Bournemouth, the son of William and Eliza White. He appears to have used both names, calling himself Harry Haviland White.
In the 1881 census, the year after Harry was born, he is living at the ‘Three Elms Inn’ at Holdenhurst where his father is the landlord. William and Eliza (both 32 years old) have three children: Catherine (9), Henry (6, registered in 1875 as Harry White), and Haviland (1). The whole family was born in Holdenhurst.
By 1891, the family had moved to Winchester where they are living at 64, Canon Street. William (42) is now working as a builder. As well as Henry (15), Catherine (13), and Haviland (10), there are 3 further children: Eva (9), Lot (7), and Sydney (5).
In the 1901 census, the family is living at 3, King Alfred Place. Only two of the siblings are now living at home: Lot (17) is working as a carpenter’s apprentice, and Sidney (14) is a bricklayer’s assistant. Haviland cannot be traced in the census.
However, by the 1911 census, Haviland had returned to his parents at 3, King Alfred Place. He is now 30 and working as a carter. His sister Eva (29) is at home, also his brother Sidney (24) who is a carpenter. His mother Eliza states that she has had 6 children, one of whom has died: Lot had died in 1907 aged 23.
In 1912, Haviland married Ellen May Dumper in Winchester. Ellen had been born in Winchester in 1887 and went on to have two children with Haviland: Doris (born 1913) and Harry (born 1916).
Haviland enlisted in the Royal Navy in August 1914 as a stoker, with service number 283351. He served with HMS Venus, a light cruiser with a crew of 450.
Venus had left Portsmouth in July 1914 to patrol the Irish waters, and a year later sailed for Gibraltar and then Aden. It is not known at what point Haviland joined the ship. In February 1916, Venus sailed on to Sri Lanka, in May to Singapore, then the Philippines, and in August 1916 to Hong Kong. After several months in the area, Venus left for Singapore in March 1917 and then on to Sri Lanka in June 1917.
The log book for HMS Venus gives the numbers of sick men: in early August 1918 in Aden there were up to 45 each day, and Haviland may well have been one of these. Haviland, by this time a Leading Stoker, was sent to Portsmouth to HMS Victory. This ship was based in Portsmouth as a training school, though by 1906 the school had been moved to the Royal Naval Barracks in Portsmouth, retaining the name of Victory as another name for the Barracks.
Haviland died at the Royal Navy Barracks on Thursday 19th September 1918 from illness, though this is not specified. He was buried at Winchester (West Hill) Old Cemetery.
Haviland’s children were aged 5 and 2. His widow Ellen remained in Winchester until her death in 1957, aged 69.