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Bromley-born Submarine Commander from First World War honoured

PUBLISHED: 16:41 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:20 31 January 2018

Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Saxton White was born in Shortlands. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Saxton White was born in Shortlands. Picture: Sandra Rowse

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A Bromley-born Royal Navy Submarine Commander who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross has been honoured at the Bromley War Memorial with a commemorative stone.

As part of the centenary, 628 Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War are being honoured at their birthplace.

Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Saxton White, who was from Shortlands, was awarded his Victoria Cross following his death on January 28 1918.

Lt Cdr White was killed by shellfire whilst commanding HM Submarine E 14.

He had ordered his damaged submarine to be sailed towards the shoreline of the Dardanelles, in an attempt to allow the crew to escape from the stricken vessel after coming under heavy fire from Turkish gun batteries.

Rear Admiral Tim Hodgson, representing today’s Submarine Service, said:

“It is humbling to have been invited to the unveiling of this plaque today, which demonstrates the great pride which the country takes in the conspicuous courage shown by Bromley-born Lt Cdr Geoffrey Saxton White.

“We in the Royal Navy Submarine Service share this pride.

“Courage is the fuel which drove the Submarine Service then and which still drives us today; it is key to our ethos of absolute professionalism.

“The kind of selfless courage shown by Lt Cdr Saxton White, where he put his duty to the welfare of others before his own is what we all aspire to.”

The stone was unveiled at the Bromley War Memorial in Martins Hill, by the granddaughter of Lieutenant Commander White.

Mayor of Bromley Cllr Kathy Bance MBE laid a wreath alongside another laid by the Royal Navy.

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