|Lt. Commander H.M.S. Terrible.
MID Lt. Burne 16 February 1900 & 20 September 1918.
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith (Mid. H.M.S. Terrible); China
War Medal no clasp (Midsn. H.M.S. Terrible); 1914-15 Star Lt. Commr. RN); BWM (Lt. Commr. RN);
Victory with MID oakleaf (Lt. Commr. RN); Defence Medal (unnamed); 1939-45 War Medal (unnamed).
With photocopy service details, WW1 MID recommendation, his entry in 1917 Navy List, QSA clasp entitlement and QSA and
China medal roll pages. Herbert Edward Walter Christian Whyte was born in London 2 September 1882, the son of Admiral
William H. Whyte. Entered Royal Navy as a midshipman in training ship H.M.S. Britannia 15 February 1899. With H.M.S.
Terrible landed for service ashore in Natal 9 December 1899 and served as second in command of a pair of 12 pounder guns
under Lt. Burne of H.M.S. Philomel. Burne’s despatch to Captain Jones from Springfield Camp states that Whyte “has rendered
me useful assistance.” Also mentioned in an Admiralty report 5 November 1900, being noted for early promotion on qualifying
for rank of lieutenant.
In ‘Field Gun Jack Versus the Boers’ by Tony Bridgland it states that on New Year’s Eve 1899 “Lieutenant Burne of the Philomel,
at Chieveley, noted in his diary that he turned out with Whyte….at midnight and struck sixteen bells on an old 4.7 brass case.
Then they had a bowl of fine punch with slices of pineapple in it, which they shared with the duty watch, and everybody wished
each other Happy New Year. Then he records that, as a gesture of goodwill, they sent the Boers some 4.7 liver pills.” Promoted
sub lieutenant 15 May 1902.
On the basis of his service in South Africa and having attained 18 months seniority as a sub lieutenant, promoted lieutenant 15
November 1903. A report in January 1906 criticised his lack of zeal and ability and noted that “TL’s [Their Lords] severe
displeasure incurred”. A follow up report two months later noted a considerable improvement. Promoted Lt. Commander 15
November 1911. Court martialled 13 December 1911 for stranding the destroyer ‘Fervent’. Proved “by default” and reprimanded.
Further admonished in November 1912 for the loss of a steel chest containing £39-0-5 and had to repay the lost sum and was
told to “be more careful in future.” In WW1 served in H.M.S. Magnolia, an Acacia class sloop, on convoy duty between
Alexandria and Bizerta. MID recommendation states “Has performed valuable service in ‘Magnolia’. His ship is efficient and the
ship’s company in a good state of discipline.”
Recommended for promotion in December 1917, December 1918 and June 1919. Placed on the retired list at his own request 2
June 1920 with the rank of commander. Later served in H.M.S. Victory until his appointment was terminated and he reverted to
the retired list. Mobilised 28 September 1938 and employed in H.M.S. Drake for duties on the Mersey 28 August 1939. Later
served in H.M.S. Victory until his appointment was terminated 12 June 1944 when he reverted to the retired list.