meet PRIVATE WHITE

Words by Katie Fox

A true military hero and founding father of the Manchester factory which now manufactures clothing in his name- meet Private Jack White.

Jack White was born in Leeds in 1896 and was only 18 years old when he signed up to the Royal Lancaster Regiment. It was during the battle taking place on the 7th March 1917 that his unit were tasked with crossing the Dialah River, Mesopotamia. The two pontoons ahead came under heavy fire and when Private Jack White’s own had reached mid-stream, he found himself to be the only man neither injured nor dead. He bravely jumped overboard with a telephone wire tied around his waist and persevered under gunfire to pull the pontoon safely back to shore. He succeeded in saving the life of his commanding officer and also the valuable equipment aboard the pontoon.

On the 27th June the same year, Private Jack White was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious honour which can be bestowed on British and Commonwealth forces, for his courageous actions.

"Private Jack White was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious honour which can be bestowed on British and Commonwealth forces, for his courageous actions."

After his service, he returned to Manchester and embarked upon an apprenticeship as a trainee pattern cutter at the local factory, rising through the ranks to become General Manager and then owner. It was this very factory where Jack White served his apprenticeship after WWI and where he later became owner. During his time as owner, Jack laid the foundations of what the factory is today, bringing with him Yorkshire influences which led to the company specialising in woollen garments, rather than just the traditional Lancashire cotton raincoats and mackintoshes.

Following World War II and with failing health, Jack was forced to relinquish his interest in the factory and passed away in 1949, aged 52.

In 1997, the company was acquired by Jack White’s great grandchildren who as a family, more than 60 years after his untimely death, are immensely proud to be championing the virtues of the region’s garment making industry.

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Victor Comic

Read the full version of the 1987 Victor comic starring our very own Private Jack White

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