Legionnaire Alfred Perrott-White

Just a short post today on an article the appeared in Yank Magazine in December of 1944.  It features Alfred Perrott-White, an amazing English soldier of fortune who joined the French Foreign Legion in 1938 at the ripe age of 39.  He recounts his time in the Legion in his memoir entitled “French Legionnaire”  which was published in 1951.  I read that book last year and was suitably impressed with his story at the time but then I recently came across the following article (Unz.com) about him.  It seems many of the things written about him in these two pages never made it into his book.  Which is a shame–he had an amazing career and probably could have written several books about himself.  Oddly enough I could not find a picture of him so I felt this illustration from his book nicely sums up his life story.  I’ll review his book in a later post (although it is on the far right margin of this blog’s chronological scope).

Yank Magazine_Perrott-White

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About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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5 Responses to Legionnaire Alfred Perrott-White

  1. jpoconnor says:

    When I met PW (as we called him then) in 1970, he was at once a tough as nails crusty old Brit… and a warm, encouraging coach with a heart of gold. He taught me target shooting and loaned me all the gear I needed. At the time I had no idea of his exploits in both of the “great” wars and in between. Research of several old newspaper articles in Cincinnati, OH (where we both lived) filled in some gaps, and then I found the Yank article and the American and British editions of his book. PW was only with us about another 4 years or so. Tragically, his son died in an accident a few years later. We still know almost nothing about PW’s early life other than in the published reports and on the dust jacket of his book.

    The dust jacket of the American book has a nice photo. Sadly, I am traveling and have no access to the book or a scanner. Hopefully I can scan the photo later and make it available.

    I would love to hear from anyone else who knew PW, or has information about him, as I am planning to write a short biography. Also, I have not had a chance to see if any of his WWI records survived in England or to research his Legion or any other records.

    Thank you for sharing the Yank article and your comments. Merci beaucoup!

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  2. Jack Wagner says:

    JP,

    Thanks for sharing this information. Very interesting. I didn’t know that PW settled in Ohio. I’ll see what more I can find If I find something I’ll be sure to update this post.

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  3. J. Frederick says:

    I met PW at Camp Craig near Miamiville Ohio in- I think- 1973. PW managed the rifle range at this BSA camp, and being a shooter, I was assigned to be the assistant range master. I spent many summer afternoons listening to, questioning, and learning from this man. He was small, had a pot belly and looked silly in a boy scout uniform. Smoked two packs of Winstons and a couple of cigars in a day on the range. His stories where absolutely unbelievable. His wife attended one of camp meetings and brought a board with his decorations attached- I was floored! His title is actually Sir Alfred Perrott-White. I worked with him the following year in a lesser capacity, and attended his funeral a couple of years later.
    I read the Yank article and most of what is in the article I recall hearing from him. There are some key parts, however, that were never mentioned in the Yank article, and probably are not common knowledge.

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  4. jpoconnor says:

    Camp Craig is also where I met PW! July, 1970. J. Frederick, I would like to contact you directly, if that is OK with you. However, The hovercard doesn’t allow me to see your profile, so I cannot private message you. You may reach me via the Contact page on my target shooting blog: http://jpoconnor.wordpress.com/ — Jack, thank you for your original post, and please accept my apology if this reply with contact request is inappropriate.

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