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White, Frank Fletcher (1886–1930)

Mr, Frank Fletcher White, of "Farley," Armidale, the well known grazier and sportsman, died on Saturday afternoon under the most tragic circumstances. He was in town during the morning ordering parts for the shearing machinery and conversing with acquaintances, and within an hour after his departure for his home, he was dead. His body was found in his garage, and a gun was found by his side. Death was instantaneous.

The deceased was 40 years of age, and the younger son of Mr. and Mrs. F. J. White, of "Saumarez" Station, Armidale. News of his death came as a great shock, not only to citizens of Armidale, but to residents of the New England tableland, as the White family is held in the highest respect by all sections of the community. He was a prominent sportsman, and took an active part in administrative affairs of the Armidale Picnic Race Club and the Hospital Benefit Race Club. A number of horses have carried his colors at picnic and public meetings, and his successes have always been popular. He was also associated with other sporting bodies, but his chief interest was centred in the Rugby Union game, and at the time of his death he held the position of patron of the New England Rugby Union. His interest in pastoral matters was evidenced by his active membership with the Armidale branch of the N.S.W. Graziers' Association, and he also attended meetings and conferences connected with other pastoral organisations.

A striking tribute to the esteem in which he, and the other members of the White family are held, was given on Sunday afternoon when the funeral took place. The cortege, which left his late residence for St. Peter's cathedral enroute, to the Church of England Cemetery, was exceptionally lengthy, and was representative of all sections of the community. Friends of deceased and his family came from Walcba, Uralla, Guyra, Bundarra, Tamworth and other centres to pay their last respects. A large crowd of citizens awaited the cortege at the Cathedral, which was unable to hold the throng, desiring to attend the service. The short, but impressive service was conducted by the Reverend H. H. Sanger (headmaster of The Armidale School, where the late Mr. White was, educated), the Rev. Canon Best and the Rev. Canon Dickens. The Cathedral organist (Mr. A. W. Denniss) gave an exquisite rendering of Chopin's "Funeral March." The beautiful casket was borne by Col. H. F. White (brother), Messrs. R. N. Hickson, H. J. Morse, L. P. Button, and T. Willis and J. Haynes (station hands). Many beautiful floral tributes were received.

Hundreds of friends and sympathisers encircled the grave. The short service was conducted by the Rev. Canon Best, the Rev. Canon Dickens and the Rev. H. H. Sangar.

When the cortege left the Cathedral for the place of interment, its length was doubled. The hearse was at the cemetery before the last car had left, the Cathedral. It was the largest funeral ever held in Armidale. The chief mourners were Mrs. F. J. White (mother), his widow (formerly Miss Molly Baker), Misses Mary and Elsie White (sisters) and Col. H. F. White (brother).

The late Mr. White leaves a widow and two children (George and Phyllis). In addition, he leaves one brother, Col. H. F. White ("Bald Blair,'' Guyra) and four sisters. Misses Mary and Elsie White ("Saumarez"), Mrs Gordon Black (Orange) and Mrs. John Cullen (Sydney).

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'White, Frank Fletcher (1886–1930)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/white-frank-fletcher-22504/text32189, accessed 25 November 2017.

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