Major Whyte as S.M.O. of 111 Ind Inf Bde was Comd. M.D.S.
'BLACKPOOL' from 7th to 25th May.
During this period the fortress
was under continual attack by enemy infantry, mortars, MGs,
artillery and aircraft. The garrison suffered 450 casualties all of
which passed through the M.D.S. The M.D.S. was hit several times by
shell fire and patients killed. Continuous rain made conditions for
patients and doctors bad. There was a chronic and continual shortage
of all medical stores.
Evacuation of a proportion of patients was carried out from an
airstrip, on at least two occasions under enemy fire. Major WHYTE
supervised the evacuation.
Throughout this period Major WHYTE showed complete disregard of
his personal safety and gave a superb and sustained example of
cheerfulness and courage. He treated patients in his M.D.S. and went
out on shell and MG swept slopes to collect them and treat them. He
was at all times efficient.
On 25 May when 'BLACKPOOL' was evacuated, he organised the
evacuation of 180 wounded, including 18 stretcher cases. During the
evacuation 12 patients and stretcher bearers were killed in the
immediate vicinity of Major WHYTE, who continued his work as if
nothing was happening.
From 25th to 29th May, Major WHYTE organised the carriage,
movement, and treatment of 180 wounded men, mostly without
equipment, blankets or cover of any kind, with inadequate medical
equipment , over 18 miles of muddy mountain track in continuous pouring
rain, without food.
This Officer's continuous courage and cheerfulness was an
inspiration to the wounded, many of whom would have succumbed but
for him and the other Bde medical Officers.
Throughout the period reviewed, i.e. 7th to 29th May, Major WHYTE has shown a spirit and courage beyond all praise, and his
total disregard of personal safety was an inspiration to all.