Chris White

1953 - 2011

Our sport lost one of it’s keenest and most knowledgeable participants in October 2011, with the premature passing of Chris White.  Poor chap: his early Retirement, and the quiet pleasure of a new personal relationship which had developed since the even more premature death of his wife Mary, all brought to nought due to the wretchedness that is cancer.

I believe that Club Members will know sufficient of Chris’ shooting prowess not to need here a recital of his Queen’s badges, County Championships and representative Team honours.  More worthy of him, surely, to recall his attributes as a man: those character traits that his friends will remember long after his last ’50’ has been forgotten.

Chris was a clever, deep, and thinking man.  Serious, certainly, but full of dry wit and humour when the time was right; dependable, and worthy of the trust that others placed in him.  Above all, Chris was ‘his own person’;  totally independent of opinion, not easily impressed, and with the typically northern ability to see straight through any attempts to ‘bull-shit!’

He was always a clever and intelligent engineer, whose interests encompassed geology (in which he Graduated from Durham, and used in his early career in Quarry Management), industrial archaeology, railway history and motor vehicles;  but all of these became mere sidelines in comparison with Chris’ expertise in military and target firearms, their history, design and usage.  His collection of 20th-century rifles  -  no less than 72 in number  -  included every single variation of Lee-Enfield .303, as well as many American and European fighting weapons.  His knowledge of the subject was as comprehensive as was his house security system!

Had Chris lived another decade or two, his perfect day as an ‘elderly gentleman’ would have been a trip with Rosa in his old Landrover to a Range in the north (probably Altcar), to spend a while carefully watching the shooting, giving good advice to those who were sensible enough to ask for it, and enjoying the company of like-minded souls, all searching for technical perfection in the sport.    Shooters (and Coaches) fell into two categories for him:  those who wished to improve their skill levels, and were prepared to devote time and effort to achieve that end;  and ‘the rest’, whose shooting intentions were not serious enough  -  and who consequently got little respect from him!   His abiding interest, which manifested itself in his many excellent articles in ‘Target Sports’ magazine, was this quest for continual  improvement by all shooters, whether friends or merely readers.

Chris will, of course, be sadly missed and long remembered by his friends and Clubmates; but most of all by his good friend Rosa Mann, whose care and companionship made his last few months so much more bearable.  Members of the Twenty Club will recall Chris in posterity, by virtue of the 100+ books with a shooting theme from his large collection, which are to form the core of the new Library now being established  in the Clubhouse.

Keith Pugh