From taking reconnaissance pictures of Nazis in his Spitfire to snapping shots of royalty and even a terrorist hostage-taker, Geoff White captured moments of global history. But after 97 years, the well-respected press photographer has died, leaving a hole in his family’s life that ‘will be hard to fill’, his widow said.
The funeral of Mr White, of Mead End, Denmead, is due to be held on Thursday 15th March. Now his second wife, June, has paid tribute to a man who ‘lived life to the full’.
Geoff was born on August 16th 1920. From a young age he showed signs of a passion for photography, buying his first camera from ‘Woolworths for six pence’ when he was 14. When war broke out, Geoff joined the RAF becoming a rear gunner by the time he was 20.
Then he moved on to flying in a specially-equipped Spitfire, armed not with guns but with a high-powered camera. He would regularly take daring trips into Nazi-held Europe to snap reconnaissance photos that were analysed by military command in the UK.
After the war, Geoff carried on as a photographer, first working with The Daily Graphic, where he won the title of Press Photographer of the Year. Later, he joined Fleet Street, working on The Daily Mail for more than 32 years, where he was affectionately known as ‘Wing Co’ for his time in the RAF – and his distinctive handlebar moustache.