Ethelbert White was born in Isleworth, Middlesex. In 1911 he studied St.John's Wood Art School under Leonard Walker, a watercolourist who also acheived much acclaim for his beautiful decorative stained glass windows. In 1911 Ethelbert married Elizabeth Crofton Dodwell, always known as Betty, the couple shared a liking for a simple and unconventional way of life, full of fun, friendship, music and travel. They lived in a little 18th century cottage in Hampstead Grove, Camden and travelled around the countryside in their gypsy caravan 'Reading', Ethelbert producing paintings of village life and Betty playing the lute. The couple became very popular and attracted social gatherings and befriended other artists such as Mark Gertler and C.R.W.Nevinson.
White exhibited at London Group and New English Arts Club from 1916. He had his first one man show at Paterson and Carfax Gallery in 1921 and was a regular exhibitor at the RA and RWS. A memorial exhibition was held at the Fine Art Society in 1979. His work is represented in many public collections.