Peter 'Pasty' White is an agent with British Intelligence.
The year is 1940. "During the early part of World War Two, the British Army was forced to take the unlikeliest-looking men as recruits. But by any standards, Private Peter White was by far the unlikeliest of all!" We also told several times that White was "the skinniest, sickliest-looking soldier ever to be recruited".
Very tall and very thin, this lanky individual moved with all the grace and confidence of a new-born colt. Being by nature a pale, almost emaciated figure gave White his unfortunate nickname but it did give him a perfect out for those time when a mission pops up and White needs to 'disappear' for a time, namely that he needs occasional hospitalization and once in it, apparent isolation.
As his handler, known as Sir James, apologizes for the needed subterfuge in faking a needed ambulance trip to give White an excuse for leaving basic training, "Sorry abut all this nonsense, Peter, but your role in this was has to be top-secret or your life wouldn't be worth a brass-farthing". Since White responds to that with his understanding and a "what's the mission this time" we see that this is not the first mission that White has been on, though what the others were or how many there have been is not revealed.
We first encounter White during one of those medical checkups. We also meet two older and much more physically fit individuals who play an important part in his military life; his two friends, also in the same platoon as White, Sam Samson and Syd Bolton, his "self-appointed guardian agents".
- When a German assassin comments that he has not yet met Pasty White, White replies, "That's probably my fault, Von Sivers. I teen to avoid vermin!"
- As one of his minders observes, Pasty White "could get himself lost in a telephone box".
- An impressive insult thrown at White by his platoon sergeant, "You witless, wooden-headed willow-wand!"