HARRY CARTER 

Rank: Acting Sergeant
Service Number: 68055.
Regiment: 111th Siege Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery Killed In Action Tuesday 12th June 1917 Age 29County Memorial Congleton
Commemorated\Buried MAPLE LEAF CEMETERY
Grave\Panel Ref: N/A
Belgium

Son of Mr. Isaac William Carter and Mrs. Emily Carter, of 48, Lawton Street, Congleton, Cheshire. He had three sisters, Lucy, Edith Alice and Mary Carter, along with three brothers, Albert, Frank and Walter Carter. Prior to enlistment he was employed as a Surveyor. Sergeant Harry Carter enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery at Dover on the 18th of November 1915 at the age of 27. On the 11th of February 1916, he passed his exams on Observing and Plotting at Bexhill. He embarked from Southampton on the 17th of May 1916 arriving at Le Havre the next day when he was posted to the 111th Siege Battery. On the 12th of September, he was promoted to Bombardier. He was slightly wounded on the 27th of February 1917 on the same day as he was promoted to the rank of Corporal, but he remained on duty. Shortly afterwards on the 4th of May 1917, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In June 1917, he was positioned at Ploegsteert, Belgium.

The local press published a letter sent by Harry to his parents.

Mr, and Mrs l. W., Carter, of Lawton Street, Congleton, have received the following interesting letter from their son, Harry, who is somewhere in France. Now that I can just steal the time, I am writing to say all is going well with us. I receive the Chronicle each week, and am always glad to read of the doings at home. I was delighted to read the report of the Royal Agricultural Show, and how I fyi should like to have been amongst the horses and co. I was a bit surprised that Midwood was not amongst the winners much, but was glad to see our local poultry boys carrying off the prize cards. Ah! Well, we will make things hum again on the show table when we have put paid to old Fritz. I guess you will be glad to read the war news nowadays. I think the Germans are getting more than they can comfortably digest, and there are thousands of them who will not be troubled with any further aches and pains. What a thing it is to see some of the places now. One may see a village levelled to the ground, and the trees without a leaf or branch on, just the trunk standing. It is glorious to see a bombardment at night. The sky is one mass of vivid red from the flashes of the guns. Then the noise of the shells buzzing through the air! One wonders how there can be any Germans left alive. Thank goodness, we have got the master of them, and the boys will be back home for Astbury Wakes Sunday. I suppose business is keeping bright, although I expect prices are high enough. What a lot of timber the Huns must have used. A few days ago I was in a German dugout. It was built with 7 x 2 all-round the sides, and was about 20 feet below the ground, and had actually been lime washed.

His death was also reported.

Official news of the death of Sergeant Harry Carter, of the 111th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery was received by his parents Mr. and Mrs. l. W. Carter of 48, Lawton Street, Congleton, on the 18th of June 1917. He was killed instantly by shell fire on the 12th of June 1917. For four years prior to his voluntary enlistment Sergeant Carter was a Surveyor in the Valuation Offices, Kings Buildings, Chester. In his profession, he made rapid progress and he undertook the valuation of some of the most important properties in Cheshire. He, however, was expecting to be home this weekend, for in the last letter he wrote to his parents on the 3rd. and which was received by them on the 9th, he said, I am living in high hopes of spending ten days with you within the next three weeks. We have just sent 16 men on furlough and when they return I hope to put my eyes on the home fire again. His ardent desire to again see the home fire he loved, however, was unfortunately not to be granted, for he was killed instantly some few days after his last letter to his home.

It is with very great regret that I have to inform you that your son, Sergeant H. Carter was instantly killed by shell fire at about 10 00 hours on the 12th of June 1917.

He was buried yesterday at Romain Cemetery now (Maple Leaf Cemetery) near Armentieres. Mr. Marshall one of my Subalterns with fifteen men of the Battery, attended your son's burial. His own Section Officer was killed recently under much the same circumstances. I am afraid nothing I can say will soften your loss. Sergeant Carter was an excellent soldier in every way and we relied on him a good deal and he was fearless. He set an excellent example to the men of his gun during the early hours of the 7th of June (when Messines Ridge was taken) during a protracted gas and high explosive shell attack.

Please convey my sympathy and that of the other Officers, N.C.Os and men of the Battery who had the honour of soldiering with your late son, to the other members of your family.

Yours, sincerely, O. A. Bell, Major, Royal Garrison Artillery.

 

On the anniversary of the 111th Siege Battery going to France (17th of May 1917) the roll was called and out of 152 men who went out there were only 36 to answer the call and Sergeant Carter was then one of the survivors. All the Officers had been killed. He was an observer in the Battery and had recently attained the rank of Sergeant. He was slightly wounded in March last. His brother Pioneer Albert Carter, is now with the 4th Battalion the East Lancashire Regiment stationed at Whitby. Mr. and Mrs. Carter's grandson, Private Vernon Hodgkinson, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Hodgkinson formerly of Congleton is serving with the Coldstream Guards in France, where he has been since August 1916.


Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for the information on Harry