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Person Details
Bulwell Nottingham
Born about June 1890 (army record), he was the son of James and Sarah Ann Carter of Oxton and the brother of Mary Ann Carter (later Wells). He married Mary Eliza Harrison in Greasley Parish Church on 27 April 1914. The marriage was officiated by Rev J Wood (vicar), witnesses JE Harrison and E Harrison.
Prior to joining Nottinghamshire Constabulary he had enlisted in the Grenadier Guards on a short service engagement in February 1910 when aged 19 years and 8 months. His previous trade was given as 'market gardener'. Home service and was then transferred to the Army Reserve on completion of three years service on 7 February 1913. He was a police officer (Pc328) in Eastwood who lived at Moorgreen. He transferred to Carlton, Nottingham, in April 1914 upon his marriage to Mary Harrison. He was mobilized 5 August 1914.
25 Nov 1915
596722 - CWGC Website
14618
Private
2nd Bn Grenadier Guards
Army Service Record survives, RHQ Grenadier Guards. See extracts for accounts of Carter's front line experiences. A Reservist, he enlisted at Nottingham on a short service engagement in February 1910 and transferred to the Army Reserve in 1913 after three years service. Mobilized 5 August 1914 and to France 12 August 1914. Wounded by shrapnel at 1st Ypres 31 October 1914 and evacuated to Rouen for treatment, returning to the Front on 17 December. Killed by a sniper when the 2nd Bn was in the line in trenches opposite Pietre. Buried Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue Grave Reference: I D 3
Article published 24th December 1915 in the Ripley and Heanor News :- A former police officer, the pre-war reservist described his experiences of the retreat from Mons in a letter home. “A HERO OF MONS. “MEETS HIS FATE AT THE HANDS OF A SNIPER. “PTE. C. R. CARTER, 2nd Grenadier Guards, “Whose death we regret to announce, was a member of the Notts. Police Force, and was stationed at Eastwood for about two years’, during which time he lodged at Moorgreen. He was married in April, 1914, to the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Harrison, of Newthorpe, and was immediately transferred to the Carlton district, from whence he was mobilised with the reservists in August. He was with his regiment, engaged in all the earlier fighting of the campaign, and some idea of the severity of the fighting and the conditions under which the men fought may be gathered from one of his letters written just a year ago, in which he stated “there are ninety-one of us left out of 1,200 who came out with the Battalion, and sixty of those have been in the firing line all the time, including myself, you may be sure I think of myself as one of the lucky ones, and when I look back at the escapes I have had I think I am not destined to meet my doom at the hands [of the] Germans. It is not over yet, but I have done Germans. It is not over yet, but I have done my share, and am living in the hopes of avenging some of my comrades who have fallen at the hands of the Germans, some of the best pals a man never had, but I am pleased to say they all died fighting for King and Country.” “THE DEAD SOLDIER'S STORY OF MONS. “Relating some of his experiences in the same letter, the gallant soldier wrote: “At Mons we had our first taste of the war. On Sunday, the 23rd of August, we had to go and reinforce some other Brigade. We advanced up to the firing line, and had just reached the base of a bank when a deadly maxim fire came from the top of the bank. Of course, we had to lie low, for had we advanced I don’t suppose many of us would have lived to do any fighting later. We stayed there about three hours, and then began the retreat from Mons, a thing I shall never forget as long as I live. The weather was terribly hot, and the flies a nuisance, and when had a halt we could not rest for them. In nine days we did 216 miles, and in the meantime were digging trenches and fighting rearguard actions. We were all fed up, and wanted to turn round and have a go at them, but we had to keep going on and on. We reached Landrecies after marching four days without hardly having any sleep, and we were told we were going to have a rest. “A FALSE AND A REAL ALARM. “Well, we got in some barracks, and the first thing we did was to have wash (the first for four days). We had hardly dried ourselves before the alarm went. We dressed as quickly as possible, and thinking we were in for it, rushed out. After waiting a bit, we were informed that two German spies had been caught in French uniform, and they told our officers that the Germans were advancing in a certain direction. Of course, you can guess their fate. Well, we were dismissed, and after having a good feed, and a drink of beer each, bought by one of our officers, we were settling down for the night, as we were tired to death, when the alarm went again. This time we had to turn out in any order as long as we had our rifle with bayonet fixed, and our ammunition. Anyway, it was a real alarm this time, as it was supposed to be a German Army Corps on us. The Coldstream Guards were billeted on the side of the town where the Germans advanced, so they formed up a line, and then started a terrible time, as it was very dark, and all we knew was the Germans were on us. We did not know their number, and we might have been surrounded for all we knew. The firing started, and didn’t they 'let rip.’ I think they had four guns and we had two in the street close by. Our Platoon was told off to hold two houses on the end of the street, leading in the direction of the Germans, and our Commanding Officer told us to hold on at any cost, no matter what happened, which meant if they did get through it would be a case of using the steel. Well, to tell you the truth, it was terrible. Bullets and shells were flying about galore, bullets were coming through the window and banging against the wall. We could see the shells coming along like balls of fire, as it was quite dark. We lost one officer, and’ the Coldstreams had a few wounded. A.t 5 o’clock in the morning all the firing ceased, and we learnt that the Germans had retired. “A HURRIED RETREAT. “The next morning we had to leave in a hurry, and had no time to call for the remainder of our kit. Before I go any further, I think the Coldstreams lost about 200, and the Germans were supposed to have left 1,600 on the field, so that was not so bad for a start. However, we started tramping it again, and we were dead beat, and didn’t we look gems, some of us with half our equipment missing. We had no washing kit, razor, or mess tin, in fact, we had hardly anything but our fighting material, and when we did get a drop of tea or stew, we had to use jam tins or any pot could pick up. After jogging along for about 12 miles, we had to dig trenches, as we expected another attack when they had reorganised. Whilst digging a monoplane of the Germans came over and dropped a bomb on us, intended for a battery of our guns, but luckily it missed. We started firing at it; it was good sport. We set up a yell as we thought we had got him, but to our dismay it glided away after coming partly down, but afterwards we heard our artillery had him. “A NARROW ESCAPE. “We left those trenches the next morning, and we set off on the 24-mile-a-day touch. The next thing of note was our battalion acting as rearguard to the brigade, and our company happened to be the rear one, and after the day's march, we were told what a narrow escape we had had, for while on the march there had been a brigade of Germans, not a thousand yards away, waiting to attack at the first opportunity. But the 19th Lancers had spotted them, and after stampeding their horses, and going through them with the lance, they charged back again with the help of the Scots Greys, and I don't think many of the men of Kultur got away. The following day we had to fight for it, but my company did not do so much, as they were in advance, but our No. 4 company copped it pretty hot; they lost, I believe, 150, including missing. Of course, all the Fourth Guards Brigade were in it (the fighting brigade), and they fought well. The Germans had to pay dear if we did retire. Our guns did some good work that day, hanging on like grim death, like we were, and they simply mowed the Germans down. That day we had our Brigadier wounded, our Adjutant, and three more officers. Our casualties were about 200. That was the last time on our retirement that we came to close quarters with the Germans. Our company that day missed by a hair’s breadth getting cut off. We retired a few more days, doing the 20 odd miles per day, and the only thing of note was a few shells from their long range guns. The heat was awful, and some of our chaps suffered terribly, but they stuck it like true Britons. I think the 2nd Grenadiers hold the record for the least men falling out all through that memorable retirement. We reached Meaux. just outside Paris, and that was the end of the retirement.” Death notice published 26th November 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “CARTER. – Killed in action, November 25th, Private Charles Richard Carter, 14618, 2nd Grenadier Guards, aged 25 years, the dearly loved husband of Mary Carter, Oxton, Notts. Often we pause and think of you, and think of how you died; to think you could not say goodbye before you closed your eyes. No loved ones stood beside you to hear your last farewell, not a word of comfort could you have from those that loved you well. – From his sorrowing wife and mother.” In memoriam published 25th November 1919 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “CARTER. – In loving memory of Pte. C. R. Carter, Grenadier Guards, died of wounds in France November 25th, 1915. A day of remembrance and to recall. – From his loving wife. “CARTER. – In loving memory of Chas. Richard Carter, Grenadier Guards, died in France November 25th, 1915 Above articles and notices are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
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  • These accounts of Charles Carter's front line experiences were transcribed by Richard Dodge.
    Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser 24/12/1915 - These accounts of Charles Carter's front line experiences were transcribed by Richard Dodge.
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