Carter, Gerald Francis

He was the son of the late Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Henry Carter, M.D., F.R.C.P., R.A.M.C., of Abingdon and Elizabeth Marion Carter, nee King, (of Pedmore House, Stourbridge). He came to Winchester from the Reverend F.W. Pearse’s school at Moffat, and twice won the Gold Medal for gymnastics and the cup for diving.

At the outbreak of war he was working for the Indian Forestry Service and had entered St. John’s College, Oxford. He enlisted in the Public Schools Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and was subsequently gazetted to the 7th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, proceeding to France in May 1915.

He died on July 31st of that year, of wounds sustained the day before while in command of the battalion bombing a section near Sanctuary Wood, Hooge. They were ordered to make a counter-attack with the object of diverting the enemy from its assault on a neighbouring sector of trench, which had been deluged with liquid fire. Carter was leading a bombing (hand-grenade) party when he fell mortally wounded a few yards from the German lines. At great personal risk four men retrieved Carter from where he lay, but he could not be saved and died of his wounds the next day, still only eighteen years old.

He is commemorated on panels 51-53 of the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres. His commanding officer wrote: “he behaved most gallantly, and was leading his men when he was struck down. He was a great loss to the regiment, as a soldier and a friend. I could always rely on him to do the right thing, and always so cheery. We were all very fond of him, and I am sure he enjoyed himself soldiering.”

One of the officers of 7RB who was killed in the Hooge counter-attack was Lieutenant Gilbert Walter Lyttelton Talbot (H1904-1910), in whose memory Talbot House (‘Toc H’) was founded. In 8RB, Captain William Mackworth Parker (E1900-1905) was also killed. It seems probable (there is some uncertainty over the date) that another casualty at Hooge that day was Lieutenant Roger Wentworth Watson (I1907-1912), of ‘C’ Company, 8KRRC

Sources: History of the Rifle Brigade in the War 1914-1918, by R. Berkeley. Rifle Brigade Club 1927. Annals of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps Volume V, published by Murray 1932.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Carter
  • Forenames or initials: Gerald Francis
  • House: D
  • Years in School: 1910-1913
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps
  • Date of Birth: 30th November 1896
  • Date of Death: 31st July 1915
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer F4
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on the YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL Panel 51 and 53