Service number: 7523 | Rank: Sergeant | Regiment: Lincolnshire Regiment.
Killed in action, 1st July, 1916, in Flanders.
Remembered at THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France.
Born in Thetford, lived in Brandon and enlisted at Holbeach, Lincs.
WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ALBERT CARTER …
In 1905 Albert went to join the army at Holbeach barracks in Lincolnshire, and then went on to enjoy a long career as a soldier in the Lincolnshire Regiment. This career took him overseas to Gibraltar, and in the 1911 Census return he was listed as being in Aden, Egypt with his age given as 26. At the outbreak of war he and his unit were recalled from India to take part in the conflict in Europe, but as Albert travelled back to Europe he was informed that his younger brother, Leonard, had been killed in battle in France.
By mid-1915 Albert had two more brothers fighting in France and a third had tried to enlist but had been rejected because of a deafness disability. His mother, Emily, living in Broomhill just outside Brandon, received some local notoriety when her story was printed in a local newspaper. The newspaper also noted that Emily had three daughters who were all married to soldiers and her brother and sister also had sons fighting at the front.
In May 1915 the local newspaper also carried a copy of a letter Albert apparently wrote home to his mother,
“I am sure you must feel proud of your sons when you think of them all fighting for the rights of their people and country, and although it will cause lamentable losses amongst those we love so dear, we must be of good cheer, and look upon everything that happens as being for the best.
I received a letter from Jack (brother) to say he was having another try for the Army, and I hope he has been successful this time, as although he may not be able to come out here, his services will be quite useful at home. I have not run across anyone I know yet, but am keeping a good look out, and am looking forward to seeing both Harry (brother) and Ted (brother) in the near future.
We are having some pretty stiff fighting at present, and I don’t think it will be long before the Germans are sorry that they started this game. According to the tricks they have been getting up to just lately, it is about time they were crushed once and for all. Do not worry as to my safety, as I am still on my same job, and do not get into the danger zone. You seem anxious that this war should finish early. Well for my part, I only hope they will keep at it until our enemies are completely crushed once and for all. It is far better that we should fight to a finish now than to stop half way, and then have to start over again in a year or two’s time.
We are getting some splendid weather here at present, and the country is looking simply grand, and it seems hard at times to realise that fighting is going on so near at hand.”
On July 1st 1916 the 2nd Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment were tasked with attacking the German trenches near the tiny village of Ovillers and their War Diary records that they were in position by 3.30am that morning. By 7.25am the signal to advance
was given and waves of men began moving toward the German trenches. Although they came under heavy fire the 2nd Lincs managed to take 200 yards of trenches by 7.50am but then the fighting got even bloodier as the German’s counter attacked to re-take their trenches. By 9am the survivors were forced to withdraw due to the ferocity of the German attack and the
Commanding Officer recorded that only he and one other officer were left fighting and even they had bullet holes in their clothing. It was noted that the 2nd Lincs had suffered 471 casualties and poor Albert was one of them. Emily had lost another son.
N.B. Albert Carter image courtesy of Lynn Bevis, a descendant of the Carter family.