|1. Memorial:||Bethune Town Cemetery||III. J. 24.|
|2. Book:||The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918||Pg.118|
|3. Memorial:||The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour||20A GQS|
Awards & Titles:
Early Life :With grateful thanks to Caroline Crook at the Warrington Museum of Freemasonry and Geoff Cuthill, both for their extensive research into this soldier.
Percy Carter was born in Warrington 11th March 1877, the fourth child of Thomas Birchall Carter and his wife Isobella Carter. He was baptised at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on 4th November of that year while residing at 24 Bridge Street, Warrington. His father, a Warrington man, born in 1841, was a Master Baker, who in 1881, employed six men, and ten boys, in the company. On the census return of the same year the family are found at 5 Palmyra Square, Warrington, and the children, all born in Warrington, are given as, Thomas S. (b.1871), James D. (b.1873), George G. (b.1875), Percy, and then Jane, (b.1879). By 1901, the family had moved to High Lea, Vicarage Lane, Frodsham in Cheshire, Thomas now a corn dealer, whilst Percy was employed as a metal perforator. In the 1881 census the family lived at number 5, Palmyra Square, Warrington, and his father Thomas was a Master Baker. By 1891 the family were living in Frodsham at High Lea on Vicarage Lane and his father's occupation was Corn Dealer. Percy continued to live in Frodsham until his death.
Percy was 25 when he married 21 year old Sarah Florence Middleton on 10th June, 1902 at Frodsham Parish Church. Sarah was the daughter of Henry Middleton, Gentleman farmer, with the wedding witnessed by Percy’s brother Thomas and sister Jane. The census of 1911 finds them residing at “Westward Ho” Frodsham, with their three children, Doris age 7, Geoffrey age 3 and Isabell age 1, all born at Frodsham. Percy is described as a corn and flour dealer, and the family has two live in servants.
- The First World War 1914-1918, World-wide.
|Unit / Ship / Est.: 4th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment|
|Action : The First Battles of the Somme 1918 and associated actions|
21 March - 4 July 1918. The Battles of the Somme in 1918 were mostly concerned with stemming the German advance which started in March 1918 and which made considerable gains in the Somme/Arras sector. Utilising surplus troops which had become available following the surrender of Russia after the October Revolution, the Germans gambled on a massive campaign that could win the war in the west before the USA could bring its resources to bear. Initial gains were in places spectacular but eventually dogged resistance coupled with supply problems and sheer exhaustion closed down the battle. Other attacks were launched along the front to probe the Allied defences but the same pattern of initial gains followed by stalemate prevailed. British casualties were almost 345,000.
Local reports in the Warrington Guardian printed with regard to his death say he was educated at Aston Hall and Harrogate College Yorkshire. He had rendered valuable public service in various capacities. He was a magistrate for the Eddisbury division of Cheshire and a popular member of the Frodsham Lordship Parish Council and Parochial Committee. He was also a manager of the Boys School, an active member of the Frodsham Liberal Club and Hon Secretary of the Eddisbury Liberal Association. He took a great interest in the work of the Frodsham Auxiliary Military Hospital having served on the board of management.
The London Gazette of 17 August 1915 reports that Percy Carter to be 2nd Lieutenant, 4th Battalion Prince of Wales Own Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment) from 7th July, 1915 as part of the Territorial Force. He was instrumental in raising the first volunteer force in Frodsham soon after the outbreak of war and was its first commander. He remained in England as officer instructor at Oswestry for a long period and drafted abroad to France and Flanders on 6 June 1917.
He is reported as was killed in action as a Lieutenant with the 4th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own Volunteer’s) on Tuesday 9 April 1918 in France aged 41 years. The war diaries of the time say; Following two days of artillery bombardment, on 9 April the German Sixth Army attacked the British First Army on a line between Armentières and Festubert to open the Operation Georgette part of their Spring Offensive.
Much of the line was held by a demoralised Portuguese Corps who were due to be relived and they were unable to combat the new German 'stormtrooper' tactics. The Germans broke through on nearly 10 miles (15km) of front and advanced up to 5 miles (8km) on the first day, reaching Estaires on the River Lys.
55th (West Lancashire) Division in XI Corps were immediately south of the Portuguese Corps, holding a front of around 3.5 miles (5.5km) from Richebourg to the La Bassee Canal at Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée. Following the collapse of the Portuguese front the north of the 55th Division fell back to form a defensive front around Givenchy and Festubert, which they maintained during six days of attacks by four German divisions.
At one point during the first day of the attack the Germans succeeded in forcing their way into both Givenchy and Festubert, but were quickly forced back in a counter-attack, 55th Division securing over 750 prisoners. On 12th April, the Division mounted its own counter-attack, north of Festubert, capturing more prisoners.
The following day the Division was heavily bombed across its whole front prior to another infantry attack, which was once again repulsed with no loss of ground. The action of 55th (West Lancashire) Division in defending Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée, with the loss of over 3000 men, is marked by a memorial in the town.
The local press carried the news of Percy’s death one saying; “Mrs Florence Carter of “The Lodge” Frodsham received news on Monday that her husband Lieutenant Percy Carter of the South Lancashire Regiment, who was very well known in Warrington and Frodsham was killed in action on 9th April, 1918. Lieutenant Carter who was 41 years of age was the fourth son of the late Mt Thomas Birchall and Isabella Carter and was a director of the firm of Carter and Son Ltd, Bakers and Corn dealers, Bridge Street, Warrington. He leaves four children”. It was also said that his genial straightforward manner made him popular with all parties and the greatest sympathy is extended to his family in their great bereavement.
His obituary in the Warrington Guardian of 17 and 20 April, 1918 tell us that he was a Director of Messrs. Carter and Son Bakers and Corn dealers of 20-24, Bridge Street, Warrington. He was educated at Aston Hall and Harrogate College. He was also involved in public service, as a member of Frodsham Parish Council, acted as Commander of the Frodsham detachment of the Cheshire Volunteer Regiment; he also served on the Board of Management of Frodsham Auxiliary Military Hospital and was a magistrate in the Eddisbury division of Cheshire.
Percy was buried in Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, in Plot III, Row J, Grave 24, alongside ten of his comrades who fell the same day. The words “DUTY NOBLY DONE” had been added to his headstone on the request of his wife, Mrs Carter, The Lodge, Frodsham.
The index to probate has; Carter, Percy of the Lodge, Frodsham, near Warrington, Cheshire, Lieutenant 4th South Lancashire Regiment died 9th April 1918 in France. Probate Chester 9th October 1918 to Thomas Stanley Carter and James Dixon Carter corn merchants. Effects £3852.1s.6d.
In addition to national and masonic memorial Percy is commemorated at War Memorial, Overton Hill, Frodsham, Cheshire a stunning position, with views across the Mersey estuary to Liverpool, both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Cathedrals can be seen on the horizon, looking to the East the Pennines are silhouetted against the sky, to the West the Mountains of Snowdonia, to the South the beautiful central sandstone ridge disappears on its route through Cheshire to Whitchurch.
|Type||Lodge Name and No.||Province/District :|
|Mother :||Gilbert Greenall No. 1250 E.C.||West Lancashire|
8th November 1910
10th January 1910
14th February 1910
His masonic career started in September 1910 when he was proposed by Bro. J. Taylor, seconded by WBro C.G. Mc Dowell and initiated into Gilbert Greenall Lodge, No. 1250 on the 8 November 1910 by WBro Holland. He was passed on 10 January 1911 and raised on 14 February 1911, in the Assembly rooms at the Lion Hotel on Bridge Street, Warrington. His records held at United Grand Lodge of England record that at the time of his initiation he was a metal perforator, which has been cross checked with the minutes of the Lodge. They also show he was on War Service from 1916 until his death in 1918.
When the news of Bro. Carter's death reached the Lodge in May 1918, it was minuted that; "the Worshipful Master proposed a vote of condolence & sympathy with the widow & family of the late Bro Lieutenant Percy Carter, who was killed whilst serving his country at the front, which was assented to by the brethren standing in silence". The Lodge was ordered to be placed in mourning for 3 months.
The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The (UK) National Archives
- Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History online
- ugle.org.uk - The records of the United Grand Lodge of England including the Library and Museum of Freemasonry
- Founder Researchers : Paul Masters & Mike McCarthy
- Researcher : Bruce Littley
: Website: http://museum.westlancsfreemasons.org.uk/ Archivist - Warrington Museum of Freemasonry : Caroline Crook Researcher : Geoff Cuthill