Herbert Fred Carter

17th Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Unit/Regiment Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Battalion 17th
Rank Private
Service Number 93551
Theatre of War first served in (1) France
Date of entry therein circa 01/08/1918
Age at Death 24
Date of Death 08/10/1918
Burial/Memorial Reference Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gouy
CWGC Family Details Son of Mr. W. Carter, of 1, The Batch, Paulton, Bristol.
SDGW – Where Born Poulton, Somerset
Enlisted Abertillery, Mon.
Resided Newbridge, Mon.
How Died Killed in action
Theatre of War Western European Theatre
Medal Entitlement British War Medal
Victory Medal
Notes Commemorated on the Celynen Collieries Roll of Honour

Herbert Fred Carter's Story

Royal Welsh Fusiliers' cap badge


The 1901 census shows Herbert Fred Carter to be one of seven boys born to William Probert Carter and Mercy Carter (nee Maggs). The boys were William (13), David (12), Vincent (10), Herbert (7), Oliver, (5), Albert (3) and Charles (1). They were living in Paulton in North Somerset at the time. William was working at a coal hewer and their eldest son, also William, was working at the colliery as a carter (underground) at the age of 13.

By 1911 William and Mercy were living in The Batch, Paulton, Bristol and had added a further two sons, Edward and Tom to their family. Four of their sons were still living with them (including Herbert) were also employed in the coal mines.

When the Carters lost Herbert in October 1918 they suffered their second tragedy of the war, they had previously lost Herbert’s older brother Vincent in May 1915. Herbert moved to Newbridge at some time after the 1911 Census to work in the Celynen collieries, he is commemorated on both the Newbridge memorial and the Celynen Collieries Roll of Honour

Two more of the Carters' sons served during the war - Albert Reginald Carter served with the 1st Somersets and was gassed late in the war but survived. Oliver Jacob Carter served with the 15th Reserve Battalion of the Royal Field Artillery

The following is an extract from "In the Company of Heroes" by William Blanning

Mr and Mrs William Carter, of 1, The Batch, Paulton received an official war office telegrm in mid October 1918, giving them the sad information that their son, 93551 Pte. Herbert Frederick Carter, of the 17th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, had been killed in action on Tuesday 8th October. This was to be Mr and Mrs Carter's second loss of the war; their eldest son, Vincent Carter, having been kiled on May 3rd 1915.


He [Herbert] was selected for military service in the first ballot of young miners, being initially posted to the South Wales Borderers (service number 58252), although he was subsequently drafted to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers

The 17th Royal Welsh Fusiliers were part of the 115th Brigade in the 38th Division. On the 8th October a seventeen mile battlefront was opened up between Cambrai and St Quentin - this battle was to be known as the Second Battle of Le Cateau (the first having been fought in the retreat from Mons in 1914) a town some 20kms to the east of the Line. The 38th Division was given the task of capturing the very strong position at Ovillers-Outreaux, which they did with the support of tanks, before moving on to Malincourt later in the day. The day itself was a miserable, windy and rainy affair, which only compounded their difficulties. In their defence of Ovillers-Outreaux, the Germans threw everything they had at the attacking troops, including gas, shrapnel, and high explosive shells, as well as laying down a particularly heavy machine gun barrage that accounted for the deaths of so many Welshmen, including Herbert Carter.

Herbert was originally buried close to where he died, in a battlefield grave, but after the armistice those graves were concentrated into a handful of more suitable cemeteries, so now he lies in Plot VI, Row D of Prospect Hill Cemetery.