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W.P.Carter - Royal Irish Rifles


M J Rowe
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I am trying to trace any records relating to my Grandfather's service in the First World War.

His name was William Patrick Carter and he was born in Jersey on 17 March 1889. I have traced his medal record card from the National Archives web site and I know that he was sent to France on 20/12/1915. He served with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles(7/4089) and also the Hampshire Regiment (29962), I am not sure in which order. He was wounded, I believe in the Somme, and I still have his wallet which probably saved his life as a piece of shrapnel went through the middle of it and entered one of his lungs.

When he was deemed fit enough he became a bombing instructor, I pressume with Mills Bombs (hand granades) and was demobilised on 23 May 1919, passing into the Army Reserves. I have a certificate of demobilization for him.

Unfortunately he died in the early 70's when I was about 13 and I did not really get to know much about him.

Anyone have any ideas how I can find anything more??

Regards

Malcolm

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Anyone have any ideas how I can find anything more??

Regards

Malcolm

Just looking at the medal card...

post-16913-1230847476.jpg

...it seems that he was a Corporal in the Royal Irish Rifles, and that's how his BW and V medals were impressed.

Noel

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His name was William Patrick Carter and he was born in Jersey on 17 March 1889.

<snip>

He served with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles(7/4089) and also the Hampshire Regiment (29962), I am not sure in which order.

Malcolm

The Medal Index Card is usually annotated with the first regiment served overseas with at the top and subsequent ones beneath, it's not always the case but is generally so. In this instance the date of entry into theatre (20/12/1915) is the date that 7th Royal Irish Rifles entered theatre so that's conclusive enough that that was his first regiment with which he served overseas.

I've cribbed the following detail from the Long Long Trail mothersite for the 7th RIR, based on where he was born you may find the entry for 5th March 1915 interesting.....

7th (Service) Battalion

Formed at Belfast in September 1914 as part of K2 and attached to 48th Brigade in 16th (Irish) Division. Moved in January 1915 to Ballyvonare.

5 March 1915 ; absorbed a company of the Royal Jersey Militia. Moved in June 1915 to Ballyholley and to England in September, going to Aldershot.

20 December 1915 : landed at le Havre.

23 August 1917 : transferred to 49th Brigade in same Division.

14 October 1917 : transferred to 108th Brigade in 36th (Ulster) Division. Absorbed into 2nd Bn on 14 November 1917.

Hope this helps a little

Steve

p.s. welcome to the forum.

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I can't see any obvious Service Records for William Patrick Carter on Ancestry but there are a few pages for an Arthur De La Lande who attested for, and joined, the Jersey Company Royal Irish Rifles on 7th February 1915. He was at that time serving with the Royal Jersey Militia and was allocated the RIR service number 7/4099, ten after William Patrick Carter. I'd suggest that a similar scenario existed for William who attested and joined around the same time (if not on the same day).

I'm sure if you change the title to include Royal Irish Rifles there are a number of Irish experts here who'll be able to tell you more.

Regards

Steve

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Further to Post #4 there are some service records for 7/4081 and 7/4083 (Henry Carpenter and Percy William Coombs) Jersey Company Royal Irish Rifles which confirm the attestation and joining dates as 7th February 1915. Again, both men were serving in the Royal Jersey Militia so I consider it fairly safe to conclude that William was too and attested and joined on that date.

Regards

Steve

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5 March 1915 ; absorbed a company of the Royal Jersey Militia. Moved in June 1915 to Ballyholley and to England in September, going to Aldershot.

Thanks SteveE. I am particularly pleased to see the above note about the absorbtion of the Jersey Militia into the RIR, I couldn't understand before why he was serving with them.

I will persevere and see what other information I can find. I would particularly like to find out more about his injury. I can remember him telling me that he had to walk miles to a field hospital with a piece of shrapnel in one of his lungs and as soon as he got there they had to evacuate as the German forces were advancing. I don't know if there would be any records anywhere, I suppose that millions were injured so it is unlikely.

Regards

Malcolm

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Malcolm,

You may wish to look at the thread HERE concerning 29958 Cpl Leonard Bowditch.

29962 William Patrick Carter was one of the 60 other ranks from the 2nd and 7th R.I.R. to join 2nd Hants as reinforcements on 9 January 1918 (renumbered in sequence starting from 29956). His formal transfer most likely occured a few weeks later on 28 January 1918.

The medal roll indicates that William had previously seen service in France & Flanders with both 7th R.I.R. and 2nd R.I.R. prior to his transfer to the 2nd Hants.

The casualty list published in the Hampshire Regimental Journal for June 1918 records 29962 Cpl Carter W. as wounded and at 3rd Northern General Hospital, Sheffield 18/04/18.

Marc

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2nd R Ir Rifles history states:

On Sun. January 6, Captain Ogier and 60 men of the Jersey contingent were reposted to 2nd Hampshire Regt.

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Malcolm,

The ' Original Jersey Overseas Contingent' as they were described in a Christmas greeting from the 36th Ulster Division Royal Engineers Old Comrades association for their annual re-union in 1970, made up 'D' company of the 7th RIR.

Their [Jersey] OCA President was Mr Arthur Durrell.

Maybe worth dropping a line to the local Jersey paper asking for info. Must be many families still there.

Rob

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Hi Malcolm

There is an interesting article in the Jan/Feb edition of "The Armourer" militaria magazine entitled "Forgotten History - The Channel Islands and the Great War". There are a couple of interesting photos, one of a memorial plaque to a Cpl Archibald Harold Weeks, 7th Royal Irish Rifles. Another photo of a very rare memorial plaque to a female, one Nelly Florence Ruby Rault, Queen Mary's Auxiliary Army Corps which has an interesting tale attached.

You may also find this link useful, I had a quick look on their ROH but no sign of a W P Carter, it only seems to list KIA's etc, no served and survived, so you might be able to help them.

http://greatwarci.net/

Good news from the magazine article is that one of the members at this website an Ian Ronayne is writing a book on the history of the Jersey Contingent, the Jersey "Pals" Battalion, so he might be able to help you.

Regards, Tommy.

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Malcolm,

The casualty list published in the Hampshire Regimental Journal for June 1918 records 29962 Cpl Carter W. as wounded and at 3rd Northern General Hospital, Sheffield 18/04/18.

Marc

Marc

Thanks for this information, it has proved useful. I have now established that he was actually wounded twice. April 1916 and April 1918,

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Hi Malcolm

There is an interesting article in the Jan/Feb edition of "The Armourer" militaria magazine entitled "Forgotten History - The Channel Islands and the Great War". There are a couple of interesting photos, one of a memorial plaque to a Cpl Archibald Harold Weeks, 7th Royal Irish Rifles. Another photo of a very rare memorial plaque to a female, one Nelly Florence Ruby Rault, Queen Mary's Auxiliary Army Corps which has an interesting tale attached.

You may also find this link useful, I had a quick look on their ROH but no sign of a W P Carter, it only seems to list KIA's etc, no served and survived, so you might be able to help them.

http://greatwarci.net/

Good news from the magazine article is that one of the members at this website an Ian Ronayne is writing a book on the history of the Jersey Contingent, the Jersey "Pals" Battalion, so he might be able to help you.

Regards, Tommy.

Tommy

Thank you for your reply. I have sent an e-mail to Ian Ronayne via the web site that you supplied the link to.

Regards

Malcolm

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Hello Malcom

I have emailed you directly with more information on your Grandfather.

William Carter was a member of the Jersey Company, Royal Irish Rifles. They were a group of 326 Jerseymen who volunteered in 1915 and were attached to the 7th Bn Royal Irish Rifles. Later, after 7th RIR was disbanded in Oct 1917 they transferred on to 2nd RIR and finally 2nd Hants in Jan 1918.

The book is due out in August 2009.

Ian Ronayne

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