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William Carter was the son of William and Mary Ann Carter who lived at 5, Frank Street, Preston.

On 18th May 1914, William entered the recruitment office in Preston and enlisted for four years service in the Territorial Force. He had recently turned 18 years old.

Prior to the War, William had been working as a labourer at Messers Irvin and Sellars – a wood turning and shuttle manufacturer in Preston. He was living with his parents on Frank Street and no previous military experience.

On 18th May 1914, William was embodied, joining the 1/4th (Territorial) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

A Gallant Act

On the 23rd April 1916, while rifle grenades were being fired, one exploded in their lines and would have caused serious loss of life, but Private Carter threw himself upon it and received the full force of the burst. He was killed. Second Lieutenant M. Wilson, trying at the same time to grasp the grenade and throw it away, lost his hand.



A Court of Enquiry sat during the following days and appear to suggest that there was some improper use of the rifle-grenade aiming rests. The opinion of the Court concluded that it was an accident, which might have been prevented.

The Court recommended the Mills Rifle-Grenade be discontinued, except when used from a single rifle, or if Battery be used, there should be a shelter or trench close at hand in which the detachment can take cover.

The Court drew special attention to the gallant acts of Second Lieutenant Wilson and Private Carter in that they were instrumental in preventing the damage of other members of the detachment.

The following article appeared in a local newspaper;



That August, his father William received his late sons identity disc, that being the entirety of his personal effects sent home.

William is buried in the Le Fermont Military Cemetery, South of Arras.

Rank: Private
Service No: 1909
Date of Death: 23/04/1916
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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