George Augustus Carter

30203, Private, 2nd East Lancashire Regiment, (24th Brigade. 8th Division).

( Formerly 28097 Norfolk Regiment ).

Killed In Action on the 31st July 1917 aged 35.

George was the eldest son of Edward & Emma Carter of Aston End. He was one of three brothers who were serving during the war both of  whom were, at the time of his death, Prisoners of War. He was to lose his life on the first day of a major British offensive, The Battle of  Passchendaele, which was launched on 31 July 1917 and continued until the fall of Passchendaele village on 6 November.

The offensive resulted in gains for the Allies but was by no means the breakthrough General Haig intended, and such gains as were made came at great cost in human terms. The village of St. Juliaan lies on the Hanebeek, one of the small streams that drains the fields in this area. On the 18th July 1917 a heavy preliminary artillery bombardment began which lasted for the ten days prior to the launch of the attack. The bombardment was made by 3,000 guns which expended four and a quarter million shells into the surrounding ground.  Given such an onslaught the German Fourth Army fully expected the attack and the element of surprise was entirely lost. Added to this was the fact that the area was suffering the heaviest rains it had seen for 30 years and this, combined with the shelling, turned the ground into a hellish morass.

On the 31st July the Battalion attack was set to commence at 3.50am and their objective was the German trenches at Bellewarde Ridge. Although the Battalion managed to reach it’s objective quite quickly their supporting troops, the men of the 17th Manchester Regiment, were held up and as a result the right flank was exposed. The Germans quickly exploited this advantage and attacked the Battalion with heavy machine gun fire, causing considerable casualties. A total of 92 men were either killed or missing, one of whom was George Carter.

He is buried in the Aeroplane Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium. (2.C.39.)

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal 

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