Carter A

Pte 97335 Algar Carter, 2nd Battalion Notts & Derby Regiment, (The Sherwood Foresters).


Died of wounds, 10th April, 1918

Algar Oubridge was born in 1899 in Stokesley, and was the adopted son of Thomas R Carter and Caroline Elizabeth Oubridge, who married in Stokesley in 1893.

Thomas Carter had been born in Stokesley in 1860 and had lived there all his life, in his parents’ house on High Green. Thomas’s father was a farm labourer and later a gardener, but he encouraged his children to go into trade and Thomas became a tailor in the town. Caroline was born in Chelsea, and had previously lived with her brother George (a wine and spirits merchant) and sister Emily at the Dover Castle in Newport Road, Middlesbrough.

When Algar was born, Thomas and Elizabeth Carter already had a son named Thomas Robert after his father, who had been born in 1894. The little family lived in South Row, Stokesley, and in 1911, Caroline’s sister Emily Oubridge was also a member of the household.

At that time, Algar was at school, but he later became a grocer’s apprentice, and afterwards the family moved to 29 Bright Street, in Middlesbrough. It was in Middlesbrough that Algar enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters in 1917, at the age of 18 years and 2 months. He was not quite 5ft 4ins in height, with a 34 inch chest, and weighed only 119 lbs.

Algar was drafted to France on 11th February 1918 just in time to experience the fury of the final German offensives . He went into action near St Quentin on the Somme in April, 1918 as the Allies desperately tried to stem the German advances, and it was in this battle that he received shrapnel wounds to his left hand and both legs, from which he died on April 10th.

Algar's adopted mother, Caroline Carter, later signed for his effects, which were forwarded to her on August 27th of the same year. These amounted only to some letters, a photo, a religious book, 3 pencils, a toothbrush, 2 photo cases, 1d stamp, and a pierced sixpence. It seems that Algar like many of the Tommies on the Western Front kept with him reminders of home and family as well as his religious book for comfort. Just to be sure, he carried with him a 'lucky sixpence'. It is impossible not to feel pity for such a young man, so far from home, in such terrifying and horrific circumstances.

Algar Carter was barely 19 years old when he fell. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His body lies in Plot XXVI E 18A of the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Poperinge, Belgium.

He is also remembered on the Middlesbrough War Memorial at the main entrance to Albert Park.

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