Pte. Frederick A. Carter


kia March 18, 1916

Frederick Alfred Carter was born in England 2 October 1889, the son of Harry Edward and Anne Elizabeth (nee Loyd). Before the war he worked as a hospital orderly in Kingston, served since 1912 in the militia artillery unit based in Gananoque (the 8th Field Battery), and in 1913 married Ada Ellen Eastwell, daughter of George and Caroline (nee Knowelden), London, England. Frederick and Ada had two daughters.

He enlisted 16 February 1915 at age 25 and served in the Canadian infantry, 21st Battalion (Eastern Ontario Regiment). Private Carter arrived in France in September 1915 and was killed when there were no major battles involving Canadians. Since late 1914 Germans had occupied almost all the hills that surrounded the important Belgian city of Ypres allowing them to observe the movement of Allied troops in the small salient that jutted into their lines. For the next three years German gunners and snipers on these hills daily inflicted casualties on vulnerable Allied troops. Major Russel Britton of Gananoque wrote in a letter that appeared in The Gananoque Reporter in March 1915: "The country here is as flat as a pancake, and for that reason very hard to fight with artillery as it is so hard to observe your fire, and just at present the Germans have the advantage as they are on the same old hill - the only one there is for miles."

When infantrymen were not in the front lines they worked on defensive positions in the rear area and when in the front lines rebuilt trenches and erected barbed wire entanglements in no-man's land between trenches. Private Carter's records state he was shot in the chest while rebuilding forward trenches east of Ypres. The 21st Battalion war diary recorded his death with the simple statement: "Casualties resulted from working parties: 5 killed, 4 wounded."

During first three months of 1916 when Canadians were in a 'quiet sector' around Ypres and involved in no major fighting, their battle casualties included 546 killed and 1,543 wounded. There were another 667 non-combat casualties caused by accidents of which 20 were fatal. The month Private Carter was killed, 764 Canadians were killed or wounded. British statistics show that even when no battles were fought an average about 1,000 thousand British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed or wounded every day on the Western Front. This crudely was termed 'normal wastage'. Battles, however, claimed thousands more lives each day. The Battle of the Somme began early on 1 July 1916. By the end of the day 20,870 British soldiers had been killed and another 35,500 wounded.

Private Carter is commemorated on Page 64 of the First World War Book of Remembrance and is buried in RIDGE WOOD military cemetery, south of Ypres. He is one of six Gananoque men buried in cemeteries near Ypres. The names of six Gananoque men whose bodies were never recovered or never identified are engraved on the MENIN GATE MEMORIAL.

Dedicated in honour of his sacrifice to his country: Bill Beswetherick


The text above is reproduced with permission

Taken from the "Gananoque Remembers (A tribute to the men who gave their lives for our freedom)" by Geraldine Chase and Bill Beswetherick



Oct 2, 1889

Born in Middlesex, England to Frederick and Mary (nee Evans) Carter.


Aug 9, 1913

Married to Ada Ellen Eastwell in Kingston, Ontario


Feb 16, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario 

Ø      Number 59145 (temporary number 1244)

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. Ada Ellen Carter, wife, 12 Lower Charles St., Kingston, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Hospital Orderly

Ø      Previous military experience given as 3 years in “A” Battery, RCHA (Royal Canadian Horse Artillery)

Ø      Religion given as Church of England

Ø      Assigned to the Depot Company as a Bugler in the band


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec


May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent.


Sep 1, 1915

Posted from the Depot Company to “B” Company.


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone


Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and proceeded to St. Omer.


Mar 18, 1916

According to Pte Carter’s file, he died of wounds received while on a working party on this date.  However the battalion was in the front lines and would not have been supplying work parties.  I believe this should read “while on a carrying party”.  A newspaper account states that he was killed while bringing ammunition forward for a machine gun crew.

He was buried the following day by his comrades and a wooden cross was erected to honour his sacrifice. 

Ridge Wood Cemetery
Voormezeele Belgium

 Following the war the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Memorial Cross, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his widow, Mrs. A Davis (she had remarried), 129 Division St., Kingston, Ontario.

A second Memorial Cross was sent to his mother, Mrs. Carter, 68 Drury Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Harrow, Middlesex, England.




For the 7 nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers were projected onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres.  At the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across Belgium and Canada.  The image above shows the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010. 

Below is the name of Frederick Carter being broadcast to the schools.  Each name appeared for 25 seconds and each night 9,700 names were shown.


The Gananoque Ontario Great War Memorial

Private Carter is also honoured on the Kingston, Ontario Memorial Wall and the plaque in Kingston's City Hall


Bugler Carter is also honoured on the grave marker of his daughter, Freda, in the Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston, Ontario.  She died at the age of 12 and never got to meet her father


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