Walter CARTER
Rank: Private
Number: 12034
Unit: 11th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 11 January 1917
Age: 25
Cemetery: Aveluy Wood (Lancashire Dump) Cemetery, Somme

Walter was the son of Joseph & Annie Carter of 221 Stockport Road, Cheadle. He had been born at Hyde as had his older sister, May. By the late 1890s, the family had moved to Cheadle, where Joseph earned his living as a blacksmith. By 1901, he had three more siblings - Ellen, Alfred and Eveline.

Walter had attended the local Wesleyan School and worked at the warehouse of William Chapman, 12 Minshull Street, Manchester. He was a member of the Cheadle Heath Brotherhood. 

He had enlisted, at Manchester, into the 19th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (the 4th Manchester Pals) and had been wounded in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He had convalesced at Ripon and had returned to service with the 11th Battalion only in the December.

On 6 January 1917, the Battalion went into the front line near the village of Hamel. This area had been at the centre of the Somme battlefield the previous summer. During this spell in the trenches, the Battalion suffered from regular enemy shelling. On 10 January, they were relieved by the 5th Dorsets and went into the reserve trenches.

The Dorsets were scheduled to attack the next morning and Walter and his comrades would be in support. The enemy were dug in at the heavily fortified Munich Trench, 350 yards away across No Man's Land. Their target was some ruins, known as The Nest, under which were known to be some dugouts. At 6.40am, the Dorsets dashed across and captured their objective with minimum loss. Later in the morning, the Germans counter-attacked in strength and the Dorsets had to withdraw.

About midday, the Manchesters received orders to attack and retake the position, but this attack was subsequently cancelled, but not before Walter had been killed. 

An Army chaplain wrote to the family "I can get little information about your brave brother. He was new to the regiment and his comrades were knocked out with him. He was one of a carrying party taking up little wooden planks to bridge the trenches for the men to go over the parapet. They had been up several times and were nearly back in safety. They took every precaution and walked down the trench keeping their heads low. A most unusual thing happened. An enemy shell dropped right in the middle of them. Three were badly wounded and six were killed outright. Apparently, your brother died almost immediately and I was called to bury his body next day. The cemetery is in the middle of a beautiful wood at a place called "Lancashire Dump".

The cemetery where Walter is buried is indeed in a most peaceful spot in the middle of large wood. Appropriately, his headstone is inscribed "When the warrior's task is o'er, he shall rest in peace for evermore."

Another local man, Charles Minnis, was also amongst the dead. It was not possible to identify his body and he has no known grave.

   
           
   
     
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