Sergeant James Henry Carter, 31st Battalion Australian Infantry, died in France on 14th March 1917. He was born in Yardley in 1895, and was the eldest of the six children (four sons, two daughters) of parents James (a gardener) and Mary Elizabeth (née Moore) who had married in Aston in 1894.
Sometime between 1901 and 1911, the family moved from Yardley to Blackford Lane, Shirley, where they appear to have lived until at least 1926. 15-year-old James Henry had become a gardener’s nurseryman and, sometime between 1911 and 1915, he emigrated to Australia to work as a farm labourer. One of his younger brothers, William Carter (1905-1994) is also known to have emigrated to Australia, arriving in Melbourne in 1926 and working as a farm labourer.
When war broke out, James attested in Melbourne in July 1915, joining the Australian Infantry. He was promoted Corporal on 26th July 1916 and Sergeant on 13th November 1916. He was wounded in action on 13th March 1917 and died on the following day at Flers Dressing Station. Sergeant James Henry Carter is buried at the Guards’ Cemetery, Lesboeufs, France.
According to his service records on the Discovering Anzacs website, Sergeant Carter’s effects consisted of an identity disc, a letter, a pipe, a pouch, a ring, a metal watch and chain, a whistle and lanyard, and a fountain pen, all of which were forwarded to his father, James Carter, Blackford Road, Shirley Heath, near Birmingham.
James Henry Carter is commemorated locally on Shirley war memorial and we think he is the same person as Private James Carter listed on the memorial at St Patrick’s Church, Salter Street.
If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977