The Great Cornard Information Website
Page updated - 17 March 2009
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Company Sergeant Major James Carter
For his country's sake
6178 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment
James Carter known as Jim was born in Great Cornard around1884. He was the son of Maurice and Emily Carter (nče Grimwood). He had 3 younger sisters; Ethel Maria, Ellen and Elsie. Jim’s father was a farm labourer, he died in 1889 and his widow and family at first lived in Sudbury Road, Great Cornard before moving to Broom Street. Jim was employed as a gardener’s assistant and his widowed mother was a charwoman. She later married Frederick Gibbons.
Jim was married to Edith Emma Marsh in Bury St. Edmunds in 1911 and they had 3 children. It is believed that he was a regular soldier before the war and was garrisoned in Bury St. Edmunds with the battalion. His great niece recalls a photograph of Jim from her childhood showing him with a big black moustache.
From 1st July to 18th November 1916 the 2nd Battalion saw action during the First Battle of the Somme. In July at Bazentine Ridge and Delville Wood and on 16th August it fought alongside the French in an attack at Maltzhorn Ridge. On the 13th November the battalion suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Ancre in an attack at Serre. Jim was killed in action on 13th November 1916. There is no known grave and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
The following was written in his memorial card:
Farewell, dear boy, your life is past,
We loved you dearly to the last;
To part with you has caused us pain’
But hope in Heaven to meet again.
No loved ones stood around him to bid a last farewell,
No word of comfort could he leave to those he loved so well.
We little thought his time so short in this world to remain,
Or thought when from his home he went, he would never return again.
His heart was good, his spirit brave
His resting place a soldier’s grave,
We have loved him in life, he is dear to us still,
But in grief we must bend to God’s holy will.
Our sorrow is great, our loss hard to bear,
But Angels will tend you, dear James, with care.
He was one of the best that God could lend,
A loving son and husband, a faithful friend.
Jim was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. A Cross of Remembrance was laid at the Thiepval Memorial on 16th April 2006.
Memorial Card courtesy of Sheens Byham
©Shirley Smith - Sudbury & District Royal British Legion - November 2008