CARTER, John Edward

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Auburn, Ontario
Original Unit
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
20 years 7 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        3rd Canadian Infantry Division
                                             9th Infantry Brigade
                                             58th Battalion - Central Ontario
                                             The Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   654662
RESIDENCE:                    Auburn – Ontario 
DATE OF BIRTH:            March 26, 1897
                                             Auburn - Colborne Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           October 26, 1917                 20 years     7 months
CEMETERY:                     Tyne Cot Cemetery – Zonnebeke –
                                             West Vlaanderen – Belgium
                                             XIV     H     10
PARENT:                           Mrs. J. C. Carter – Auburn – Ontario
Occupation:                        Farmer.                                 Religion:     Methodist
Enlistment:                         Auburn – March 25, 1916 - 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age:                 19 years

Following the arrival of the 161st Battalion in England on November 11, 1916, Private Carter transferred to the 58th Battalion and went into France on November 29, 1916 joining his unit on December 22, 1916.
In July 1917, he had been wounded in the right arm and was hospitalized at No. 7 Canadian General Hospital and was back with his unit on the 7th of September. 
It is not possible to understand the conditions that the Canadian Corps would have to face in their objective of taking Passchendaele from the Germans. The battlefield was a sea of thick, sticky and sucking mud with shell holes all over filled with water. In addition, there were thousands of rotting corpses they had to deal with in their advance. If they paused or stopped in their advance there was the possibility that the mud would suck them under and they would drown.
Private Carter was killed in action during the battle for Passchendaele. 
At 5:40 am Private Carter and the 3rd Division began to advance toward Passchendaele. It was a slow advance with the mud being waist deep in places. They advanced along the Gravenstafel-Passchendaele road toward the Bellevue Spur. They rolled right over the enemy front line positions and about this time the enemy brought his artillery to bear on the advancing Canadians and this barrage was deadly most of the day. The enemy barrage forced the Canadians to withdraw even after they had held their ground for a period of time. They then had to find whatever cover was available to them and wait for the next advance. The 3rd Canadian Division was only able to advance about 1,000 yards and they did not achieve their objectives.
The Division losses were 2,900 men with 600 of those being killed.
The Battalion was at Wieltje Dugout under heavy cloud and heavy rain in the morning with south winds at 10 mph. At 5:40 am the artillery began the attack with the 58th Battalion / 43rd Battalion advancing forward. The 52nd Battalion was support and the 116th Battalion was reserve.
Enemy artillery replied immediately causing casualties and when the Brigade artillery lifted the artillery advance on the right was slower than the left and had been distributed up to a depth of 300 yards. This caused casualties in the advance but the advance continued and “pill boxes” were captured at Lamkerk and Dad Trench. Here the advance came under very heavy enemy machine gun fire from the enemy trenches and enfilade machine gun fire from Bellevue Farm to the left of the front.
More heavy enemy fire came from Crest Farm causing the men to find shell holes for cover and this was followed by a severe, heavy and bloody fight for Contour Trench. At 2:30 pm 64 enemy soldiers stood up and surrendered. This resulted in the Battalion being able to get control of the enemy trenches.
During the advance and with the heavy fighting the casualty count was severe.
On the night of the 26th machine gun posts were established in front of Countour Trench and the enemy made no effort to regain control of what they had lost.
Casualties on this day were 61% or 303 men out of a beginning count of 500 men.