Today we remember Joseph Arthur Carter of Bourne, who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country this day, 22nd December, 100 years ago.

Joseph (normally known as Arthur) was born in the spring of 1888 in Castle Bytham to John Carter, a brewery labourer and his wife Mary Wallhead.
By 1911 the family were living at 27 Hereward Street, Bourne and Arthur was working as a compositor for a printers.

Arthur enlisted to the army in Stamford on the 22nd February 1916 and was eventually mobilised on the 11th April 1916 and subsequently posted to the 9th Battalion for training. After 3 months Arthur was posted to the 1st Battalion on the 27th August 1916 and sent to France.

In May 1917 Arthur was admitted to hospital with an injury to the knee joint which was deemed not be be due to active service. He was posted a s fit one month later and rejoined his Battalion. He was granted leave between the 18th and the 30th November 1917 and then once again joined his Battalion in time to entrain at Maroeiul at 11pm for Peronne and then they marched to Cartigny arriving there at 11am on the 1st December. The battalion were held in readiness until the 6th December when they were moved to Heudecourt. On the 9th they went into the line around the railway embankment west of Villers Guisain, a village that was in enemy hands, to relieve the 15th battalion Durham Light Infantry. At this time there were not connected lines here just a series of posts. Over the next few days they formed working parties at night to attempt to link up the posts.
On the 12th after a couple of quiet days, the enemy shelled the advanced posts, killing one man and wounding 5 others. These were the first casualties of this tour.

On December 15th the battalion diary reported that the day was quiet until about 5.30pm when the battalions position was shelled heavily, without causing any casualties. Two hours later a barrage was put up by our machine guns and artillery.
Artillery activity was marked throughout the night, the enemy shelling the Battalion front and the railway embankment intermittently, our artillery retaliating spasmodically.
December 16th only had one entry in the Battalion Diary, A quiet day, nothing noteworthy taking place.
On the 17th things changed around 4am, the enemy raided the left front of the Battalion with a party of about 20 men. This post was held by a party of about 20 men of A company. The enemy made his way through a gap in our wire to the left of the post. The approach was made under cover of the extreme darkness and a snowstorm, and  attacked the post from the flanks and the rear, throwing a number of hand grenades when close in. One of the grenades dropped in the post and wounded 6 men. A few of the enemy succeeded in forcing their way into the trench but were thrown out again immediately not however before they had captured two of our men whom they took back with them.
In the evening the Battalion was relieved by the 1st East Yorks Regiment, relief being completed by 6pm. Shortly after D Company had left battalion HQ a number of shells burst in their vicinity causing 6 casualties, otherwise the relief was carried out undisturbed. On relief the battalion marched to Longavesnes.
During this tour in the line the Battalion accomplished much good work. Existing posts and trenches were improved by being widened and deepened and making of firesteps, laying of trench boards and erection of shelters. New trenches were dug and the existing were strengthened and a number of dug outs were constructed behind the railway embankment. Severe weather prevailed throughout.

The casualties sustained by the battalions during this spell in the line were 4 killed, 3 missing, 27 wounded, a total of 34.

Arthur carter  received a gun shot wound to the back, suposedly on the 16th December 1917, although certainly during this tour and later died of wounds on the 22nd December 1917 at a casualty clearing station around Tincourt.

Private Joseph Arthur Carter 22883, 1st Bn., Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 22 December 1917 Age 30. Son of John and Mary Carter, of 27, Hereward St., Bourne, Lincs. Remembered with honour Tincourt New British Cemetery.




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