Knaresborough soldier’s plea for ‘neglected’ Ypres comrade

Charles Henry Carter with his brother, Joe Carter
Charles Henry Carter with his brother, Joe Carter

Amid the muddy battlefields of Belgium a kind hearted soldier from Knaresborough wrote home, asking for a care package for his ‘neglected friend.’

Peter Wilson was a young bank clerk from the town, aged 19 he joined the 1/5 West Yorkshire Regiment, and would serve at Ypres in 1913.

His mother and sister were able to regularly send him packages during the war, but Peter noticed that other members of his battalion were not receiving anything from their own families.

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On October 3 he decided he would do something about it, and wrote home asking them to contact one of his comrades, Charles Henry Carter.

He wrote: “I should be greatly obliged if you would send my next parcel to a comrade who is greatly neglected. Nobody writes to him and he never gets a parcel. “I feel so sorry for him and he always gets a very welcome share from my parcels.”

He added: “The poor fellow is also unable to write and has been seriously neglected at home, he has five other brothers serving and a father.”

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Charles was originally from Bilton, and his brothers Joe and Arthur, were also serving with the 1/5th Battalion. Documents also show that two other brothers, his step-father and five cousins also fought in the war.

Charles, and his brothers Joe and Arthur, were wounded in a phosgene nerve gas attack in 1915. Charles died on August 2, 1917, while fighting in Flanders and France.

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The Knaresborough Post extends its thanks to author of the Harrogate Terriers, John Sheehan, for his help in producing this article.