November 2, 2015

Carter, Only Edward

Service number: GS/71810 | Rank: Corporal | Regiment: 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.  Formerly 17th Royal Fusiliers (E/323).


Edward was born on 28th February 1890.  According to family legend Only Edward received his name at his Christening.  Edward was christened on a day along with other children.  Whilst the other parents provided first and middle names for their children, Edward’s parents pointed out that Edward had no middle name by proclaiming, “It’s only Edward.”  Thus the child was christened as Only Edward.  The name stuck and also features on his Army Service record.

During December 1914, a local newspaper, the Thetford & Watton Times, printed a report about the death of Leonard Carter, while on active service, he was Only Edward’s brother.  The report also indicated that Only Edward had enlisted for ‘Kitchener’s Army’, by that time, and subsequent research reveals his enlistment date as being 9th September 1914.  On 17th November 1915, he went over to France with the 17th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (E/323) with the rank of Corporal.  Whilst at the ‘Western Front’ he saw action at some of the key battles – Ypres, Neuve Chappelle, St. Eloi, Hill 60, Loose, the Somme, and Passchendaele; and was wounded three times whilst on active service.  His medal card shows he was removed from active service on 26th June 1917, probably due to being wounded.  After recovering, on 23rd January 1918, he was returned to the Royal Fusiliers, but not to his original battalion, but instead with the 4th Battalion.  He served with this battalion until 21st September 1918, when it appears he was wounded again.

Only Edward survived the war and on 2nd March 1919 was placed into the Army Reserve, so he appears to have been a model soldier throughout.  During his military service, while serving with the Royal Fusiliers, he was awarded the Military Medal.  He also received the 1915 Star campaign medal, British service medal and Victory medal.

Only Edward died on 2nd April 1961.

I am very grateful to Lynn Bevis, a descendant of the Carter family, for supplying me with the origins behind Only Edwards name.