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Major Herbert Augustine Carter VC

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Although the son of the Rev. Conway R. D. Carter and Mrs. Conway Carter, of St. Erth, Cornwall, and although he is buried in St Erth Parish Churchyard, Major Herbert Augustine Carter was born in Exeter, and as such, is one of those from the city who has won the highest military decoration for valour.

In 1903, at the age of 29, Carter was a lieutenant in the Mounted infantry, of the Indian Army during the Fourth Somaliland Expedition. On the 19th December when his section was retreating from a force of Dervishes, he rode back to rescue a comrade who had been dismounted from his horse. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery.

The "London Gazette," printed the following on the 9th December 1904:

"During a reconnaissance near Jidballi, on the 19th December 1903, when two Sections of the Poona Mounted Infantry and the Tribal Horse were retiring before a force of Dervishes which outnumbered them by thirty to one, Lieutenant Carter rode back alone, a distance of four hundred yards, to the assistance of Private Jai Singh, who had lost his horse, and was closely pursued by a large number of the enemy, and, taking the Sepoy up behind him, brought him safely away. When Lieutenant Carter reached Private Jai Singh, the Sections were several hundred yards off."

A professional soldier, Carter attained the rank of Major and served in Kenya during the First World War. He served with the 101st Indian Grenadiers attached to the 40th Pathans. While suffering from fever he made a two day forced march in intense heat to reach Mwele Mdogo, to relieve the fort which had been under siege. This brought on heat exhaustion from which he died on the 13 January 1916 aged 41.

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