CARTER, David Roger
(Service number 7/827)
|Aliases||Known as Roger|
|First Rank||Lance Corporal||Last Rank||Lance Corporal|
|Date||12 February 1892||Place of Birth||Rockpool, Pleasant Point (Timaru)|
|Date||17 December 1914||Age||22 years 10 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Pleasant Point, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience||Territorials|
|Next of Kin||David Taylor CARTER (father), Pleasant Point, Timaru. Later of Mt Gay, Hazelburn, Timaru.|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||Height 6 feet. Weight 174 lbs. Chest measurement 36-39 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes grey. Hair brown. Sight and hearing both good. Colour vision correct. Limbs and chest well formed. Full and perfect movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth good. Free from hernia, variococele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. Operation scar of appendicitis.|
|Served with||New Zealand Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||3rd Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Date||14 February 1915|
|Transport||Maunganui or Tahiti or Aparima|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Campaigns||Egyptian; Balkan (Gallipoli)|
|Service Medals||1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||27 August 1915||Age||23 years|
|Place of Death||Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Turkey|
|Cause||Killed in action|
|Notices||Press, 27 September 1915|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Hill 60 (New Zealand) Memorial, Hill 60 Cemetery, Turkey. Pleasant Point Cemetery - memorial on parents' headstone.|
|Memorial Reference||Pleasant Point Cemetery - General Section, Row 3, Plot 204.|
|New Zealand Memorials||Timaru Memorial Wall; Hazelburn District War Memorial; Waitaki Boys' High School War Memorial; Plaque at St David's Church, Raincliff|
David Roger Carter, known as Roger, was the youngest son of David Taylor Carter, one of the oldest settlers in the Pleasant Point district, and Elizabeth Maud née Cummings, of Rockpool Farm, Pleasant Point. David Taylor Carter, one of the oldest settlers in the Pleasant Point district, had come to New Zealand in 1873 and taken up Rockpool, marrying Elizabeth Cummings in 1878. Roger was born at Rockpool on 12 February 1892 and baptized at St Alban’s Anglican Church, Pleasant Point on 18 March 1892. Mr and Mrs Carter were active members of the Hazelburn Community, Mr Carter being elected to the school committee in 1895. Roger was already making his mark at school in 1904 - at the Hazelburn School annual prize-giving he gave two recitations in a hearty manner, and he won Standard VI prizes for reading and spelling and for arithmetic, and in the boys’ class for flags hand sewn. Next he studied at Waitaki Boys’ High School at Oamaru, for which he gained a place in the junior free place examinations in 1906 and in the senior free place examination in 1908, and where he was successful in the Civil Service Examination in 1908.
Roger worked as a farmer on the home farm, Rockpool. He was serving in the Territorials when he enlisted on 17 December 1914, aged 22 years 10 months. Single and belonging to the Church of England, he nominated his father as next-of-kin - David Taylor Carter, Pleasant Point, Timaru, and later of nearby Mt Gay, Hazelburn, Timaru. He was a well built, fit young man, standing at 6 feet, weighing 174 pounds, with a chest measurement of 36-39 inches. He had a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. His sight, hearing and colour vision were all good, his limbs and chest well formed, and his heart and lungs normal. And his teeth were good. Free of diseases and defects, he was in good bodily and mental health. He had an operation scar of appendicitis.
Lance corporal D. R. Carter embarked for the Front on 14 February 1915, only two months after enlisting. Leaving from Wellington with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles of the 3rd Reinforcements, he reached Egypt on 27 March and commenced service there. On arrival he was appointed lance corporal and joined the Main Body. He became a sergeant but immediately reverted to lance corporal on 23 August 1915. Four days later – 27 August - he was killed in action at the Dardanelles, just 23 years old. His brother Francis received private advice from one of Roger's comrades-in-arms that Roger was killed by a shell. He was killed in action in The August Offensive. At Cape Helles on August 6, 26,000 British men and 13.000 French soldiers were sent against 40,000 Turks. British losses on the first day numbered 3,480; the Turks lost 7,510. His name is engraved on the Hill 60 (New Zealand) Memorial in Turkey, beneath the inscription – “Here are recorded the names of officers and men of New Zealand who fell in the actions of Hill 60, August 1915, and in September 1915, and who have no known grave.” He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, which were sent to his father, as were the scroll and memorial plaque.
“Quite a gloom was cast over the district when it became known that one of our brightest and most promising young men had been killed in action in the Dardanelles – Roger Carter,” recorded the Hazelburn correspondent of the Timaru Herald on 29 September. Mr and Mrs Carter were very active in their war efforts in the Hazelburn district, Mrs Carter leading the way in relief work. Deep sympathy was felt for the family, and admiration for their bravery in the face of adversity. Roger’s brother, Robert, was preparing to leave for camp. The school flag was flown at half-mast “yet a certain pride fills all ex-pupils that one, at least, of their number has done his duty.”
At the 1915 presentation of prizes at Hazelburn School, mention was made of the many scholars from Hazelburn who had distinguished themselves in “the world of letters”, and of those “who, in the present crisis, were serving their King and Country; one, indeed, Roger Carter, had given his life for the great cause.” In January 1918 at a farewell for another departing soldier and presentation of medals to returned soldiers at Totara Valley, Roger was named as one of five soldiers who could no more on earth answer to the roll call. Among the very large number of kindly messages received by Roger’s parents came one from the headmaster of the Waitaki High School, in which he referred to Roger’s prowess in every kind of sport, his splendid physique, and his uniformly pleasant manner and straightforward character. By October 1915 more than thirty ex-pupils of Waitaki Boys' High School had given their lives, among them David Roger Carter, whose name was recorded with pride in the school’s Roll of Honour. They, along with well over 200 on active service at this time, conveyed “very concrete and convincing instance of the effect of the imperialistic training that has characterised the school for so many years”.
A deeply impressive service in memory of the ex-pupils who had lost their lives in the war was held in the Oamaru Opera House on 12 December 1915. The service opened with the singing of the hymn “Oh God! Our help in ages past” to the accompaniment of the 10th Regimental Band, followed by prayers, biblical readings, the hymn “For all the Saints, who from their labours rest”, the reading of the Roll of Honour, the playing of “The Dead March in Saul” and a lengthy address by a minister of religion. The singing of the National Anthem and the sounding of the Last Post concluded the service. A similar service was held on 4 April 1920, but then the Roll of Honour was much longer - 118 old Waitakians had given their lives for God and Empire. Roger and many others were remembered and honoured by their Alma Mater.
An item in the Otago Daily Times of 6 October 1916 reads as follows – “Mr D. A. Menzies, Toogoolanan, Australia, has received a letter from a friend in the British forces at Salonika, in which he states that when on Gallipoli he picked up a watch from the side of a New Zealander who had been hit by a shell. The watch was not of much monetary value, but it would be of sentimental value to the soldier's parents. On the back of the watch was inscribed 7-827 D. R. Carter, intimating that the owner belonged to the Canterbury Mounted Rifles.”
Roger's brother Francis John Carter was the sole executor of his will and the administrator of his estate. Roger had bequeathed all his property to his three brothers - Francis John, James Quartly and Cecil Robert, and his sister Selina. His brother Robert Cecil Carter died of wounds in France in 1918, exactly three years after Roger. The two other brothers, James Quartly and Francis John, were listed on the Reserves Roll, Francis being called up in 1917. And, indeed, in November 1917, their father was among a goodly number of appellants who were held for home service, as they had been classed as C2. The Carter family was active in the Hazelburn district, Mr Carter serving on school committees and Mrs Carter supporting patriotic funding through the Hazelburn and Raincliff Guild. At the beginning of June 1919, the members of the Hazelburn Ladies’ Guild met to make a presentation to their president, Mrs Carter. They wished to show their appreciation of her splendid leadership. By her personal example she had “inspired every member of the guild to do her very best. Even in adverse circumstances, Mrs Carter’s work had continued steadily.” The New Zealand Hospitals were the best equipped in the army, this being largely owing to the good work of the ladies of the guilds under the direction of their sole presidents, it had been noted. Thanks and tokens of appreciation were given also to Miss Carter, who had provided cups of tea on sewing days, and to Mr Carter, who had driven the ladies to and from the meetings.
The Waitaki Boys’ High School Hall of Memories was opened by the Duke of York on 16 March 1927, the foundation stone having been laid in 1923 by the Governor-General, Viscount Jellicoe. The Heritage Category I building was erected as a memorial to the boys of the school who had made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War and is one of the country’s most impressive memorials. Beneath the magnificent memorial window is a brass tablet – “To the glory of God and in sacred memory of the old boys of this school, who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-18. In the high cause of Empire this window is dedicated.” At the school’s golden jubilee in May 1933, the rector, Frank Milner who had been in the position during the war, gifted a memorial cairn with plaques naming all those who lost their lives, one of them D. R. Carter. The inscription above reads: “The Great War 1914-1918. By this path in their school days came those who now lie in foreign lands and far seas that our British way of living may endure.” 700 boys served during the First World War, 119 of them dying.
The residents of Hazelburn decided to erect an obelisk to the memory of the men who paid the supreme sacrifice, the names of all those who were farewelled by the Totara, Opihi. Raincliffe, Rockwood and Hazelburn Reception Committee, and who were killed, to be included. The imposing granite memorial, erected on a corner of the Hazelburn School ground, was unveiled by Mr T. D. Burnett, M.P., in November 1922. The inscription on the monument reads: “Erected by the residents of Hazelburn, Totara Valley, and Opihi, to the memory of those who fell in the Great War, 1914-18. We will remember them.” Nine names, including D. R. Carter and R. C. Carter, are listed. In St David’s Anglican Church, Raincliff, is a brass memorial plaque in memory of Sergt. D. R. Carter, C.M.R, killed in action at Dardanelles, August 27th, 1915, aged 23.
David Roger Carter is remembered on the Timaru War Memorial, the Hazelburn District War Memorial and the Waitaki Boys’ High School War Memorial. David Roger Carter and Robert Cecil Carter, who both died in action, are remembered on their parents’ headstone in the Pleasant Point Cemetery. A photograph of Sergeant D. R. Carter was published in the Free Lance of 29 October 1915 and a photograph of David Roger Carter is printed in “Onward: Portraits of the NZEF”, Volume 1.
Cenotaph Database [03 December 2013]; NZ Defence Force Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0023273) [06 December 2013]; CWGC [03 December 2013]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [03 December 2013]; Timaru Herald, 12 February 1892, 25 April 1895, 30 December 1904, 9 February 1907, 21 & 23 September 1915, 1 January 1916, 13 May 1916, 8 November 1917, 9 January 1918, 5 June 1919, 27 August 1919, Otago Daily Times, 25 January 1909, 6 October 1916, Oamaru Mail, 15 December 1909, 19 October 1915, 13 December 1915, 5 April 1920, Press, 24 & 27 September 1915, 15 October 1915, Colonist, 29 September 1915, North Otago Times, 5 October, 1915, 13 December 1915, Free Lance, 29 October 1915, Otago Witness, 27 October 1915, Temuka Leader, 21 November 1922 (Papers Past) [03 & 05 December 2013; 10 November 2014; 25 & 28 March 2015; 07 February 2018; 08 May 2020]; Timaru Herald, 29 September 1915 (South Canterbury Museum); Pleasant Point Cemetery headstone image & transcript (Timaru District Council & South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [03 December 2013]; Pleasant Point Anglican Baptism records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG); Probate Record (Archives NZ/FamilySearch) [10 April 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [March 2015]; St David’s Anglican Church, Raincliff (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiche) [25 March 2015]; “Onward: Portraits of the NZEF” Volume 1 (held by the South Canterbury Branch NZSG) ; SCRoll web submission by Janet Rae, 02 July 2015; Waitaki Boys’ High School war memorial cairn (https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/waitaki-college-war-memorial) [May 2020]
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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