11777 Private Shirer Charles William Carter

Shirer Charles William Carter was born in Rangitikei on 2nd May 1889 the youngest son of William Alfred and Selina Carter.[i]



On 31st May 1915 the Evening Post newspaper carried a list of men who had enlisted in the Wellington District and among them was Shirer Charles Carter from Pauhautanui. [ii] Shirer’s trade is listed as a watchmaker.

On 16th November 1915 Shirer entered Trentham Camp as part of the 12th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Battalion. 11777 Private Carter was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant during training leaving for England on 1st May 1916 in B Company, 12th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Battalion.

Sergeant Carter arrived in Sling Camp on 7th August 1916 and was assigned to the 3rd Reserve Battalion, Wellington Infantry and reverted, as was standard, to Private Carter. Sling Camp provided basic training for the Western Front and three weeks later Private Carter was in France and joined the 2nd Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment. In September 1916, the New Zealand Division was committed to the Battle of the Somme that had started in July that year. Private Carter also was with the 2nd Auckland Battalion during the June 1917 Battle of Messines.

In July 1917 Private Carter was transferred to the 1st Division Employment Company remaining in France through 1917 and 1918 although he did obtain two weeks leave in September 1917 and two weeks in March 1918 which was noted ‘in Paris’ on 13th October 1918 Private Carter was again granted leave this time to the United Kingdom but on the 24th October 1918 was admitted to hospital in Edinburgh with influenza. Private Carter died, aged 29, seven days later in the 2nd Scottish Hospital, Edinburg a victim of the deadly Spanish Influenza.

   Carter SC2  
  Private Shirer Charles William Carter is buried in the Plot D56
Edinburg (Comely Bank ) Cemetery. [iii]
  The New Zealand Government’s decision not to repatriate any serviceperson’s remains meant that local war memorials became a focal point for communities to remember the fallen. The Pauhatanui memorial was unveiled on 17th January 1922 by, the then, Governor-General Lord Jellicoe to ‘honour those soldiers from the district who had fallen in the Great War.’ [iv]  

The names on the memorial are:

Victor Abbott
Kenneth Boulton
Shirer Carter
Harry Death
Walter Harris
Norman Jones


Story by Allan Dodson  December 2014

The historic spelling of Pauhatanui has been used from sourced material.

The War Graves Photographic Project (TWGPP): 11777 Private S C Carter
Private collection : Unveiling Pauhatanui Memorial

[i]   Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Records: 11777 Private Shirer Chas Carter.
[ii]  Evening Post – 31 May 1915: 318 Recruits last Week.
[iii] Commonwealth War Graves: 11777 Private S C Carter
[iv]  Evening Post – 18 January 1922: Unveiling Pauhatanui Memorial.

Last Updated: 26/03/2015 6:22pm