William Watson (Motor) CARTER


CARTER, William Watson

Service Number: 1120
Enlisted: 18 September 1914, Cobram, Victoria, Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 6th Infantry Battalion
Born: Carlton, Victoria, Australia, 1889
Home Town: Traralgon, Latrobe, Victoria
Schooling: State
Occupation: Chauffeur
Died: Killed in Action, aged 25, Gallipoli, Turkey, 25 April 1915
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Panel 2
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing
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World War 1 Service

18 Sep 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1120, 6th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
18 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1120, 6th Infantry Battalion, Cobram, Victoria, Australia
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, HMAT Themistocles

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of Charles and Sarah Carter.

Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Private William Watson Carter, 6th Battalion AIF, killed in action 25th, April 1915. He was among the first of the Australians to die on the first day at Anzac Cove far away in Turkey. Although he was a native of Carlton in Melbourne Willie Carter was working and living at “Seven Hills” and enlisted in Cobram on the 18th September 1914. He was a good mechanic and the chauffeur to Mr. E.S. Brown who ran the property. He was very honest and stated on enlistment that he had a prior conviction for offensive behaviour in Cobram for which he had been fined 2 pounds. Willie embarked with the very first Anzac convoy and sent a postcard to his sister on the trip, “Dear Nell, Just a line to let you know I am having a great time we have concerts every night by the different Companies and the sea is lovely and smooth so it is just the thing. With best love. Willie XXX PS. I wrote a long letter to Mum today.”

Willie Carter was present at the landing on Gallipoli, losing his life during that first Anzac day. Like many he has no known grave and is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial. He is the great uncle of the famous Australian actor, the late Bill Hunter. Sarah Carter, his widowed mother, owned a famous dress shop in Traralgon. The following notice appeared in the Cobram Courier June 24th 1915.

Killed in Action.—Two of our gallant lads who enlisted at Cobram for service have fallen in battle at the Dardanelles, and though the news was known here early last week it was only recently released for publication. The names of the fallen ones are Private Ernie Paul and Private William Carter, both of whom were well-known locally. Private Ernest C. Paul was the third son of Mrs Paul, Harp of Erin Hotel, Beechworth, and was aged 23 years 11 months. He was born and educated in Cobram, and when he enlisted was employed at the vineyard of Mr. Brown in this district. He enlisted with the 4th Reinforcements, and was attached to the 7th Battalion. Private Carter, who was better known as "Motor," came to Cobram several years ago, and was first employed by Mr G. Anderson, afterwards going to Mr Brown's vineyard, from where he enlisted. He was a young man of great dash and determination, just the sort to volunteer for any forlorn hope or to follow a leader anywhere. We understand that his mother lives in the Traralgon district. Both young men were among the first to offer their services to uphold the honour of the Empire, and before sailing from Australia, became efficient soldiers. General sympathy is expressed in this district for the bereaved parents at their loss of two manly, gallant sons.