Albert Edwin Carpenter

Date of birth: 1876
Place of birth: Bath
Date of birth: 1912
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.:  210931
Rank: Gunner
Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery
Battalion: 36th Div. Ammunition Column
Died: 1st August 1917 aged 41 years
Death location: France and Flanders

 

Before the War
Albert was born in Bath in 1876 to Edwin (1849 – 25/07/1878) and Ellen (nee Coleman 1849 – 1922).  His parents’ marriage took place on 14th November 1869, at Clifton, St Andrew, Gloucestershire.

Albert had one brother:

Harold (1874).  Married Mabel Annie Cottrell (1879) on 26th October 1901 in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.  The 1911 census shows that they lived at 9 Hampton Row, Bathwick, Bath, with their two daughters Mabel Ellen (01/10/1902) and Constance Emmiline (19/04/1904 – 26/12/1992).

Harold and Mabel were music hall artists.  Constance was an American film and musical theatre actress.  She began performing as a child and first appeared at the Lila Field Academy stage school  for children, England.  Her first Broadway performance was in 1924 and she entertained the troops in World War Two.  Constance died of a stroke in Lennox Hill Hospital, Manhattan.

And a half sister:

Nellie Constance, born in Bath in 1888.  Married Wilfrid James Salter in Bath in 1915.  Died at St. Martin’s Hospital, Bath on 5th May 1942.

There is a christening record for an Edward Carpenter on 1st February 1871, at Saint Augustine-The -Less. Bristol.  The parents were Edwin and Ellen, but Edward does not appear on the 1881 census, so he may have died, but proof cannot be found.  The 1871 census shows that Albert’s mother was a patient at the Bristol Infirmary and this maybe connected to the birth of Edward.  The census states that she was married to a ‘Billiard Marker’.  Her husband was living with his parents, Joseph and Caroline, at 30 Grove Street, Bath.

Albert’s father died on 25th July 1878 and there is a probate dated 28th October 1878:

 ‘The Will of Edwin Carpenter late of 28 Grove Street in the City of Bath, Confectioner who died 25 July 1878 at 28 Grove Street was proved at the Principal Registry by Ellen Carpenter of 28 Grove Street, Widow the Relict the sole Executrix’

On the 1881 census Albert was living with his widowed mother and his brother Harold at 28 Grove Street, Bath.  His mother was working as a confectioner.

Seven years after Edwin’s death Ellen married Richard Arthur Goddard (16/02/1861 – 17/04/1949), in Bath in 1885.  Their daughter Nellie Constance was born in 1888.

The 1891 census shows that Albert and Harold were working as grocer’s assistants and living with their step-father, mother and half sister, Nellie, at 14 Argyle Street, Bath.  Their step-father was known as Arthur and he was a confectioner.  Also at the address was a domestic servant.

In the 1901 census the family were living at the same address, except for  Albert who was in Military Service.  No information could be found for Harold on this census.

By 1911 Albert’s parents and sister had moved to 14 Devonshire Buildings, Wellsway, Bath.  His step-father was now working as a fruit merchant.  The 1911 census does not show any employment for Nellie, who was 23 and not married.

Albert married Florence Mary Stevens (1883) in Southampton in 1912.

In 1921 Florence married Macfarlane Sherwood Davies (1886 – 1966) in Southampton.  The electoral rolls show that they were living in London from 1930 to 1933.  Macfarlane served as Private 22749 in the Hampshire Regiment in the First World War and was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

 

Military History
Prior to his service in World War One, Albert served as Gunner 17938 in the 32nd Field Battery and took part in the Expedition to Khartoum in 1898, for which he received the Soudan and Khedive medals.  He also saw six years service in India.

When Albert enlisted he was living in Paris and working as an English teacher.  He enlisted under the ‘Derby Scheme’ in Paris.  This was introduced by Lord Edward Derby in 1915  in an attempt to recruit men into the Services by offering them the opportunity to register their name to state that  they were willing to serve, but only to be called up when necessary.  Married men were only called up when the supply of single men was exhausted.

Albert was called up on 29th March 1917 and had only been at the Front for two months when he was wounded in the head and taken to the Wessex Field Ambulance Depot.  He never regained consciousness and died on 1st August 1917.

His death was first reported in the The Bath Chronicle Newspaper on 1st September:

‘Bath Professor of English Killed.  Our “Roll of Honour” obituary notices this week contain the announcement of the death in action of Gunner Albert Edwin Carpenter, R.F.A., in his 42nd year.  So far, Mrs Carpenter has only received the bare official announcement of her husband’s death.  He was the youngest son of the late Edwin Carpenter, and of Mrs. Goddard, of 6 George Street.  A Bathonion, he settled in Paris as a teacher of English, and attested under the Derby Scheme.  He was called up early this year’

His probate read:

‘CARPENTER Albert Edwin of 75 Winter-road East Southsea Hampshire gunner R.F.A. died 1 August 1917 in France on active service.  Probate London 18 September to Florence Mary Carpenter widow.  Effects £118.’

He was awarded the Victory and the British War Medals.

Albert is buried in Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, Belgium, grave reference II. D.14.  It contains 530 Commonwealth burials and 28 German war graves from July and August 1917.  The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.  He is also remembered on the Bath War Memorial, which is located at the main entrance to The Royal Victoria Park, and his name appears in the Somerset County Roll of Honour.

 

Researcher: Jackie Chandler
Published: 1st October 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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