Private Christopher Carter


Christopher (Christie) Carter was born on 18 August 1891 at 45 Bentink Street, Belfast, the last of five children of ship plater James Carter and his wife Jane (nee Millar). The family had moved to Belfast from Lancashire in the 1880s. By 1911 he was living as a boarder at 31 Waveny Road, Ballymena and working as a hairdresser, later moving to 11 Suffolk Street.

Carter enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 18 and 26 January 1912 (No.657). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne. (See image below. It is not entirely clear which is Carter.)

In February 1915 he returned home on leave, the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph reporting:

Mr. "Christy" Carter, Suffolk Street, well and favourably known in local athletic circles, who has been serving at the front with the North Irish Horse, was home on furlough this week, and his many local friends were glad to see him looking fit and well.

On 30 July that year Carter fractured his left collarbone while playing football at Boeschepe. He was evacuated to the UK for treatment, and having recovered, resumed duty at the North Irish Horse base depot at Antrim. The Ballymena Weekly Telegraph of 5 November 1915, reporting on a football match between Linfield Rangers and Galgorm, noted that "Trooper Christie Carter and Mercer were prominent players for the homesters [Galgorm]."

Carter returned to France in 1916 or early 1917, where he was most likely posted to C or B Squadron of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment. In September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and most of its men transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most, Carter was transferred on 20 September. He was issued regimental number 41400.

Carter probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917. At present nothing more is known of his wartime experiences.



Image from the Ballymena Observer 25 December 1914 courtesy of Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (