Queen’s South Africa Medal, 5 bars, Cape Colony, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Private Sydney Louis Carter, Royal Marines, HMS Monarch.
Sydney Louis Carter, a Londoner who had joined the Royal Marines Light Infantry at the young age of 18, saw significant service ashore with the Naval Brigade of HMS Monarch during the Boer War, earning his rare combination of 5 bars to the medal.
Following the war he was demobilised, moving with his wife to Bodmin, Cornwall, where he was “well known and highly respected by the townspeople of Bodmin”, for a number of years he had the difficult job as an Attendant to the Insane at County Cornwall Lunatic Asylum.
With the outbreak of WW1, he wasted no time in rejoining the Colours “at once” and already arrived for service in France with the Royal Garrison Artillery on 17th September 1914 with the 2nd Siege Battery, a familiar duty from his old days in the Boer War manning the ship’s guns which were detached for shore service.
His Commanding Officers greatest regret was that Sydney never received his “decoration for which he was recommended for about May 1915.”
He said to have been beloved by his officers and fellow soldiers, one morning on 21st May 1917, he met his death instantly when he was struck by a shell.
Officially impressed in large Naval style: “10411 Pte S.L. Carter, R.M, H.M.S Monarch”
All bars confirmed on the medal roll, 1 of only 9 men from this ship to earn this combination of clasps. 18 Men from the ship earned 5 bars to their QSA.
There was about 1091 medals issued to HMS Monarch, 812 without bars, with the Naval Brigade men earning 279 medals with multiple combinations of clasps up to 8.
His death announced in a letter from his CO, Major H.J. Burke, R.G.A., Cornish Guardian 8th June 1917:
“THE LATE GUNNER CARTER, R.G.A.
AN OFFICER’S APPRECIATION
Major H.J. Burke, of the R.G.A. has written Mrs Carter, of 4, St Leonards, Bodmin, giving details of the death of her husband, Gunner S.L. Carter, R.G.A., a brief announcement of whose death we gave last week.
Major Burke Says: ‘It is with the greatest sorrow I am writing to offer you my sympathy at the death of your gallant husband. He was killed by a shell very early yesterday morning