23944, Private, Bertie CARPENTER
Aged 24

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 30th August 1918

Bertie Carpenter was born in 1894 (Mildenhall Q2-1894 4A:756), son of Arthur Albert and Mary Ann CARPENTER (née CURTIS).

1901 census...Aged 7, he was at Beck Row Street with his father Arthur Albert CARPENTER [30] farm labourer; his mother Mary Ann [30]; sisters Gladys M. [6] and Ada A [2]. All were born in Mildenhall (Mildenhall or Beck Row are synonymous in most records).

1911 census...Aged 17, a farm labourer, he was at Holmsey Green, Beck Row with his parents (father now a fishmonger) and sisters Gladys Mary, Ada Agnes and Ida Mabel [3] born Mildenhall.

Bertie enlisted in Mildenhall. His entry in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour reads:-
"CAPENTER, BERTIE, Private No.23944, 2nd Battn.(12th Foot) The Suffolk Regt., only s. of the late Arthur Albert Carpenter,by his wife, Mary Ann (Holmsey Green Beck Row,Mildenhall, co.Suffolk, dau. of Alfred Curtis;b.Mildenhall aforesaid in 1894; educ.Beck Row Council School there; was employed as a Postman; enlisted 24 Jan.1916; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from the following May, when he joined the 7th Suffolks; was wounded on the Somme 18 July and invalided home; returned to France in Dec., and served with the 11th Suffolks; was again wounded 26 Agu.1917 and invalided home; went back to France to the 2nd Suffolks in March 1918, and was killed in action at Ecouste 20 Aug.following. His Captain wrote that he was a very brave man and a good soldier; unm."

From the war diary:- "5:0 am the 76th Brigade attacked ECOUST. The objective was reached with slight casualties but owing to the battalion being unable to secure its flanks it had to fall back to the line of ECOUST TRENCH at about 11 am. Reinforcements Lt NE Cooper, 2 Lts A Lockwood, AP Baldwin, AW Hardy.
During the night of the 30th-31st the battalion was relieved by the 13th King's Liverpools, came back to the line MORY SWITCH - HALLEY AVENUE, between MORY and ST LEGER."

The war diary may say slight casualties,but CWGC records 50 men killed of the 2nd Suffolks on 30th August 1918.

Bertie was found as shown below and re-interred in nearby HAC Cemetery in March 1919.

The Bury Free Press of 21st September 1918 reported:-

The news of another Mildenhall young man who has fallen in action has been received with general sorrow and sympathy for the bereaved parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Carpenter, Hornsey Green, Beck Row, Mildenhall
Their only son, Pte.Bertie Carpenter, was called up in January 1916. He was twice wounded in action,and was killed on August 29th by machine gun fire. He was twenty four.
The news was conveyed to the parents in a letter from the Captain of the regiment, who wrote in high terms of the late soldier, expressing the officers' and men's regret and sympathy.
Pte. Carpenter was held in esteem in his native village, and was a very energetic members and worked at the Weslyan Church. He was Society Steward, Sunday School teacher, a member of the Band of Hope, and for a considerable time, organ blower. His death is keenly felt by his fellow workers.

Bertie Carpenter is buried in Hon. Artillery Coy. Cemetery, Ecouste-St-Mein, grave 3:E:19
and commemorated on the Beck Row war memorial

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details