47774 Gunner Peter Carr, in RFA (118 Battery)

Carr Irish brigade medal card

Roll of Irish Brigade in Zossen confirms service no. and born Dublin. His mother and father are both dead by 1915. Gunner Peter Carr (47774) – 118 Battery, RFA is in WO 141/9 as being in Irish Brigade. Prior to enlisting he was a fireman on Casement's notes. McDonagh calls him Irish/English, one of 3 he call this. Her did volunteer for service in Egypt if called upon. He appears to have been sent to Quadsow punishment camp in Spring of 1917, and when he returned attempted suicide by cutting his throat with a rusty razor. Although saved by the German doctors, he never fully recovered and died 15 Sep 1918. He is now buried in Berlin SW CWGC grave.

1890 born Catherines, Dublin

1910 census

1901 census, this would appear to be him Parents are James and Elizabeth as on CWGC grave. He probably added a couple of years to his age to get into the army. They are with his grandparents at Handkerchief Alley, Merchants Quay, Dublin.

1911 Census under Overseas Military gives Gunner Peter Carr, No 3 Ammunition Column R F A I, Ambala, PU Single, aged 23, born "Catherines, Dublin."

1914 Aug 15, landed in France

1914 Aug 27. At Etreux the I Corps rearguard battalion, 2nd  Royal Munster Fusiliers, fought off six times their number while the rest of the Corps got clear, they were supported by Major Bayley and the guns of 118 Battery. Peter Carr's MIC shows he was was captured 28 Aug 1914

118 Battery, 26 Brigade, RFA in 1914 was part of the 1st Divisional Artillery. It missed the battle of LeCateau but took part in the retreat to the Marne beginning on 27 August 1914. On the morning of 27 August 26th Brigade, RFA were given the task of covering the reteat with 2nd Munsters. Two guns of 118 Battery came into action on the high ground north of Etreux in support of the Black Watch. C and D sub sections form 'centre section' of 118th Battery most of these men appeared in casualty lists as 'missing' in early September. D sub section gun loses gun crew [this was thecrew trying to demolish the houses] and C sub section fought until end ; Major Bayly and Lt A Stewart-Cox wounded and captured, 10 men wounded and 12 men killed...2 full gun crews were presumably all casualties when surrounded with Munsters.

An 18 pounder detachment had 6 men actualy manning the gun. An additional 4 men were back in the wagon lines where the horses and first line ammunition was held. There were 7 drivers for the gun and ammunition limbers. In addition to these 17 men (commanded by a Sergeant) there would have been 15 horses.

At about 1930 hours the enemy got into Etreux and an enemy shell destroyed the gun team of the section and the other gun came into action at a range of 300 yards in order to destroy the loopholed house which was occupied by the Germans. The range was so short that the gunners were shot as they tried to get the gun into action, but they continued the battle until 2115 hours.

1914 Aug 27 Wounded and taken prisoner

1914 Sep 23 In hospital at Paderborn, and from there to Sennelager.

Then he followed the rest of the Irish Brigade through Limburg, Zossen and Danzig1916 Jan Volunteered for service in Egypt

1915 Oct. He gave his address as Thomas St, Dublin

1917 Jan 14. Hahn to St J Gaffney. Reports that there are 29 men in the camp and that he hopes to send the 8 men away soon. He mentions debts of Fulford, McCabe, P Carr and Long, and asks Gaffney to settle them directly with the Camp Commandant.

1917 Jan 10. The NCOs appear to have drawn up a black list of grumblers and men branded as English. A fully armed section of German troops entered the barracks, and the Irish Brigade NCOs seemed aware of what was happening. Ten names were read out, and the men ordered to have their kit ready to leave in 5 minutes. They were then marched out of the camp under guard and into as Rahilly says "slavery", a punishment camp at Quadsow. A letter that Burke wrote to Gaffney about their treatment confirms the state of affirs given by Rahilly, and one can arrive at list the men sent to the punishment camp from putting together information from Burke and O'Toole, plus the official list from Hahn gives:-

1917 In a section dealing with postal censorship in a booklet titled "Forms Issued in Connection with the Work of The Central Prisoners of War Committee" published by the British Red Cross and Order of St John in 1917, they give this service number in a list of men known to have joined the Irish Brigade and includes Carr.

1917 Jan 30. Hahn to Gaffney. Talks about "problem" men

They went by train and road until they found themselves in a hut built near a river at Quadsow (now Kwasowo in Poland) in a wilderness. Quadsow was a punishment camp, and I am not clear how these men had been selected to be taken there. This was their home. They slept on damp mud and the walls of the hut were damp. They worked from dawn to dusk, reinforcing the banks of the river. All they ever had for meals were hot drinks, no food. Two months later 5 of these men returned. Their appearance had changed, they were now bearded and pale, their eyes full of fear, their bodies bloated from hot drinks but no food. They had been bullied by the guards, butted with rifles. Later that evening of their return Rahilly found that one had cut his own throat with a rusty razor. He made a recovery, but not a full recovery, and died later in 1918 "during the armistice". This man has to be Gunner Carr as he is the only man whose death fits - 15 Sep 1918. The debrief of an escaped Russian POW also confirms " Another one of these men cut his throat one day with a razor"

1918 Sep 15 age 36, buried in Berlin SW Cemetery. Son of J. A. and Elizabeth Carr, of Peter St., Drogheda, Co. Louth. In 1922-23 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries. Berlin South-Western was one of those chosen and in 1924-25, graves were brought into the cemetery from 146 burial grounds in eastern Germany. There are now 1,176 First World War servicemen buried or commemorated in the Commonwealth plot at Berlin South-Western Cemetery.

Casements Irish Brigade Recruits