People, places and events in the parish's history

Lt Col Edward Carse OBE

Edward Carse inscription on War memorial
Inscription on the War Memorial on Shawford Down

A few months ago, Simon Theobalds noticed, from this inscription on the War Memorial on Shawford Down, that he had served in the same regiment as Edward Carse.

Simon did some research and sent in this account of Lt Col Carse’s military career.

Lt Col Edward Carse OBE      First Buckinghamshire Battalion

Born locally in 1911, he married in Winchester in 1939. A Major in the TA, he rejoined the First Bucks from the Staff in time for D Day.

War Memorial at sunset
The War Memorial at sunset

The regiment had been preparing to be part of the Beach organisation on Sword for the massive landing of men and supplies.  They faced sporadic resistance.

On 7th June a single bomb dropped by a German aircraft being chased off by Spitfires hit an amphibious Dukw that was off loading petrol. The burning fuel ran into an ammunition dump and ignited. It took three hours to bring the fire under control and save the dump.  The CO, who had started the rescue as others fled, was wounded.  Carse took over from him and saved half of the supplies. An urgent call for anti-tank ammunition that evening was answered.  He was awarded the OBE.

Within a fortnight the beach organisation was disbanded.  Carse was determined that his battalion would get to the action and his lobbying eventually paid off when First Bucks were attached to 6th Airborne division, who had secured the northern flank of the invasion. This included the Pegasus Bridge glider raid carried out by the Ox & Bucks. Assigned a role to guard docks on the Orne, First Bucks came under heavy fire.  Carse went to investigate and was hit by shellfire and wounded in the leg. Driving himself back, he lost a lot of blood and was eventually evacuated to England.

He was not fit for action until February.  With no appointment available, he volunteered and was given command of a company of South Lancashires who were engaged in bitter fighting in the Reichswald Forest.  Within a fortnight he was killed. His active service was less than six weeks. He was 33.

Reprinted from the November 2013 Compton & Shawford Parish Magazine