Captain Charles Brunskill Larter

 

Charles Brunskill Larter was born on 10 October 1891 at Kelvin, Glasgow, Scotland, son of warehouseman Frederick William Edward Later and his wife Janey Elizabeth.

He enlisted in the Queen's Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry in 1909 (No.1607), rising to the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2 and being awarded a Territorial Force Efficiency Medal.

On 13 May 1915 he embarked for France with the regiment's B Squadron, where it joined the 9th (Scottish) Division.

During 1916 Larter applied for a commission and on 21 December was appointed 2nd lieutenant and posted to the 1st Reserve Cavalry Regiment. He was then attached to the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, joining it in the field at Boeschepe on 16 April 1917. He was posted to B Squadron.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted and its officers and men transferred to the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. Larter joined the battalion on 2 October, but left for England on 16 November to take up an appointment in the Tank Corps.

After a period of training at Wareham, Dorset, he returned to France where he joined the Tank Corps' 10th Battalion. He became a lieutenant on 21 June 1918.

On 28 July Larter was given command of a section of the 10th Battalion's C Company and was appointed acting captain. The battalion went into action on 8 August near Amiens, the first day of the Advance to Victory offensive. Larter's tank, J48:

... was in action for 4 hours and fired 3 rounds 6 pdr and 300 rounds SAA. The tank lost direction in the thick mist, then, at 5.45am, k26c.1.4 the crew were overcome by fumes and evacuated the tank. Having recovered somewhat the tank proceeded onward at 8.15am but the crew were again overcome and, as the infantry were already digging in the tank returned and rallied.

On the following day:

J48 Attacked, in action 3 hours, fired 3 rounds 6 Pdr and 400 rounds SAA. Pierced by AP bullets; autovac damaged, 3 crew wounded, 1 remained at duty. Crossed main road at k20b.3.9, turned East and caught up infantry and followed barrage. Fired 3 rounds case shot at enemy Mgs but 6 pdr broke and then both gunners were wounded. Tank went onwards firing on enemy with Mgs and revolvers. At k15d.6.8 noticed Autovac had been pierced so returned and rallied.

And on 21 August:

[His] Section reached the south west portion of Logeast Wood, got in touch with 'The Hoods' of 189th Brigade, one tank was assigned to each company and the Green line was attacked in the mist. ... J48 was knocked out, her commander escaped and reported back at 11am.

Larter was wounded in the knee and hip in this last action.

After the war Larter returned to his home at 10 King Edward Road, Jordanhill, Glasgow. He was released from service in mid-1919. However on 20 May 1920 he re-enlisted at Glasgow as a private in the Tank Corps (No.386404). By the time he was discharged on 31 January 1922 he had reached the rank of Squadron Sergeant Major.

On the outbreak of war in September 1939 he was appointed a 2nd lieutenant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He later served as adjutant in a Home Guard battalion.

Larter died in Glasgow on 8 February 1966.

 

The narrative of tank actions in August 1918 is sourced from the excellent site Landships – British Tank Actions of the First World War.