Maxwell Halford Carne

Rank Second Lieutenant
Service No Unknown
Date of Death 23/12/1916
Age 26
Regiment/Service Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 2nd Battalion
Cemetery Pieta Military Cemetery, 2 kilometers south-west of Valetta, Malta.

 

Maxwell was born on 14th March 1889 in Finchley, and baptised on 31st January 1890 at St-Mary-at Finchley. His father Henry, Principal of the Issue Department at the Bank of England, had married Emma Sherwood in 1875, and was left a widower after a few years, with three children, Henry (b.1877), William (b.1878) and Emma (b.1880). These three children did not live with their father after his remarriage, so whether Maxwell knew his half-siblings or not is unknown.

Henry had six children by his second wife Agnes: Gladys (b.1888), Maxwell, Harry (b.1892), Phyllis (b.1893) Janet (b.1895) and one other who died in infancy. They were raised at Fernbrue, Lansdowne Road, Finchley. Maxwell was educated at Christ’s College, Finchley (1901-1904) and the City of London School (1904-06), where he was a member of the Combined Cadet Force. In the pre-war period, he was a member of the Territorial Army, serving as a motorcyclist to the 3rd Signals Company Royal Engineers during Army manoeuvres in 1912. Whilst his brother Harry was to follow his father into the Bank of England, Maxwell pursued a different career as a maker of artificial eyes.

In 1913, Maxwell travelled to British Columbia, Canada, where he was employed on the Welland Fruit Ranch.  He returned to England on the outbreak of war and joined the 28th London Battalion the London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles), enrolling on 8th October 1914.

He was deployed to the Continent from Southampton on 21st January 1915 and served as a member of the British Expeditionary Force. On 10th July he was posted to the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry and was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant. In November 1915 he moved with his battalion to Salonika, arriving on 5th December.

On 10th May 1916 a telegram was sent his to father stating that Maxwell has been admitted to the 21st Stationary hospital Salonica on 8th May but his illness was not serious. He was subsequently discharged on 25th May. In November 1916 he was promoted to temporary Captain, relinquishing his command when a replacement arrived from London. He was wounded on 17th November in an attack at Seres, Macedonia, and was treated at the 27th Casualty Clearing Station. He was transferred to Malta, disembarking there on 21st December and died in Tigue Hospital two days later. (Tigue Barracks had been converted into a surgical hospital and opened on 14th June 1915 with 600 beds with the officers' mess being converted to house an additional 40 beds for officers. In September 1916 marquees were erected on the parade ground to house another 400 beds.)

His father was sent a telegram on 15th December to notify him that his son had been wounded. On 24th December, the day after his death, Maxwell’s father received another telegram saying that his son was suffering from a gunshot wound that had penetrated his back and was dangerously ill. The following day, Christmas Day, his father received a final telegram saying his son had died on 23rd December. Maxwell was buried on the day he died and the officiating chaplain was the Revd E G Wells. His estate was valued at £265 18s 3d.

Following his father’s death on 25th November 1918, his mother remained at the family home in Lansdowne Road until 25th March 1919, when she moved to 41 Upper Tollington Park, London N4.