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Salvation Army personal papers collections: Majors Elsie and Joseph Bernard Carter


Scope and content

These are the papers of Majors Joseph Bernard and Elsie Carter (nee Squires).

The collection mainly comprises the personal papers of Majors Bernard and Elsie Carter, but includes papers that belonged or relate to Lieutenant-Colonels Gilbert Richard and Alice Carter (nee Law). Gilbert Carter was the elder brother of Bernard Carter. The collection also includes a photograph album and some personal papers of Lieutenant-Colonel Mary Ann' Josephine Gillespie, a close friend of Elsie and Bernard Carter. A small number of the papers were collected by the Carters' descendents following their deaths.

The collection has been arranged to reflect, as far as possible, the original order in which it was received from the family. The arrangement is as follows:

SCG/1 Books, notebooks and writings

SCG/2 Certificates and commissions

SCG/3 Correspondence, postcards and photographs

SCG/4 Alphabetical stencils

SCG/5 Ephemera

SCG/6 Lieutenant-Colonels Gilbert and Alice Carter

  • SCG/6/1 Papers of Lieutenant-Colonels Gilbert and Alice Carter
  • SCG/6/2 Papers relating to Lieutenant-Colonels Gilbert and Alice Carter
  • SCG/6/3 Press cuttings and ephemera

SCG/7 Lieutenant-Colonel Mary Ann' Josephine Gillespie

  • SCG/7/1 Will, photographs and letters
  • SCG/7/2 Photograph album
  • SCG/7/3 Loose photographs and ephemera

Records creator's history

Joseph Bernard Carter (1883-1968) worked in the printing trade prior to training as a Salvation Army Officer. He entered training from Newbury in 1903 or 1904 and on being commissioned, his first appointment was to Redhill. Besides a year at Divisional Headquarters in Glasgow, all his appointments as a single and a married officer were to corps in the British Field, mostly in the south of England. Elsie Squires (1889-1978) entered training from Brixham in 1908, and as a single officer, held several corps appointments in London, at least some of which were held jointly with Josephine Gillespie. She married Bernard Carter in 1917 and all subsequent appointments were shared. Bernard and Elsie Carter retired from active service from Rotherham in October 1946. Their retirement was spent in Brixham, where they maintained links with the local corps. Bernard Carter was promoted to Glory on 7 June 1968 and Elsie on 3 February 1978.

Gilbert Carter, later known as Ajeet Singh, (1878-1934) entered the Training College from Reading in 1898 and following his commissioning, he held appointments at the Training College, as Sergeant-Major then Side Officer, until 1903. He subsequently transferred to India where he served as Principal of the Gujerati Training College at Anand (1903-1909), with additional oversight of a Division and a Boys' School. He married Adjutant Alice Law (1872-1956), who was stationed at Anand Hospital, in 1907. The couple took charge of the Training Garrison for the United Provinces at Bareilly (1909-1912) before leaving India for New Zealand. There they held appointments at the Wellington Training College and as military Chaplains to the New Zealand Forces at Featherstone Camp during the First World War. In 1923, they transferred to the Winnipeg Training College in Canada West Territory where they served until 1930. Their final appointment was as Territorial Commanders for Ceylon, which they held until Gilbert Carter's death from pneumonia on 30 November 1934. Alice Carter retired following her husband's death and settled in New Zealand. Prior to her marriage she had trained as an officer at Wellington Training College, and held corps, social work and headquarters appointments in New Zealand and Australia (1896-1903). A certified nurse, she also held maternity home and hospital appointments in Australia (1903-1906) and India (1907). Alice Carter was promoted to Glory on 21 May 1956.

Lieutenant-Colonel Josephine Gillespie (?-1951) became an officer from Liverpool in 1904 and remained at the Training College as a Sergeant for the following session. In her early career she served in corps and divisional work in the British Territory and held appointments at the Training College. At least one corps appointment was held jointly with Elsie Squires (Manor Park, 1913). Later she held appointments as a Divisional Commander, Territorial Secretary for Field Affairs (Wales and Western Territory), and Assistant Candidates Secretary. She also served as Territorial Organizer for Life-Saving Guards and Sunbeams. Her last appointment was as National Home League Secretary, from which she retired in 1942. In retirement, she lived in Northern Ireland and was promoted to Glory from Belfast on 9 November 1951.

Archival history

The papers that make up this collection were in the possession of the descendents of Majors Bernard and Elsie Carter until they were transferred to the International Heritage Centre by a granddaughter in September 2014. Those portions of the collection relating to Lieutenant-Colonels Gilbert and Alice Carter and Lieutenant-Colonel Josephine Gillespie came into the possession of the Majors Carter around the time of the deaths of each.

Conditions governing access

Open for research. The reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre is open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. It is advisable to make an appointment. Tel: 0207 326 7800; email: heritage@salvationarmy.org.uk .

Conditions governing reproduction

Rights to access and re-use digital objects:


Rights to access and re-use archival descriptive information:

Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, ShareAlike

Other finding aids

A multi-level description of this collection can be accessed in the International Heritage Centre's online catalogue:

. A paper catalogue is available in the reading room of the International Heritage Centre.


2 boxes and 7 oversize items





Youth workers

Girl guides

Religious education


Geographic names:

Sri Lanka








New Zealand


United Kingdom
Personal names:Carter , Elsie . (1889-1978 ) Salvation Army Officer , Major Carter , Joseph Bernard . (1883-1968 ) Salvation Army Officer , Major Carter , Gilbert Richard . (1878-1934 ) Salvation Army Officer , Lieutenant-Colonel Carter , Alice . (1872-1956 ) Salvation Army Officer , Lieutenant-Colonel Gillespie , Mary Ann' Josephine . (?-1951 ) Salvation Army Officer , Lieutenant-Colonel
Corporate names: The Salvation Army (1878-present ) 

Language of the material


Records creator

Major Joseph Bernard Carter

Mrs Major Elsie Carter

Lieutenant-Colonel Gilbert Richard Carter

Mrs Lieutenant-Colonel Alice Carter

Lieutenant-Colonel Mary Ann' Josephine Gillespie

Content provider