Allan, as he was known by his family, was born at Koromiko (between Blenheim and Picton) on 29 September 1890, first child of Sarah Jane (nee Bright) and William Carr. Sarah was a niece of the well-known Nelson benefactor, Thomas Cawthron. Two brothers, Edward (Ted) and Ernest (Ernie) were born in 1892 and 1893 respectively, both in Palmerston North.
Apart from his army personnel records, most of what is known about Allan was relayed by the late Sadie Sharpin (Ernest Carr's daughter) to her sons and their cousins over many years.
Allan was educated after the family moved to Richmond, near Nelson. In 1904 he attended Nelson College.
He volunteered for the army in January when his occupation was “Grocer”, his last employer was given as “Common Skelton & Co, Gisborne”, and his address was 24 Ormond Road, Gisborne.
At this time the Main Body (the first wave of New Zealand troops to go to the Northern Hemisphere), including Allan’s youngest brother Ernest, was training in Egypt and had already seen brief action against the Turkish army at the Suez Canal.
Allan embarked for the Dardanelles from New Zealand as part of the 4th Reinforcements on 17 April. Two days earlier New Zealand troops had set sail from Alexandria for Lemnos, heading for Gallipoli. Although his army records are silent from then until August, we know from his brother Ernest’s diary that Allan landed on Gallipoli on the morning of 14 June and the two brothers met by chance on the beach that afternoon – it was a “day off” for Ernie and he had gone down for a swim. They met again the following day and Ernie’s diary entry of 19 June records “See Alan [sic] every other day.” On 3 July the entry says “…had a yarn to Alan [sic]. See him two or three times a week.”
In the first week of September the artillery and the infantry of the NZ Division moved to new positions in the Somme area in preparation for their coming role in the major ‘push’ that was planned for the middle of the month.
As the NZFA took up their new positions they were subjected to heavy fire from the German artillery and suffered a number of casualties. On 11 September, the day before the bombardment was to commence, 15 Battery (and Allan Carr) was shifted to a new position near Longueval:
“76 artillerymen [were] killed between 3 and 26 October, or about three men a day. The worst days were 5, 7 and 21 October when, respectively, 11, 12 and 14 men were killed by German counter-battery fire”. Allan Carr was one of those killed on 7 October, though his records do not dislose how he was killed.
It is known though that, on 7 October, the artillery was subjected to heavy counter-fire by the Germans: “the positions were "crumped" with 5.9's, and a lot of casualties were caused, particularly in the 15th Battery where five other ranks were killed and several wounded with one shell”. It seems likely that this was when Allan was killed.