Eva Gertude was born in 1887 to George and Mabel Carter of Barnard Castle. She was one of 10 children, among them brothers George and Henry and sisters Alice Eleanor (born 1878), who also joined the General Service VAD in 1918 (see notes below and the separate entry in the database), Florence May (Alice's twin) and Mabel, who married Robert Brown, a retired farmer. George the father was a Surveyor living at 42 Horsemarket. By the 1891 Census, he had also started selling ale and porter. When George died, in 1906, his widow carried on the business as a mineral water manufacturer. Sons Henry and George took over the drinks business as Carter Brothers. According to family records, they advertised in the Teesdale Mercury eg 12th March 1919. In 1939, the family were still occupying 42 Horsemarket and running a haulage and removal business.
Eva Gertrude joined the General Service VAD in January 1918. She was sent to the 59th General Field Hospital in St Omer, France. Known as the Northern General Hospital, it was a major centre for treating the wounded. As the front moved forward, the hospital was transferred to Rouen. Eva was a waitress and her pay was £26 per annum. When the war on the western front ended, she was sent to Addington Park War Hospital in Croydon, which specialised in in the treatment of typhoid and dysentery. She continued her waitress work until April 1919 and received her Victory and British War Medals in 1920. In 1921, she emigrated to Canada, sailing to Quebec on the S.S. Megantic from Liverpool. She worked as a housemaid in a school on the St Lawrence river in Ontario. This was a government sponsored scheme and she arrived in Canada with £10.