See the autobiographical My Days and Dreams (1916); biography by S. Rowbotham (2009); E. Delavenay, D. H. Lawrence and Edward Carpenter (1971).
Born in Barnes, SW London, son of Commander Alfred Carpenter and grandson of Commander Charles Carpenter. He attended Bedales School founded by his Uncle Edward Carpenter's close friend John Haden Badley. He was married to Henrietta Maude Shadwell and after her death in 1923 to Hilda Margaret Chearnley-Smith.
On 22/23 April 1918 at Zeebrugge, Belgium, Captain Carpenter was in command of HMS Vindictive, navigating mined waters and bringing the ship alongside the Mole in darkness. When Vindictive was within a few yards of the Mole, the enemy started and maintained a heavy fire from batteries, machine-guns and rifles. Captain Carpenter supervised the landing from Vindictive on to the Mole, walking the decks, encouraging the men. His power of command, personal bearing and encouragement to those under him greatly contributed to the success of the operation.
Awarded by ballot. He later achieved the rank of Vice-Admiral.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Imperial War Museum (London, England).