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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pvte Horace Foster 7147 2nd Battn York and Lancs


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An appeal has been made in my local paper for relatives of Horace Foster to be traced .

He was killed on 23 Oct 1914 aged 30 near Beaucamp Ligny and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.

He was born in Ecclesall Bierlow now part of Sheffield in 1884 son of Edward and Betsy Foster.

He never married and enlisted in Nov 1902 serving in India until 1905 then transfered to reserve and was mobilised in 1914.

His were among the 15 sets of remains found in 2009.

His mother Betsy Mottram married Edward Foster in 1875 in Ecclesall Bierlow.

In the 1881 census they were living at 201 Alexander Road , Heeley .The children - Edward born 1877 , Harry born 1878 and Florence born 1880.

Edward died in 1890 aged 43 and Betsy in 1927 aged 63 both in Ecclesall Bierlow.

In the 1911 census there were 111 people in Ecclesall Bierlow with the surname Foster.

Are there any living relatives of any of the above ?

The appeal is being made by the Army Media Communication.

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If anyone can trace him then the members of this forum can.

Good Luck


PS Here is an appeal made by the MOD - Horace Foster is not mentioned but that may not be significant.

All part of the BL-15

Private Ross Jeff - Killed 18/10/14

Private Henry William Parker – Killed 18/10/14

Private David Wilson Williams – Killed 18/10/14

Private Gavin Lowe – Killed 23/10/14

Lance Serjeant George Edwardes – Killed 23/10/14

Private John William Taylor – Killed 23/10/14

Any relatives of the above are asked to contact;-

Lynne Gammond

Army Media Communication Team

Tel : 03067-701322

Email: Lynne.gammond453@mod.uk

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The reason why the media appeals have been made for Horace Foster and the other soldiers is simply because the DNA compatible relatives previously identified for each of the soldiers have either not responded to letters from the SPVA or have declined to participate in the identification project.

In the instance of Foster, a mitochondrial compatible relative failed to respond but two alternative mitos have been identified.

The participation of a Y donor relative would be ideal but with the configuartion of his particular family tree and the commonality of the surname, the probability of finding a male Foster directly from the family line is a tough call.


Edited by MelPack
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Thanks for the detailed info Mel. It is sad that even after being traced you mention that some possible DNA donors decline to give a simple specimen which may result in a man being identified and given the dignity of a named headstone for posterity. I must admit that such an attitude is baffling to me but at least there will where possible be DNA retained from the fallen so even if some are not identified the possibility remains that some time in the future this could happen following a change of mind by the relatives. I cannot imagine how the families of these people will feel when the BL-15 are laid to rest knowing that one of the “unknowns” could be one of their own depending on the scale of positive IDs of course. Previous info from the MOD has indicated that although if buried as “unknown” if further evidence does come to light i.e. DNA from a donor then the headstone will be replaced. I wonder if in the case of the BL-15 there will be a time limit on this.



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