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Remembered Today:

Cpl Thomas Foster


Chris Thompson
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Looking to find information on 265206 Cpl Thomas Foster 1/6th Northumberland Fusiliers. Fell at Passchendaele on 08 Nov 1917. All information greatly appreciated. 

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Welcome to the Forum . You may have this but Born-Durban South Africa.residence North Shields , 67 Prudhoe Street and enlisted in Newcastle

Gary

Edited by dundeesown
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I wonder what he did for employment, the vast majority of foreign born people in North and South Shields were involved with shipping, fishing etc.

 

The effects register shows he had monies paid to brothers David and Robert, sister Helen and mother Elizabeth.
 

Craig

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Original NF number is 1895 according to his MIC or 6/1895 according to the Roll.

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Many thanks to you all for your swift response and most welcome information. Cpl Thomas Foster is the man named on my Passchendaele 100 poppy certificate and I am researching him. I'm planning to visit Tyne Cot this coming October to pay my respects to the fallen. 

Edited by Chris Thompson
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Corporal 265206 Thomas Foster according to the CWGC website was aged 20 when he died. The additional information shown there was that he was the son of Elizabeth Foster, of 67 Prudhoe St., North Shields, Northumberland.

 

He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, having died on the 8th November 1917.

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1632293/FOSTER,%20THOMAS

 

Soldiers Died in the Great War records him as Killed in Action on that day.

 

There is no obvious Soldiers Will or Civil Probate for this man.

 

His Medal Index Card entry in the National Archive Catalogue lists him as 1895 Northumberland Fusiliers and then 265206 in the same Regiment, (as per post 4)

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D3536614

 

His service records don’t appear to have survived the Blitz.

 

There is a possible missing persons enquiry received by the International Red Cross, but its not clear. The enquiry was about a Thomas Andrew Foster, a Corporal in the Northumberland Fusiliers who has been missing since November. Unfortunately doesn’t state which year. The nearest thing to a service number appears to be 8851, but this doesn’t tie back to any Medal Index Card or CWGC entry for a T Foster of the Northumberland Fusiliers. Of the three other T. Fosters from that regiment listed on CWGC, none went missing in November and all are Privates.

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/1551690/3/2/

 

Looking at the civil records, there is no clear match for Thomas, Elizabeth, David, Robert, or Helen on the census records. There is one possible Elizabeth, a 35 year old married woman living in George Street, North Shields on the 1911 census, but she has a number of children all born North Shields and has been married 14 years – which would have been roughly the age of Thomas. The only forename match amongst her children is for Robert – no Thomas, David or Helen. She states the marriage has produced 7 children, all then still alive. The census return shows 7 sons and daughters living with her.

 

On the 1901 census Elizabeths husband was recorded as Robert, (29, born North Shields) who was a Steam Engine Fireman.  Looks increasingly like a red herring.

 

The family living at 67 Prudhoe Street, North Shields on the 1911 Census of England and Wales were the Brown’s, so the Foster family aren’t even lost as a result of a transcription error. Must raise the possibility that the family had not returned from South Africa as yet.

 

Local newspapers may be your best bet. If you’re up that way then the county library service will hold a collection of local titles. Alternatively there are online subscription services but they can be very hit and miss as to which titles \ periods, they have.

 

For a feel of what the 6th Battalion were up to at this time you could try, as its free to read, “Q.6.a and other places: recollections of 1916, 1917, 1918” by Francis Buckley, (an officer of the 7th Battalion, but in the same brigade as the 6th Battalion).

https://archive.org/details/q6aandotherplaces00buckuoft

 

Slightly more expensive at £3.50 is the War Diary download from the National Archive. It doesn’t look like the one kept by the battalion is available yet, but at the end of each month a copy was sent to the Brigade and that can often be better as it may well be typed up rather than hand-written and contain additional documents that have gone “walkies” from the Battalion copy. The October 1917 to July 1918 period can be found here.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14055708

(If you have an Ancestry subscription I believe you can see them for free via that site. Relevant reference for the document above is  WO 95/2829/6).

 

There is a Divisional History for the 50th Division – “The 50th Division 1914-1919” by Everard Wyrall, but I can’t vouch for our useful that will be or if its value for money

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/50th-northumbrian-division/

 

A day by day account of the Battle of Passchendaele has this to say for Thursday 8th November 1917 – “Nothing Significant happened today.”

http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com/showthread.php?11535-The-Battle-of-Passchendaele/page6

 

It seems likely that Thomas was part of the day to day attrition that accounted for so many lives.

 

Hope some of that helps,

Peter

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I have 1/6 NF war diary for the period 1.10.1915 to 31.10.1916.  The appendices are very detailed, listing ORs who were KiA, DoW, wounded, missing and even sick to hospital.  However, I could not find any reference to 1895 so presumably he came through that lot OK, even the battle of Flers-Courcelette in September 1916 when there were heavy casualties.

 

If you don't want to buy the book on the 50th Division, you can read an electronic version at:

 

http://lib.militaryarchive.co.uk/library/divisional-histories/History-50th-Division-1914-1919.asp

 

 

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Hi,

 

There are some service papers for a 1897 Waters that survive. It seems that he attested to the 6th Bn on 26th January 1914 in Newcastle. Hopefully Craig above (the forum expert)might be able to confirm that the amount of war gratuity paid in respect of Thomas is indicative of war service counting from the outbreak of the conflict, and therefore that it is at least not unreasonable to presume that Thomas joined up very close to 1897 Waters.

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk
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21 hours ago, PRC said:

Corporal 265206 Thomas Foster according to the CWGC website was aged 20 when he died. The additional information shown there was that he was the son of Elizabeth Foster, of 67 Prudhoe St., North Shields, Northumberland.

 

He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, having died on the 8th November 1917.

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1632293/FOSTER,%20THOMAS

 

Soldiers Died in the Great War records him as Killed in Action on that day.

 

There is no obvious Soldiers Will or Civil Probate for this man.

 

His Medal Index Card entry in the National Archive Catalogue lists him as 1895 Northumberland Fusiliers and then 265206 in the same Regiment, (as per post 4)

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D3536614

 

His service records don’t appear to have survived the Blitz.

 

There is a possible missing persons enquiry received by the International Red Cross, but its not clear. The enquiry was about a Thomas Andrew Foster, a Corporal in the Northumberland Fusiliers who has been missing since November. Unfortunately doesn’t state which year. The nearest thing to a service number appears to be 8851, but this doesn’t tie back to any Medal Index Card or CWGC entry for a T Foster of the Northumberland Fusiliers. Of the three other T. Fosters from that regiment listed on CWGC, none went missing in November and all are Privates.

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/1551690/3/2/

 

Looking at the civil records, there is no clear match for Thomas, Elizabeth, David, Robert, or Helen on the census records. There is one possible Elizabeth, a 35 year old married woman living in George Street, North Shields on the 1911 census, but she has a number of children all born North Shields and has been married 14 years – which would have been roughly the age of Thomas. The only forename match amongst her children is for Robert – no Thomas, David or Helen. She states the marriage has produced 7 children, all then still alive. The census return shows 7 sons and daughters living with her.

 

On the 1901 census Elizabeths husband was recorded as Robert, (29, born North Shields) who was a Steam Engine Fireman.  Looks increasingly like a red herring.

 

The family living at 67 Prudhoe Street, North Shields on the 1911 Census of England and Wales were the Brown’s, so the Foster family aren’t even lost as a result of a transcription error. Must raise the possibility that the family had not returned from South Africa as yet.

 

Local newspapers may be your best bet. If you’re up that way then the county library service will hold a collection of local titles. Alternatively there are online subscription services but they can be very hit and miss as to which titles \ periods, they have.

 

For a feel of what the 6th Battalion were up to at this time you could try, as its free to read, “Q.6.a and other places: recollections of 1916, 1917, 1918” by Francis Buckley, (an officer of the 7th Battalion, but in the same brigade as the 6th Battalion).

https://archive.org/details/q6aandotherplaces00buckuoft

 

Slightly more expensive at £3.50 is the War Diary download from the National Archive. It doesn’t look like the one kept by the battalion is available yet, but at the end of each month a copy was sent to the Brigade and that can often be better as it may well be typed up rather than hand-written and contain additional documents that have gone “walkies” from the Battalion copy. The October 1917 to July 1918 period can be found here.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14055708

(If you have an Ancestry subscription I believe you can see them for free via that site. Relevant reference for the document above is  WO 95/2829/6).

 

There is a Divisional History for the 50th Division – “The 50th Division 1914-1919” by Everard Wyrall, but I can’t vouch for our useful that will be or if its value for money

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/50th-northumbrian-division/

 

A day by day account of the Battle of Passchendaele has this to say for Thursday 8th November 1917 – “Nothing Significant happened today.”

http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com/showthread.php?11535-The-Battle-of-Passchendaele/page6

 

It seems likely that Thomas was part of the day to day attrition that accounted for so many lives.

 

Hope some of that helps,

Peter

 

Huge thanks for this information Peter. 

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On 23/07/2017 at 13:10, dundeesown said:

Welcome to the Forum . You may have this but Born-Durban South Africa.residence North Shields , 67 Prudhoe Street and enlisted in Newcastle

Gary

Thank you Gary

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