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24411 (1852923) Sergeant
CHARLES WILLIAM RICHARD FOSTER
Royal Engineers
by
Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis, 2000

Charles William Richard Foster was born in November of 1894. He enlisted in the Royal Engineers as a Sapper in April of 1913 and was assigned Regimental Number 24411 [1].

Foster was sent to Egypt on the 24th of August 1915 where he served throughout the Great War of 1914-1918 with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. For his service during the war he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and
Victory Medal [2].

Foster remained in the Army after the war and was assigned to various surveying duties with the Royal Engineers. On the 4th of March 1925 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the Survey Roster of the Royal Engineers [3]. In April of 1931 he completed 18 years of service with the Colours making him eligible to receive the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (GVR) with bar [REGULAR ARMY] [4].

Sergeant Foster was discharged from the Army on the 9th of April 1934 after completing 21 years of service [5]. After his retirement he took a position at the Ordnance Survey Office in Southampton. The Ordnance Survey Office in Southampton is located in the Maybush section of the city, to the northwest of the intersection of Wimpson Lane and Romsey Road.

This job was a natural for him after spending most of his career on survey duties with the Royal Engineers. He became a Supervisor with the Ordnance Survey and remained in this position until his retirement. While working for the Ordnance Survey, he and his wife resided at 27 Livingstone Road in Southampton [6]. Their residence was located in the Portswood section of the city, just south of the intersection of Livingstone Road and Gordon Avenue.

On the 26th of September 1952, Foster prepared his last will and testament. His estate was willed to his wife, V. Bessie Foster, who was living at the 27 Livingstone Road address [7]. The preparation of the will was witnessed by Mr. Walter Reginald South of 105 King Edward Avenue, Southampton, and by Mr. John Armine Morris Robertson of 5 Capon Close, Swaythling, Southampton [8].

The Fosters continued to reside in Southampton after Charles’s retirement from the Ordnance Survey. Charles William Richard Foster died on the 6th of March 1960 at the age of 65 years and 4 months. His death certificate indicates the causes of death as a) coronary artery occlusion and b) chronic bronchitis. His death was certified by James G. Scott, M.B [9].

The informant of his death was his son, John Foster, of Hunsley, Bagshot Road, Woking, Surrey [10]. His death was registered in Southampton on the 7th of March 1960 by K.J. Sheppard, Registrar of the Southampton Registration District.

REFERENCES:

  1. Great War Medal Index Card, Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, 1998.
  2. The Sapper, February 1931.
  3. The Sapper, February 1933.
  4. The Sapper, June 1960.
  5. Certified Copy and an Entry of Death, DXZ 504243, General Register Office, London, dated 29 July 1998.
  6. Certified copy of the Last Will and Testament of Charles William Richard Foster, dated 26 September 1952.
  7. Internet Web Site. Expedia.com 2000 Expedia, Inc.
  8. Internet Web Site. Multimap.com.

ENDNOTES:

[1] This Regimental Number is taken from his Great War Medal Index Card, a copy of which was obtained by Judith Farrington of London, from the Public Record Office at Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[2] Medal Index Card.

[3] The Sapper, February 1931 and February 1933.

[4] This medal is in the author’s collection.

[5] The Sapper, May 1934.

[6] Certified Copy and an Entry of Death, DXZ 504243, General Register Office, London, dated 29 July 1998.

[7] Mrs. Foster’s first given name is hand-written in the will, but unfortunately it is not legible.

[8] Certified copy of the Last Will and Testament of Charles William Richard Foster, dated 26 September 1952.

[9] M.B.: Bachelor of Medicine.

[10] It is not known whether the Fosters had any other children besides their son John.