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Person Details
11 Sep 1895
Ruddington Nottinghamshire
William (Willie) was the son of William and Catherine (Kate) Foster (née Chamberlain). His father William was born in Ruddington in about 1858. His mother Catherine was born in Bradmore, Nottinghamshire, on 9 October 1859, the daughter of John Chamberlain, a framework knitter, and his wife Mary Ann of Bradmore. She was baptised at Bunny parish church on 31 October 1859. William and Kate were married at Ruddington St Peter on 25 December 1877 (O/N/D Basford). According to the 1911 Census they had six children of whom only two had survived: Ethel May b. 1888 (J/F/M Basford) and William b. 1895 (O/N/D Basford, both of whom were born in Ruddington. Although Ethel's birth was registered in the first quarter of 1888 the 1939 Register and the registration of her death give her date of birth as 24 December 1888. The four children who died in infancy were probably: Martha Ann b. 1880 (J/A/S Basford) d. 1881 (A/M/J Basford); Mary Ann b. 1881 (O/N/D Basford), John b. 1884 (J/A/S Basford) d. 1884 and George b. 1897 (O/N/D Nottingham d. 1898 (J/A/S Nottingham). All the registrations of birth give the mother's maiden name, Chamberlain. In 1881 William (24), an agricultural labourer, and Catherine (21) were living at Private House, Bradmore with their daughter Martha Ann who died later that year. They were still living in Ruddington, at Marlpit, in 1891, with their fourth and only surviving child, Ethel (3). However, by 1901 William, a farm labourer and Kate (sic), a hand seamer (hosiery), had moved to Nottingham and were living at 15 Kelly Street with their two surviving children, Ethel and William (6). A third son, George, had died in 1898. The family was living at 32 Goodhead Street, Meadows, Nottingham, by 1911. William was now working as a wagoner on a farm but Catherine was still a hosiery worker. Also in the household was William, an office boy in a solicitor's office, and William and Catherine's grandson, George Barnes (5, b. 4 July1906 J/A/S Nottingham). Their daughter Ethel May had married William Cull Barnes in 1906 (A/M/J Nottingham) and their son had been born the same year. By 1911, though, Ethel was living with Joseph Walters (27) single, a coal miner, at 8 Salisbury Terrace, Hawthorn Street, Meadows, together with their two children Kate Barnes (2) and Ellen Barnes (under 1 year). The children's births were registered as Barnes, mother's maiden Foster, Catherine in 1908 (O/N/D Nottingham) and Ellen in 1910 (J/A/S Nottingham). William married Mary Elizabeth Wakefield (b. 21 May 1896) in 1914 (J/A/S Nottingham) and they had one son, William (Billie) b. 3 August 1914. An 'In Memoriam' notice published in 1918 gave his address as 'late Buxton Street' [Meadows]. Mary Elizabeth married secondly George Smith in 1919. They lived at 18 Goodhead Street, Meadows, Nottingham. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, Ethel (Barnes) was living at 11 Barton Terrace, Meadows, Nottingham, with her widowed father, William, a retired farm labourer, and her two children Joseph William Walters (b. 25 January 1924, J/F/M Nottingham-Foster), a riveters' labourer, and Ethel M Walters (b. 8 June 1927, J/A/S Nottingham-Foster). Catherine/Kate Foster has not yet been traced after 1911 but she was not included on 'In Memoriam' notices for her son from 1917 onwards. William Foster died aged 85 on 20 April 1942 (A/M/J Nottingham and his daughter Ethel May (Barnes) in 1974 (J/F/M Nottingham).
In 1911 he was an office boy in a solicitor's office.
03 Sep 1916
21
749740 - CWGC Website
32471
Private
17th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
William Foster served with the 17th Bn Sherwood Foresters. He was killed in action at Beaumont Hamel on 3 September 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A).
Registers of Soldiers' Effects: His widow, Mary Elizabeth (Mrs Smith) was his legatee. WW1 Pension Ledgers: Widow Mary Elizabeth Foster (b. 21 May 1896) and child William (b. 3 August 1914). Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 2 October 1916: ‘Foster. Killed in action, September 3rd, Pte. William Foster, Sherwood Foresters, aged 21. For ever in our thoughts. Wife and baby’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 2 October 1916: ‘Foster. Killed in action, September 3rd, Pte. William Foster, Sherwood Foresters, 21st birthday September 11th. His only and broken-hearted sister Ethel.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 September 1917: ‘Foster. In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Private William Foster, who was killed in action September 3rd, 1916.; Oh, Lord, Look upon that unknown grave, the grave we may never see, but as long as life and memory lasts we will remember thee. Father and sister Ethel.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam. 4 September 1917: ‘Foster. Private William Foster, Sherwood Foresters, killed in action, 1916. One year has passed since that sad day, when God called my dear husband away; God took him home, it was His will; forget him, no I never will. From wife, child.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 September 1918: ‘Foster. In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Private William Foster, killed in action September 3rd. 1916, late Buxton-street. Gone, but not forgotten by those who loved him best. Father, sister Ethel.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 September 1918: ‘Foster. In loving memory of my dear husband, Pte, William Foster, of Sherwood Foresters, killed in action September 3rd, 1916. Christ shall link the broken chain closer till we meet again. From his wife and child (Billie).’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 September 1920: ‘Foster. In loving memory of my dear son and daddy, Pte William Foster, killed Sept. 3rd, 1916, late Buxton-street. Christ will link the broken chains closer when we meet again. From his father and his son Billie.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 September 1920 ‘Foster. In loving memory of my dear brother and uncle, Pte William Foster, Sept. 3rd, 1916. An unknown grave is the bitterest blow, none but aching hearts can know. From his only sister. Ethel and children.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) William and Billie and Ethel and her children also placed notices in the Nottingham Evening Post on 3 September 1921. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 22 April 1942: ‘Foster. April 20th, William, passed peacefully away, aged 85. To know him was to love him. Funeral General, Friday, 1 o’clock. Sorrowing daughter Ethel and family.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on