[Skip to content]



  • Photograph was published 26th June 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
26 Feb 1896
Nottingham
He was the son of Henry and Annie Foster. Henry Foster was born on 30 January 1873 and his wife Annie on 12 November 1870. According to the 1911 Census they had five children: Henry b. 26 February 1896, Ethel birth registered 1898 (J/F/M Nottingham), James b 10 March 1900 (A/M/J Nottingham), Leonard and Arthur. In 1901 Henry (28), a printer, and Annie (30) were living at 6 Grafton Terrace, Nottingham, with their three children, Henry (5), Ethel (3) and James (1). By 1911 the family was living at 18 The Poplars, Beeston: Henry (38), a printer, Annie (39), and three of their five children: Henry (15) a letter press printer, Leonard (6) and Arthur (4). Henry joined the Royal Navy on 4 June 1913. The family home was at 37 Gladstone Street when he was killed in 1916. Henry's brother, James, may have joined the Royal Air Force on 11 July 1919: James Foster (19), b. 10 March 1900 Nottingham, service number 332302. In 1939 at the time of the England & Wales Register, Henry, a builder's labourer, and Annie were living at 33 Gladstone Street.
He was a printer. When he joined the Royal Navy in 1913 he gave his occupation as 'lab' [labourer] at a telephone works
31 May 1916
20
2876818 - CWGC Website
J/25113
Able Seaman
HMS Black Prince Royal Navy
Henry was 17 years old when he joined the Royal Navy on 4 June 1913 as a Boy 2nd Class. He entered on a 12 year engagement on his 18th birthday, 26 February 1914. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Vivid I, 4 June 1913-26 September 1913 (Boy 2nd Class, Boy 1st Class 13 September 1913); HMS Implacable, 27 September 1913-10 February 1914; HM London, 11 February 1914-4 March 1914 (Ordinary Seaman, 26 February 1914), Victory, 5 March 1914-26 April 1914; HMS Black Prince, 21 April 1914-31 May 1916 (Able Seaman, 11 December 1914). His service record was annotated: ‘NP 4065/1916. DD [discharged dead] 31st May, 1916. Killed in action.’ His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. HMS Black Prince was sunk at Jutland on May 31st 1916. The circumstances surrounding her loss were unclear for many years because there were no positive sightings of Black Prince after 17.42. Recent historians hold to the German account of the ship's sinking. Black Prince briefly engaged the German battleship Rheinland at about 23:35 GMT, scoring two hits with 6-inch shells. Separated from the rest of the British fleet, Black Prince approached the German lines at approximately midnight. She turned away from the German battleships, but it was too late. The German battleship Thüringen fixed Black Prince in her searchlights and opened fire. Up to five other German ships, including battleships Nassau, Ostfriesland, and Friedrich der Grosse, joined in the bombardment, with return fire from Black Prince being ineffective. Most of the German ships were between 750 and 1500 yards of Black Prince - effectively point blank range for contemporary naval gunnery. Black Prince was hit by at least twelve heavy shells and several smaller ones, sinking within 15 minutes. There were no survivors from Black Prince's crew, all 857 being killed.
'In memoriam' notice published 31st May 1918, Nottingham Evening Post :- “FOSTER. – In loving memory of my beloved son, Harry, A. A.B., lost with H.M.S. Black Prince in the battle of Jutland May 31st, 1916. Unseen by the world he stands by my side, and whispers “Dear mother, death cannot divide.” Grant him eternal rest, O Lord. – From his sorrowing mother, father, sister, and brothers.” 'In memoriam' notice published 31st May 1919, Nottingham Evening Post :- “FOSTER. – In ever-loving memory of our dear son and brother, Harry, A.B., who went down with H.M.S. Black Prince in the Jutland battle, May 31st, 1916. Others, too, have had their troubles; we, like others, must be brave, for we know our loved one's sleeping peacefully in a sailor's grave. – Mother, father, sister, and brothers.” Above in memoriam are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 The Bundeswehr Museum of Military History, Dresden: Painting, oil on canvas: ‘SMS Thueringen destroys the English cruiser Black Prince in a night battle at 2am on 1 June.’ Clause Bergen (1885-1964). Caption: 'Present given by the commander of Thueringen, Captain Hans Kuesel, to his nephew in 1921. Bergen established his reputation as a marine painter with depictions of the Battle of Jutland (31 May-1 June 1916). When the Imperial German Fleet returned home, he was in Wilhelmshaven and asked officers involved in the battle to give him detailed accounts of the events.'
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph was published 26th June 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Henry Foster - Photograph was published 26th June 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918