Siblings: Annie, Francis, Edith, Robert, Edward, Elsie, Elizabeth
Organisations/clubs: Shipley Celtics FC
Rolls of Honour: St Paul’s, Shipley
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
John Leonard Foster
Although referred to in the report of his death as John Willie, in the CWWG records and census returns he is given as John Leonard.In 1911 he was living with his parents and seven siblings at 3 Wharf Street, Shipley. A Worksop family they appear to have moved to Shipley around 1897.On 31 August 1917, the Shipley Times & Express reported:Mrs Foster, wife of Gunner John Willie Foster, aged 24, of 16 Lorne Street, Valley Road, Shipley, has received word that her husband was killed on June 2nd, 1917.Gunner Foster, who was in the
RFA, leaves a widow and two young childrenHe was a Shipley man and the son of Mr Robert Foster, boat builder, Shipley. Prior to joining the army in March 1915, he worked with his father. He went to France the Christmas of the same year and has never been home on leave.Foster was a scholar at the Shipley Parish Church Day Schools and played football with the Shipley Celtic AFC. He was held in high respect in the district.
Writing to the widow, Major Victor Holliday, RFA, says: “You will have by this time heard from the war office the sad news about your husband so I am just writing to say how deeply sorry we all are and to offer you our sincere sympathy in your great loss.“Your husband had been in our battery almost the whole time he had been in the brigade and I always looked upon him as one of the steadiest and most reliable men I had and a harder worker I never knew.
“He met his death while the battery was being heavily shelled and I am glad to say he suffered no pain. He was buried by the chaplain close by and though I may not mention any names in this letter, I am certain some of his comrades will call upon you when they are home and then they can tell you more than I am allowed to write.“We shall have a cross put on the grave with his name and regiment on. One of his comrades is forwarding to you the few little effects that were in his pockets. I hope you will accept my deepest sympathy.”