On 5 January 1917, the Shipley Times & Express reported:‘Pte Thomas Foy, of 8 Grange Mount, Baildon, was charged at the Otley Police Court on Monday with being an absentee from the 2nd King’s Own Loyal Lancaster Regt, stationed at Manchester.‘The prisoner pleaded guilty.‘He had been at home on leave for Christmas and should have returned on Thursday night but did not do so.Arrested‘He was arrested on Saturday and locked up thus spending New Year’s Eve in the cells.‘P.C. King said that when he arrested the man, he replied, “That’s all right.”‘Prisoner said he had no defence. He had overstayed his leave.‘The Chairman, Mr W H Baker: I suppose you had been having a merry Christmas? (laughter).
‘Prisoner: Yes, but I cannot say the same for the New Year. (laughter).‘Chairman: No, it is rather a sorry start.‘Prisoner was remanded to await an escort.’We don’t know what punishment awaited Tom when he returned to his regiment but later that year we learned that he was no rookie trying to duck out of the war.The news paper reported on 1 June 1917:‘Mr Tom Foy, whose home is at 8 Baildon Green and who is now staying at Union Street, Shipley, has seen considerable service in this war and before.‘He has served in India, Burma, China and South Africa with the 1st and 2nd Battalion King’s Own Royal Lancs.
‘He enlisted in 1895 in Manchester and his first experience of service abroad was in China (1897-9). Later he was at Singapore and the Malay Straits.‘He was in Africa in 1900 and served through the Boer campaign, his only misfortune being a severe attack of dysentery in Bloemfontein. During the campaign he was with the mounted infantry.‘When peace was declared (1902) Foy was in Pietermartsburg and with the remnant left of his regiment he was ordered home.‘ He was three months only at home when he was ordered out to India and thence on to the Northern China frontier of Upper Burma where he remained until 1907.‘He then returned to Manchester and was in the employ of British
Westimghouse Company until the latter part of the year when he shipped on one of the mail boats to Sidney.‘Signing off the ship’s articles when the Australian port was reached, he joined a three-masted barque to Canada. ‘From there he went through Montreal and California down to Gawport and to South America and after many adventures, crossed into Valparaiso, paying £21 10s passage money in order to join His Majesty’s forces and giving up a good position.‘He arrived in Liverpool on January 11th after a voyage on the S S Gronse and was in Ypres on February 18th and later at Neuve Chapelle, Hill 60 and again at Ypres during the second battle.‘He was carried out of the trenches wounded. Recovering, he was at Loos and again wounded. He was sent to Salonika from where he was invalided home to England.’