In memory of John Foster, of Halifax, who departed this life March 11th 1862 aged 56 years.
When sorrowing o'er this stone I bend. Which covers all that was my friend and from his hand, his voice, his smile. Divides me for a little while. My Saviour marks the tears I shed. For "Jesus wept" o'er Lazarus dead.
Also of Thomas Binns Foster, son of the above who died Feby 22nd 1877, aged 24 years.
Our loss though great his eternal gain.
Also Emma, the beloved wife of William Henry Foster, born March 12th 1854, died March 15th 1888.
Also Harold, infant son of the above born, Sept. 15th 1887, died June 28th 1888.
Also of Mary, the beloved wife of the above named John Foster, born August 10th 1817, died June 22nd 1896.
In loving memory of Lieut Charles Clifford Foster, who fell in action in France July 29th 1918, aged 32 years.
He gave his young life for others, no man can do more than this.
Also Thomas Haigh Foster, born Feb. 8th 1879, died Nov. 9th 1918.
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Also William Henry Foster, born June 22nd 1854, died Dec.10th 1927.
Charles was born at Halifax on 21st June 1886, second son of William Henry and Emma Foster. He was educated at King William’s College, Isle of Man and Heath Grammar School, and at Edinburgh University. He later assisted his father at Edward Foster and Son Limited, brassfounders.
He volunteered for active service soon after the outbreak of the war, enlisting as a private with the Cheshire Regiment in September 1914. After passing through non-commissioned rank, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant with the same regiment. Charles was sent to Palestine in November 1917 and from there to France at the end of June 1918. On 29th July, whilst advancing near Grand Rozoy, he was fatally wounded. The circumstances of Charles’s death were reported in a letter to his father from Lt. Col. Howard L. Moir:
“…We were advancing near Grand Rozoy when we came under extremely heavy German machine-gun fire from some woods in front, and your son was hit just below the heart. The Germans later counter-attacked and our line was compelled to withdraw for a short distance. One of the sergeants of your son’s company, Sgt. Stimpson, his platoon sergeant, remained behind with your son; later the line was again advanced, and your son’s body was recovered; Sgt. Stimpson was wounded and removed to hospital by another unit. From the nature of your son’s wound it is improbable that he suffered much pain. He was buried by our chaplain near the village of Grand Rozoy….”
Lt. Col. Moir continued:
“...The only consolation lies in fact that he died in the accomplishment of what is probably one of the greatest victories of the war, and an action which may have great results. It was the first appearance of our men in action in France, and although put to a very severe test they displayed wonderful courage and determination and earned the very highest praise from the French with whom we were fighting side by side. Since he joined the battalion in Palestine your son has always done his work cheerfully and well, and his loss will be deeply felt by us all....”
(Excerpts from a report in the Halifax Courier, dated Saturday, August 17, 1918)
Charles was later reburied at the Rapiere British Cemetery, Villemontoire, France - Grave VI.D.1. (CWGC)
He is commemorated at Lister Lane Cemetery on the gravestone of grave number 633
Source of biographical information including the image of Lieutenant Charles Clifford Foster:
The Halifax Courier, dated August 17th, 1918
CWGC: Courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission