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Pte 16185 Thomas Foster

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:17 am
by Huw
I am trying to find out more about my grandfather who served as a private, first in the Worcestershire Regiment from 1914, then later in the Dorsetshire Regiment as Private 40575, until 1920.
He survived the war and lived until 1977 but was a taciturn man who never talked about his past. I know he was wounded at some point and I would like to know more about his service record.
As a novice to military history I would like to know if was common to serve in two regiments (why?) and also wonder why my grandfather, who was a country boy living in a North Yorkshire village, should choose to join the Worcestershire Regiment instead of a local one. I understand from my father that my grandfather may have lied about his age, as so many seem to have done.
I would be grateful for any information.
Huw Foster

Re: Pte 16185 Thomas Foster

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:51 pm
by scully
Hi Huw,

I had a look at his medal index card which shows he served with the 10th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.

He first entered the Theatre of War on the 19th July 1915 in France. It is possible this was not with the Worcestershire Regiment but with the Dorset Regiment.

The medal index card show both the Victory Medal and the War Medal were issued to him whilst serving in the 10th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.

He was transferred to Z Class on the 19th March 1919.

It is very common to have served in more than one Regiment during WW1.

Others in the Forum make come up with more help and advise.


Louis (webmaster)

Re: Pte 16185 Thomas Foster

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:17 pm
by Huw
Hi Louis
That's very interesting and all new to me. Thank you. My interest has been sparked by a recent Leger Battlefields tour of the Somme and the Ypres Salient. I found it fascinating and realised with regret that I had no idea where my grandfather had served. Looking round Ypres, the Somme and the tunnels under Arras I wondered if he had been there and what he might have experienced. It would certainly explain his taciturnity.
I wonder why soldiers transferred between regiments, would I be right in supposing that this was an administrative decision and not a choice of the individual?
I remember being told that he was shot in the legs and he suffered wounds that troubled him all his life; I would love to know in which battlefield he was injured but I suppose it would now be a difficult thing to discover? Sadly there is no-one alive in my family who would know.
Thanks again for your help.

Re: Pte 16185 Thomas Foster

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:06 pm
by John(txic)
Transfers came about for many reasons. A soldier may have joined the 1st Loamshires, but when his draft arrived at Etaples he and his mates could be sent to the 1st Jocks who had just suffered heavy casualties and urgently needed replacements. Also, when returning from hospital he could also be drafted into a battalion that was in dire need. Montgomery was well aware of the deleterious effects on morale such enforced transfers had, and did his utmost to prevent this happening when in charge of 8th Army in the later conflict.

Re: Pte 16185 Thomas Foster

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:11 pm
by Huw
Thanks John, all becomes clear. My first thought was that he had chosen to move to another regiment, however what you say makes more sense. I can imagine the men would hate being moved away from their comrades to another regiment.
Is there any way I can find out which actions he was involved in from the medals awarded? (mentioned in the first reply by scully)