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6/2414 Private Thomas George Foster

1st Company 2nd Battalion

New Zealand Canterbury Regiment

19 February 1918 


Born on 01/04/1887 in Coromandel, Auckland , New Zealand.

His parents were William John Foster

(12/05/1865-25/09/1906 and

Wilhelmina Sykes(1865-28/11/1904).

 They were married on 12/05/1886.

Thomas had 4 brothers, James(1889-16/03/1963), Edmund Clarence(1890-14/06/1964),Henry Martin(06/10/1891-21/06/1917) and Alfred John Kyran(18/11/1892-20/10/1965). He also had 3 sisters, Catherine(born in1887), and twins Olive Francis Mary(born 29/01/1895) and Ivy(29/01/1895-29/01/1895).

In the  1911 NZ Electoral Roll, Thomas was recorded as living at 48 Lincoln Street Auckland and was employed as a gardener. His last job before enlisting was as a bushman working for Mr Nesbit Kalo ,whilst living at 10 Deadwood Terrace, Ponsonby, Auckland.

Thomas enlisted at Trentham on 02/05/1915 and had a medical the same day, details of which follow ;

Apparent Age - 27 Years 11 Months, Height - 5ft 7 inches, Weight - 10st 11lb

Chest Measurement - Minimum - 34 inches, Maximum - 38 inches, Complexion - Fair, Colour of Eyes - Green, Colour of Hair - Brown, Religious Profession - Roman Catholic.

Distinctive marks - Tattoo on both fore arms, Birth mark on right side of ?( wording in report illegible).

Also on the same day, Thomas was posted to the Canterbury Infantry Regiment 5th Reinforcements.

Whilst training at Trentham, he was struck down with influenza and was admitted to the camp hospital on 05/07/1915.To help his recovery, Thomas was granted sick leave from 19/07/1915 until 30/07/1915.

With training complete, Thomas was sent to Egypt, embarking at Wellington for the journey to Suez on 14/08/1915.

From Egypt, Thomas was transported to the island of Limnos, Greece, where he joined his battalion at Moudros on 30/09/1915.

In November, Thomas contracted jaundice and was admitted to the Hospital ship Neuralia on 09/11/1915. From here he was taken to Cairo and admitted to the NZ General Hospital there on 13/11/1915. 

It was over 2 months, before he was well enough to be released to the NZ Base depot at Ghezirch, Cairo on 19/02/1916.

Thomas joined up with 2nd battalion at Moascar on 07/03/1916 and was posted to 1st company, the next day he was appointed cook.

He left for France aboard S.S. Ascania from Alexandria on 08/04/1916 arriving in Marseilles between 14th & 16th April.

His service record only then records his trip on 31/08/1917 to UK on leave; not re-joining his unit until 13/09/1917.

He was killed in action on 13/02/1918.

Thomas was awarded the 1914-1915 Star,1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.

His brother Henry serving as Gunner 13/220 7th Battalion New Zealand Field Artillery was killed in action on 21/06/1917. He is buried in Strand Military Cemetery near Ploegsteert in Belgium. Plot VI Row A Grave 12.              


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