Bates Foster – East Lancashire Regt – 1891 to 1901
Sep 1872 – Bates Foster is born in Burnley
1881 – The Census of that year shows Bates with is family living in Burnley:-
Dwelling: 10 Hope St
Census Place: Burnley, Lancashire, England
Source: FHL Film 1341993 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 4148 Folio 136 Page 5
Joseph FOSTER 33 M Burnley, Lancashire, England
Alice FOSTER 32 F Burnley, Lancashire, England
Occ: Cotton Weaver
Thomas FOSTER 9 M Burnley, Lancashire, England
Bates FOSTER 7 M Burnley, Lancashire, England
Albert E. FOSTER 2 M Burnley, Lancashire, England
24 Mar 1891 – War Office letter grants special authority for the enlistment of No.3707 Pte. Foster of the 3rd Bn. East Lancashire
into the Regular Army. The problem would seem to have been that his chest measurement on the previous day had been below the
minimum standard (he was 30 inches normal, 33 expanded). However permission is sought by the CO of the 30th Regiment
District and approved by Horse Guards. At his enlistment Foster had served 49 days in the Militia.
25 Mar 1891- Found fit for service in the Army by Major A.S. Ratican at Burnley, Bates Foster is enlisted by Col. Sgt. Flanagan into
the East Lancashire Regiment for a term of 12 years, 7 in the colours and 5 in the reserve. Foster had previously been in the 3rd
Battalion of the East Lancashire, he gave his age as 18 years and 6 months and his birthplace as Burnley, his trade at the time was
as a weaver. The description of Bates Foster at his enlistment was 5ft 6in tall, 115lbs, fresh complexion, hazel eyes, dark brown
hair and Church of England by religious denomination. He further had tattoos in the shape of an anchor and 4 dots on his left
forearm, and a small scar on his left forehead. Private Foster, now No.3175 of the East Lancashire, is posted to the Depot of that
regiment. The next of Kin of Private Foster is stated as his father, Joseph, mother Alice, elder brother Thomas, younger brother
Albert, elder sister Annie and younger sister Emma, all of 42 Cameron St., Burnley.
04 Jul 1891 – Foster arrives at Mullingar, Ireland for service with the 1st Bn. East Lancashire.
26 Apr 1892 – Foster gains his 3rd class certificate of education.
01 Jun 1892 – Private Foster is reported for ‘inattention at signalling practice’ at Mullingar. The witnesses were Sgt. Harding, L/Cpl
Holgate & Pte. Davidson. Major Little, the Officer Commanding, deals with the offence with an admonishment.
27 Jun 1892 – Private Foster is reported for being ‘absent from lamp practice around 9pm’ at Mullingar. The witnesses were Sgt.
Harding & L/Cpl Holgate. Lt. Col. Goodwyn, the Commanding Officer deals with the offence with an admonishment.
26 Nov 1892 – Private Foster leaves the UK for service in India on board the HMS Serapis.
22 Dec 1892 – The 1st ELR arrive in India and by the end of the month are in station at Lucknow.
25 Mar 1893 – Foster is granted his first good conduct badge and 1d/day pay rise after 2 years problem free service.
03 Apr 1893 – Foster is appointed as a Lance Corporal.
25 Sep 1893 – Foster is reported at Lucknow for ‘neglect of duty when Orderly Corporal’ by L/Sgt Carroll. Major Evans orders that
he reverts to the rank of Private.
26 Sep 1893 – Foster reverts to the rank of Private.
27 Mar 1894 – Foster is stationed at Ranikhet from this date.
03 Nov 1894 – Foster gains his 2nd class certificate of education.
13 Nov 1894 – Foster is stationed at Lucknow from this date.
17 Nov 1894 – Foster is appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal.
04 Apr 1895 – Lance Corporal Foster, as part of the 1st ELR joins the Malakand Field Force for service on the Frontier.
27 Aug 1895 – The 1st ELR return to Lucknow. Under Army Order 72 of 1896 (paragraph A of paragraph 3), Lance Corporal
Foster is awarded the India 1895 campaign medal with clasp ‘Relief of Chitral 1895’.
12 Oct 1895 – Lance Corporal Foster is reported at Lucknow for being ‘absent from signalling Parade at 6pm’. The witnesses are
Sgt. Sullivan and Pte. Davis. Foster is on orders in front of Major Wright on the 14th, who reprimands him.
24 Dec 1895 – Lance Corporal Foster is reported at Lucknow for being ‘absent from firing the annual course’ and being ‘Drunk in
barracks about 11am’. The witness for the first charge was C/Sgt. Sleeman (backed up by a sick report) and the witnesses for the
second charge were L/Sgt. Lewin & L/Cpl Bamford. Foster is on orders in front of Major Wright on the 27th, who severely
04 Feb 1896 – Foster is admitted to hospital at Lucknow suffering from a sprained toe, he spends 15 days as a patient.
19 Feb 1896 – A Court of Enquiry is held at the Station Hospital, Lucknow, by order of Major General G. Corrie Bird CB,
Commanding at Lucknow, for the purpose of investigating the circumstances under which No.3175 Lance Corporal Bates Foster,
East Lancashire Regt. was injured. The President of this board was Major J.F. Brown, 2/Essex with 2/Lt. R.Hihon 1/E.Lancs. and
2/Lt. H.F. Bundock 2/Essex being the members.
The court having assembled pursuant to order, proceed to take evidence:-
1st Evidence : No.3175 Lance Corporal Bates Foster 1/E. Lancs. Regt. states:
At Lucknow on the evening of the 3rd of February 1896 about 5pm, I was jumping outside the bungalow, I caught my toe in a
drain, and sprained my big toe. I came to hospital the following morning, & remained there 14 days.
2nd Evidence: No.2958 Lance Corporal W. Shorrock 1/E. Lancs. Regt. states:-
At Lucknow on the 3rd of February 1896 about 5pm, I was outside the bungalow, Lance Corporal Foster was jumping about 10
minutes afterwards, as Lance Corporal Foster was running to take a jump, he caught his foot in an open drain, he fell down,
complained that he had hurt his foot.
3rd Evidence : Sgt. Major Stuart, A.M.S. states that ‘No.3175 L/Cpl Foster B. 1/E. Lancs. Regt. was admitted into the Station
Hospital Lucknow on 04-02-96 suffering from sprain of right big toe which he states was caused by jumping outside the Bungalow.
Probably caused as stated but the injury will not incapacitate him from further service in the Army’.
Major Wright, CO of the 1/E. Lancs. also states that ‘I am of opinion that No.3175 Lce. Corporal Bates Foster 1/East Lancs. met
with the accident as stated when not on duty. That it will not incapacitate him from further military service.’
12 Mar 1896 – Foster arrives in Burma from India, the Regiment are based at Thayetmyo.
04 May 1896 – Foster is admitted to hospital at Thayetmyo suffering from primary syphilis. He is treated without mercury and
discharged on the 12th of May.
11 Jun 1896 – Foster is reported at Thayetmyo for a multitude of offences including:-
1. Drunk and creating a disturbance in the Cpl’s room about 9.10pm
2. Improperly dressed in the Cpl’s room.
3. Committing a nuisance in the Bungalow around 11.55pm.
13 Jun 1896 – Foster reverts to the rank of Private after being convicted of the offences on the 11th by Major Wright.
21 Oct 1896 – Foster is again admitted to hospital at Thayetmyo suffering from primary syphilis. He is treated with mercury and
discharged on the 1st of November 1896.
06 Jan 1897 – Foster is appointed as a Lance Corporal.
25 Mar 1897 – Foster is granted his second good conduct badge and 1d a day pay rise after 6 years problem free service.
03 Jul 1897 – Lance Corporal Foster passes as an Assistant Instructor in Army signalling at Poona.
05 Nov 1897 – Lance Corporal Foster is posted to the 2nd Battalion of the East Lancashire Regt.
25 Jan 1898 – Foster arrives back in station at Lucknow after passage from Burma.
28 Mar 1898 – Foster arrives in station at Ranikhet.
01 Jun 1898 – Foster elects to come under the provisions of Army Order No.65 of 1898 with effect from 1st of June 1898.
10 Nov 1898 – Foster arrives in station at Bareilly.
26 Jan 1899 – Foster begins passage from India back to the UK.
15 Feb 1899 – Foster arrives back in the UK after passage from India.
17 Feb 1899 – Having completed his 7 years in the colours, Lance Corporal Foster is transferred to the Army Reserve section ‘A’ at
Fort Brockhurst, Gosport. He gave his address as being No.3 Stanworth Street, Burnley Lane, Burnley.
18 Dec 1899 – Foster is recalled from the Army Reserve under Special Order of the 16th of December 1899 for service in South
13 Jan 1900 – Foster is sent for service in South Africa with the 1st Battalion of the East Lancashire Regt.
02 Aug 1900 – Foster returns from service in South Africa.
09 Jan 1901 – A medical history of Lance Corporal Foster is carried out at Preston, which finds that his conduct had been very
good, his habits regular and he was a temperate man. The disability that the board was investigating was due to a Gun Shot
wound that it states:-
“He (Pte. Foster) states that on June 4th 1900 he was struck by a Mauser bullet on the outer aspect of right upper arm. He states
that he cannot abduct arm. He states there is a loss of sensation over region supplied by circumflex and muscular spiral nerves.
There is also loss of power in his right hand. There is no reaction of degeneration, & no wasting of muscles. The pulses at the wrist
are normal. He states that his right hand is liable to become cold and blue. The Patients condition is the result of active service in
South Africa. It has not been aggravated by vice, intemperance or misconduct. The powers of supiration and apronation are
unimpaired. No atrophy of Deltoid muscle, but there may be a loss of power. Circumflex nerve may have been injured.
The injury was received in action in South Africa, whilst in a stooping posture signalling, on duty outside Pretoria.”
The disability was said to “not very much interfere with his ability to earn a livelihood at present”, and the wound had been treated
with Faradisation, massage, warmth and exercises. He was however granted a 50% disability pension
31 Jan 1901 – Lance Corporal Foster is discharged from the Army having been found medically unfit for further service. His service
at this time was 9 years and 313 days. He gave his intended place of residence as being 9 Oak Leaf Terrace, Cornholme, nr
Todmorden. In respect to his disability he is awarded a pension of 15 pence/day on a permanent basis.
18 Apr 1901 – Foster is paid a war gratuity from the Station Paymaster of the 30th/47th Regimental District.
16 Oct 1901 – At Vereeniging the 1/E. Lancs. produce a roll of men who were entitled to the Queens South Africa medal for
services in that campaign. Foster is awarded the QSA with clasps for Paardeberg, Dreifontein, Johannesburg & Cape Colony (he
had served in the Mounted Infantry Company) and is shown on the roll as being ‘invalided to England’.
12 Dec 1901 – Foster is examined for a medical report at Halifax which finds that ‘there is slight wasting of R upper extremity. The
loss of sensation is unaltered and the loss of power also. Slight progressive towards recovery.’ He had been employed in bill
delivering for Frank Foster, Burnley Bill Posting Co., Burnley, which was paying about 8/- a week.
14 Dec 1901 – Bates Foster marries Edith Ellen Pickles, a spinster, at Todmorden. The witnesses were a Fred Pickles and Hannah
15 Feb 1904 – Albert Edward Foster, 1st child of Bates and Edith, is born at Todmorden.
10 Sep 1914 – At the age of 41 years and 317 days, Bates Foster enlists at Burnley for War Service under the Army Reserve
(Special Reservists) scheme for a year. He joins the 3rd Battalion of the East Lancashire Regt. at Prston as No.7027 and is
immediately promoted to Corporal. At enlistment his next of kin is stated as his wife, Edith Ellen, at 7 Ingfield Terrace, Cornholme,
Todmorden. His physical description at this re-enlistment was 5ft 8 in tall, 125lb, fresh complexion, brown eyes and hair and a
Baptist by religion, he had tattoos on the front of his chest, right and left arms as well as a scar on his back.
29 Sep 1914 – Corporal Foster is promoted to Sergeant and posted to the 7th Battalion of the East Lancashire.
07 Nov 1914 – After less than 2 months in the Army, Sergeant Foster is discharged from the 7th Battalion East Lancashire (then
at Tidworth Pennings, Wiltshire) in consequence of ‘not being likely to become an efficient soldier on medical grounds para 392 iii
16 Aug 1915 – Bates Foster re-enlists yet again for the East Lancashire at Burnley, he states that he is 40 years and 10 months
old (plainly not true) and gives his address as being still at 7 Ingfield Terrace. He is appointed as a Sergeant straight away. His
descriptive report states that his distinctive marks were ‘Tattoo of crossed flags &c., front of chest. Various figures R & L
forearms, old gun shot wound on chest.’
17 Aug 1915 – Sgt. Foster arrives at the Depot of the East Lancashire Regt. at Preston.
20 Aug 1915 – Sgt. Foster is posted to the 3rd Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment as No.3/21202.
02 Nov 1915 – An application for discharge is made on Foster by the Medical Inspector of Recruits, Southern Command, due to
chronic dry catarrh of the middle ears causing deafness. The statement on him is ‘Sgt. Foster is suffering from advanced chronic
dry catarrh of the middle ear. The membranes are thickened and opaque. He hears speaking voices on right side at one inch, on
left side at 2 inches. He is in my opinion disabled by his deafness from active military service’.
23 Nov 1915 – The medical application is concurred with by the Medical Inspector of Recruits of No.8 District, Southern Command,
at Salisbury. He recommends discharge.
05 Jan 1916 – After less than 5 months in the Army, Sergeant Foster is again discharged from the 3rd (Res.) Battalion East
Lancashire (then at Plymouth as part of the S.W. Coastal Coast Defences) in consequence of ‘not being likely to become an
efficient soldier on medical grounds para 392 iii CKR.
04 Dec 1922 – Foster writes a letter to the Secretary of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea as follows:-
7 Ingfield Terrace
On the 3.1.1901 you wrote informing me that having considered the report of my case from the medical officer who had been
desired to examine me (you were pleased to grant me a permanent pension of fifteen pence a day from the expiration of my last
On the 1st of December 1922 I was called before a Medical Board at Halifax to have my pension reviewed. My disablement is just
the same as in 1901, and they gave me no decision, but said I should have to go before another Board either this week or next.
Would you kindly reply saying whether they are right in doing this as I have applied for no increase.
Bates Foster, Late 3175 L/Cpl, East Lancashire Regt.
13 Dec 1922 – The employer of Bates Foster, Walter Pickles of 755 Burnley Rd., Todmorten, signs a declaration as a witness to
the particulars of service of Foster.
31 May 1946 – Bates Foster, a retired weaving shuttle finisher of 3 Yew Tree Drive, Blackburn, dies at 129 Haslington Road,
Blackburn, he was 71 years old. The cause of death was stated as myocardial degeneration with complications caused by carcinoma
of the prostate. The informant on the death certificate is his son, A.E. Foster, of 70 Preston New Road, Blackburn.
Medal Rolls WO 100
Soldiers Papers, WO 364
|Bates Foster – East Lancashire Regt – 1891 to 1901