Stretford WW1 

Sidney Samuel Foster

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:03rd Bn
Name of Rgt or Ship:Grenadier Guards
Died:Between 14 - 17/09/1916Age:23
How Died:Killed in Action
Country of burial:FranceGrave Photo:No
Cemetery or Memorial:Serre Road No. 2 Cemetery, Somme
Town Memorial:Not Listed
Extra Information:
Born during the September quarter 1893 in the Altrincham R.D. - ref:
8a/201, the son of  Percy Algernon & Elizabeth Ann Foster (nee Yarwood)   
His birth was registered in the name of Sydney Samuel Foster.

His father - Percy Algernon Foster died in 1899 and in 1900, his mother
married a Jonathan Johnson who died in 1910.    The other children seem to
have held together but, for whatever reason, Samuel lived with his maternal
grand-parents - at least until 1911.

1901 Census - Old School Lane, Carrington.   Grandson (listed only as
Sydney) - aged: 8 - born: Carrington.  Head of household - Samuel Yarwood -
Married - aged: 69 - occ: Labourer on Farm - born: Dunham Massey.   Also -
Ellen Yarwood - Wife - aged: 66 - born: Carrington.   Plus an Aunt and a

1911 Census - 34 Hayes Road, Cadishead.    Grandson (listed only as Sydney)
- aged: 17 - occ: Loco Engine Cleaner - born: Carrington.   Head of
household - Samuel Yarwood - Married - aged: 79 - occ: Retired Wheelwright
- born: Dunham Massey.   Also - Ellen Yarwood - Wife - aged: 75 - born:
Carrington.    His grand-parents had been married for 54 years and had
produced 11 children, 3 of whom had died.

His maternal grandfather - Samuel Yarwood died in 1912, but his maternal
grand-mother survived until 1917, out-living Sydney.

I am most grateful to Neil Drum & Pete Thomas for allowing me to use
verbatim the following extract from their superb 623 page book "A District
at War - Irlam & Cadishead's Part in the Great War", an incredibly detailed
and comprehensive book that is not only a credit to them, but a magnificent
memorial to the WW1 men of that district.

Served with the 3rd Battalion, The Grenadier Guards, 2nd (Guards) Brigade,
Guards Division.

He was born (c. 1893) in Carrington, Cheshire.   In 1901 he was residing
with his grandparents, Samuel and Ellen Garwood, at the Old School House,
Carrington. Also living at the house was their daughter, Ruth (born c.
1880).   He later resided with his other grandmother, Mrs Foster, at 36
Hayes Road, Cadishead. His uncle and aunt, Mr and Mrs Hardie, lived next
door.   He was educated at Cadishead Wesleyan Day School and was also a
regular attendee at the chapel. He was employed as a locomotive driver at
Partington coaling basin, Manchester Ship Canal. He was described as a
finely built young fellow.

He enlisted at Manchester in 1915 into the Grenadier Guards and in 1916 he
was posted to the 3rd Grenadiers in France. A few days before he died he
wrote a cheerful letter to his aunt and elderly and sick grandmother in
which he said there was no likelihood of his getting leave granted, as some
of his comrades had been out since the Battle of Loos in 1915 and had not
been home.   

He was sorry to read that several local soldiers had been taken prisoner,
but hoped they would not have too bad a time:  "I don't think anybody knows
how long or how short the war will be. It is getting terrible out here, but
that's all I know about. The guns are roaring like thunder night and day.  
Don't be alarmed if you don't hear from me for a few days.   We have had a
brass band playing selections for us at night. I hope I shall see you
before long, and that this terrible war will be over.  We have travelled a
lot, and I have seen thousands of soldiers from all over England but no one
that I knew. I have seen some of the Cheshire's. I wish I was there or
close to it"    (Cheshire is only across the Ship Canal from Hayes Road
where he lived).   In another letter home he said, "I hope my luck will
stick to me, I think it will in answer to my grandmother's prayers".  Sadly
this was not to be the case.

On 14th September 1916, the battalion was in assembly positions east of
Ginchy on the Somme.   At 6.20am on the following day they advanced as part
of the Guards Brigade attack towards Lesboeufs, but before the battalion
had reached and cleared the first objective it had sustained heavy
casualties.   On 16th September the battalion was relieved and withdrawn to
Bernafay Wood.   It had suffered 412 casualties during this period.  
Official records list Sydney's date of death as Thursday, 14th September
1916, however, it has never been exactly established when he died.   He was
certainly killed in the above attack, sometime between 14th and 17th
September 1916 at the age of 23.   He is buried in the Serre Road Cemetery
No. 2, Beaumont Hamel, Somme, France, but the exact location of his grave
within the cemetery is unknown. He is therefore commemorated on a special
memorial headstone which states "Buried near this spot".  The local
newspaper reported that "he was deservedly held in high regard by all who
knew him".   His death was keenly felt by his relatives and friends.   His
grandmother was then 81 years old and in feeble health.     Medal
Entitlement: 15 Star Trio.

Memorials found on:
Manchester Ship Canal
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