Robert Thomas Foster was born in Buckhurst Hill in 1893. He was son of Robert John, a builder’s labourer, and Esther Jane Foster. In 1901, the family was living at 11 Jersey Terrace, Prospect Road, Woodford Green. By 1911, Robert and his family lived at 1 Nodel Cottage, Glebe Avenue, Woodford Green, and Robert was working as a farm labourer.
Robert enlisted in Stratford before the war with the 1st South, Staffordshire Regiment. He was with his regiment in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, when war broke out, and returned to Southampton on 19th September 1914 to join 22 Brigade in the 7th Division. The regiment arrived at Zeebrugge on 6th October 1914 to assist in the defence of Antwerp, Belgium, but they arrived too late to prevent the fall of the city. The battalion took up defensive positions at important bridges and junctions to aid in the retreat of the Belgian army.
Robert was one of three men from the regiment to be ‘Killed in Action’ on 6th November 1914. His body was not recovered.
Research by Adrian Lee and Redbridge Museum
Commonwealth War Graves Commission