Elijah Foster – Miss Turner's Great-Great-Grandad
This man, Elijah Foster, is my Grandma's, Mum's, Dad – making him my Great-Great-Grandad!
He was born in 1893 (127 years ago!) and he lived most of his life in Barrow Haven - a village only a few miles away from where I live myself! Our family doesn't know very much about Elijah's service during World War 1, but we do know this story.
Elijah's service was towards the end of WW1, in 1918. Elijah and his regiment were posted to Vaucelette Farm, in the Northern Somme region of France. This was his last known location when he was reported as missing in action. During this time, his wife Mabel (my Great-Great-Grandma) was pregnant. When the child was born, she named her Vaucelette – the location where her husband went missing.
However, the real story came about later … That day, he went out on a reconnaissance as a scout with a couple of other fellow soldiers (this means he went spying on the enemy to gather information about what they were doing!) However, when they returned, they found that the rest of their regiment had unfortunately been wiped out and the German front line was now beyond their position. It took him and his friends 3 months to make it back to the safety of the British line –with probably a lot of explaining to do about where they had been!
However, Elijah returned home safely to his family and was awarded the British War and Victory medal. He and Mabel had 7 children together: 2 sons, Thomas (1920-1971) and Kenneth (1922-1995); and 5 daughters, Ivy Evelyn (1914-2011), Ruth Maud (1916-1920), Vaucelette (1918-2002). Sylvia May (1923-2005) and Eva Winifred (1931-2002) – Eva is my Great-Grandma (my Grandma's Mum)!
Mabel died in 1974, 4 days after my Mum was born and Elijah died in 1983 at 90 years old.
My Mum can vaguely remember visiting Elijah (her Great-Grandad) when she was little. This is what she said:
"I remember visiting Great-Grandad's house with my Mum and brother. He always used to have wooden crates of apples he had picked from the trees in the garden, piled up high in the porch. He used to love sitting in his big, brown-leather, high-backed armchair and always dressed in a shirt and tie. We knew we always had to be well behaved and respectful at his house!"