Lieutenant Harold Egbert Foizey

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Harold's entry on the WW1 memorial at King Edward's School, Edgbaston.

Killed in Action on Saturday, 1st July 1916, age 31.
Buried in Grave I. D. 42. at Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps, Somme, France.

18th Bn., West Yorkshire Regt. (Prince of Wales Own). 93rd Brigade of 31st Division.

Son of Benjamin and Alice Foizey, of Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Leeds, Resident: Leeds.

First landed Egypt, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the St. Augustine of Hippo Memorial, Wrangthorn, Leeds.
Commemorated here because his death was reported in the Tipton Herald.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/524726/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Harold Edgar Foizey registered September quarter 1885 in Dudley.

1891 Census
11 Sedgley Road West, Tipton.
Benjamin Foizey (37, Schoolmaster, born Pensnett), his wife Alice (34, born Enville), and their children: Benjamin (8, born Tipton), Edgar (6, born Tipton), Harold (5, born Tipton), Sidney A. (3, born Tipton).

1901 Census
Sedgley Road, Tipton. (near Barrel Inn)
Benjamin Foizey (47, Schoolmaster, born Pensnett), his wife Alice (45, born Enville) , and their children: Benjamin (18, born Tipton), Edgar (16, born Tipton), Harold (15, born Tipton), Sidney A. (13, born Tipton) and Edith (11, born Tipton).

1911 Census
62 Hurst Lane, Tipton.
Harold Edgar Foizey (25, Estimating Clerk at Iron and Steel Tube Works, born Tipton) and his sister Edith Mary (21, Student, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Harold was born on 26th June 1885 and was educated for a short time at King Edward VI's High School in Birmingham. He was admitted as a Foundation Scholar in September 1900; according to school records he stayed for no more than a year. This was probably because his father died in mid-1901, his mother died 4 years later in 1905.

At the time of joining the Army, Harold was living at 44 Richmond Mount, Headingley, Leeds. He was employed by Stewart & Lloyds, an iron and steel manufacturer in Leeds. He enlisted as a Private [15/343] with the 15th Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment (Leeds Pals) in September 1914. Just 8 months later, on 24th May 1915, he was given a temporary commission as a Lieutenant with the 18th Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment (2nd Bradford Pals).

Harold first served in Egypt, landing in January 1916. His battalion moved to France just 2 months later in March 1916.

Action resulting in his death

Ralph Hudson's book 'The Bradford Pals' makes a few mentions of Harold Foizey.
Corporal Norman Goldthorpe's diary entry for the 1st July 1916 records: "At 08:20 I remember saying a little prayer, and just before we climbed out our platoon officer Lieut. Foizey said "I know that I will not come back", I told him " to believe he would as I certainly believed I would".
The entry continues: "I scrambled out behind Lieutenant Foizey with his section of Bombers...... having not travelled more than 30 yards or so the section was reduced to 4 men. Lieutenant Foizey ordered his small party to take cover behind a small hillock, whilst he went forward to see what was happening, but he was killed covering only a couple of yards".

Another account published in the Yorkshire Evening Post, of 10th July 1916, is from a letter written by George William Cosby to Foizey's sister:
"I saw Lieutenant Foizey tumble over the back of a trench, wounded in the thigh, I made him comfortable, and had his wounds dressed, and placed him in a traverse at the back of the trench, soon afterwards a terrible explosion took place, throwing up all the sandbags and earthwork, in the immediate neighbourhood, and burying several men, together with Lieutenant Foizey."

Norman Goldthorpe survived the war eventually gaining a commission with the East Yorks Regiment.
On the 1st of July 1974 he made a final pilgrimage to France, by then in his late seventies, visited the grave of Lieutenant Foizey. On his return he wrote the following in his old First World War Diary:
"Fifty eight years to the day, on the 1st July 1974, I was to stand beside his grave in Euston Road Cemetery, and pay my last respects, to a very gallant Gentleman".

Harold is buried in Euston Road British Cemetery, at Colincamps north-east of Albert. He is believed to be commemorated on the Moseley Ashfield Cricket Club War Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

The Yorkshire Evening Post, 10th July 1916
Lieut. Harold [Egbert] Foizey, [31] of the 18th West Yorkshire Regiment [2nd Bradford Pals], is officially reported missing in the recent fighting. In the employment of Messrs. Stewarts and Lloyds [Ltd], iron and steel manufacturers, Neville Street, Leeds, when the war broke out, Mr. Foizey enlisted in the Leeds Pals Battalion as a private, and was afterwards given a commission with the Bradford Pals. Although he is reported as missing there is a grave reason to fear he has been killed. Writing to his sister, who lives at Headingley, a fellow officer says that he saw Lieutenant Foizey tumble over the back of a trench, wounded in the thigh. He made him 'comfortable' and had his wound dressed and placed him in a small traverse at the back of the trench. Soon afterwards a terrible explosion took place, throwing up all the sandbags and earthworks in the immediate neighbourhood and burying several men together with Lieutenant Foizey underneath. Lieut. G. W. Cosby, who sends the sad news, is himself in hospital in Hampshire from wounds received in the same attack. To use his own words he has been "peppered all over his legs and body with small pieces of casing." The nurses [he adds] call me "Fragments from France."

Birmingham Daily Post 28th September 1916
Lieutenant Harold Egbert Foizey, West Yorkshire Regiment, who was previously reported wounded and missing, is now reported to have been killed in action on July 1. Lieutenant Foizey, who was 31 years of age, was the third son of the late Benjamin and Alice Foizey, of Tipton, and a brother of the Rev. Edgar Foizey, curate of St. Michael and All Angels, Walsall. When he was first reported wounded and missing his friends received a letter from the front stating that after receiving his wound Lieutenant Foizey was buried in the collapse of a trench caused by the explosion of an enemy shell. Since then a letter has been received by an officer of his regiment stating that Lieutenant Foizey's body was discovered by men engaged in repairing trenches and that it was given reverent burial by an army chaplain.

Tipton Herald 30th September 1916
On July 1st, killed in action, Lieut Harold Egbert Foizey, West Yorks. Regt., third son of the late Benjamin and Alice Foizey of Tipton, aged 31 years.

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour
FOIZEY, HAROLD EGBERT, Lieut. The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment), son of Benjamin Foizey, Schoolmaster, by his wife Alice. Born Tipton, Stafford, 26th June 1885, educated King Edward VI's High School, Birmingham. Obtained a commission in August 1914; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders, and was killed in action 1 July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, being buried in the collapse of a trench, caused by the bursting of a shell. Buried in Euston Road British Cemetery, Colincamps, north-east of Albert; unmarried.

Probate of his Estate
FOIZEY Harold Egbert of 44 Richmond Mount, Headingley, Leeds. Lieutenant H.M. Army died 1 July 1916 in France.
Probate London 28 October to Leslie Ormond Butler bank manager. Effects £67 2s. 3d.