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The grave of Private Frederick Foskett, Lancashire Fusilier, killed during the Great War rededicated a century later

The resting place of Private Frederick Foskett was honoured during a rededication service held at the Prowse Point Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Colin Foskett (Fredericks great nephew) and his wife Carol Foskett lay a wreath at his grave during yesterday’s ceremony, Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.

Colin Foskett (Fredericks great nephew) and his wife Carol Foskett lay a wreath at his grave during yesterday’s ceremony, Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.

The resting place of Private (Pte) Frederick Foskett was honoured on Thursday 2 May during a rededication service held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Prowse Point Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Pte Ricky Foskett (Fredericks great, great, great nephew) honours his relative, Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.
Pte Ricky Foskett (Fredericks great, great, great nephew) honours his relative, Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.

The service, organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), part of Defence Business Services (DBS), was conducted by the Reverend Stuart Richards CF Chaplain, 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and attended by 8 members of Pte Foskett’s family who travelled to attend the moving ceremony.

Colin and Carol Foskett, Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.
Colin and Carol Foskett, Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.

Louise Dorr, JCCC said:

It has been a pleasure to organise this rededication service for Pte Frederick Foskett and spend time with his family. Being able to confirm Pte Foskett’s identity has brought closure and it has been rewarding to know that he now has been found and that his family are now able to visit his final resting place.

The Reverend Stuart Richards said:

It has been humbling and moving to see the reaction of Pte Foskett’s family and to share this emotional day with them has been the upmost privilege.

Pte Foskett was buried with full military honours as an unknown soldier in April 2015 alongside his commrades. Despite extensive research and DNA testing at this time no identities were confirmed. This case was revisited last year by the JCCC and additional candidates serving with the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, killed in action on 18 October 1914, were identified and their families contacted. A positive DNA result has meant JCCC were able to confirm the identity of Pte Foskett and the rededication ceremony was arranged.

Frederick was born in 1888 in London and was aged 27 when he was killed in action during the first few months of the Great War. Frederick’s Battalion’s Operational Orders confirm they were ordered to attack and hold Le Touquet before advancing towards Gheer in Belgium. Six men are known to have been killed by the concussion of a bursting shell whilst sheltering under the culvert of a level crossing; Frederick was one of these brave men.

Wreaths lie in front of Pte Foskett’s headstone, Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.
Wreaths lie in front of Pte Foskett’s headstone, Crown Copyright, All rights reserved.

The new headstone bearing the name of Pte Frederick Foskett has been provided by the CWGC and bears a personal inscription chosen by his family.

David Avery, CWGC Commemorations Officer said:

The Commission has commemorated Private Foskett by name on the Ploegsteert Memorial since its’ unveiling in 1931. It is very moving to be able to rededicate his grave today, which is now marked with a new headstone bearing his name. The Commission is committed to caring for his grave, and his memory in perpetuity.

Published 7 May 2019