8380094 Pte. Harry Foster was born in Holland Centre, a small community south of Owen Sound, Ontario, on June 21st, 1892.


Born to James and Ellen Foster, Harry was the eldest of their five children. His younger brothers, Gordon and Wilbert, would both see service as well. Gordon had enlisted with the First Contingent in 1914. Being assigned to the 15th Battalion, Gordon was taken prisoner during the Battle of St. Julian. Wilbert would be conscripted in October 1917.


Harry attested to the 147th Battalion on March 10th, 1916. Assigned to "B" Company under the command of Captain Mercer, and was billeted locally over the next couple of months, until the unit left for training at Camp Niagara in the spring of 1916. As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June.


In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain, on November 14th 1916.


On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R. Harry was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on April 10th, 1917. He would not report to the unit until the 17th, as the greater battle of Arras was still waging.


While serving with the 4th C.M.R., Harry would be hospitalized with diphtheria, before being transferred to the 3rd Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps in March of 1918, with whom he served through the spring and summer of 1918. Harry would spend the last months of the war hospitalized with an STD, a common ailment amongst men who tried living life to the fullest, knowing that they had a contract with death.


At war's end, Private Harry Foster was struck off strength of the C.E.F. on March 28th, 1919, and passed away on September 15th, 1954.




Credit and thanks for this biography goes to George Auer.