FOSTER, Jesse Alfred

Ordinary Seaman Jesse Alfred Foster
R/5047 4th Reserve Battalion, Royal Naval Division, 1st Brigade, HMS Hawke

Jesse was born on 16th September 1900 in Carbrook, Yorkshire son of Henry Samuel a general labourer/colliery blacksmith and his wife Sarah Emma Foster. In 1901 the family was living at Attercliffe, Sheffield but by 1911 had moved to Albert Avenue, Jacksdale. Jesse was one of three sons, having an elder brother John Henry and a younger brother Walter Stanley.

Source: Wikipedia (Public Domain)
Source: Wikipedia (Public Domain)

Jesse enlisted on 16th September 1916 but lied about his age as he was only 16. The Royal Naval Division fought alongside the Army but, as naval personnel, continued to observe Naval traditions.  Jesse served for almost a year before being found out and was discharged on 13th July 1917 and sent home to Jacksdale. He returned to work as a coal miner day man. After six days of severe illness Jesse died of acute pneumonia on 26th December 1917.  His father John was present at time of death. He was buried on 29th December 1917 at Westwood, St. Mary’s, home address given as Dixie Street, Jacksdale.

As Jesse had already been discharged from service he would not have been entitled to a Commonwealth War Grave. He was a recipient of the British War Medal which was posted to his father.

In late October 1918, just a few weeks before the Armistice, Jesse’s elder brother John Henry was killed in action.

John’s father John Henry died in 1946 and his mother Sarah Emma died in 1948, they are both buried in the family plot at St. Mary’s, which also mentions Jesse. The inscription reads:- ‘In loving memory of our dear son Jesse Alfred Foster’.

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