Lance Corporal John Foster, 34, was killed at the Battle of Overloon on October 14, 1944 leaving behind his widow, Lily Irene and a four-year old son. He was the son of Marlborough couple Charles Robert Foster and Rebecca Mary Foster.
He is buried in the Overloon War Cemetery in The Netherlands which contains 280 Commonwealth burials of WW2 and one Dutch war grave. Six inhabitants of Overloon have started a work group to add a face and some background detail to each grave.
Oscar Huisman (51) and Leo Janssen (66) believe that simply remembering these men once a year is not enough. The fallen soldiers of World War Two deserve more. “If it were not for them,” says Oscar Huisman, “we would all be speaking German now.”
Besides Huisman and Janssen, the Overloon War Cemetery work group includes enthusiastic amateur archivists Tonnie Ebben, Iwan van Dijk, Arno van Dijk and Piet Peters. “Our goals are simple,” adds Oscar Huisman, “first a photograph, second the story behind it.”
Cllr Mervyn Hall, secretary of Marlborough History Society received the following request from the Overloon work group and has been working to trace any living relatives of John Foster: “Our workgroup is trying to find relatives of the 281 soldiers buried at the GWCG cemetery in Overloon. 1 Dutch and 280 from the Commonwealth.
It is our goal to give these 281 graves a ‘face’ by placing a portrait photograph of these heroes who gave their lives for our 75 year lasting freedom. We therefore are looking for relatives.
One of these heroes was Lance Corporal John Foster, service nr. 4535833. Born 1910 and Son of Charles Robert and Rebecca Mary Foster from Marlborough, Wiltshire. Probably married to Lily Irene Foster??
He was serving with the Lincolnshire Regiment and was killed in the Battle of Overloon, October 14, 1944.
Is there any way you can help us? More info to be found on our Facebook page @WerkgroepOverloonWarCemetery.”
Cllr Mervyn Hall has managed to trace some of John Foster’s relatives but has not been able to locate a photograph of John Foster. “His widow, Lily Irene, remarried after the war to Charles Jennings.
Her son, also called John, took his stepfather’s surname, and is called John Jennings. He is now 80 years old and has two grown up children Peter and Sara. The family know that John Foster died in the war but know nothing else about him. They are keen to visit his grave now that they know where it is. The workgroup in Overloon who are keen to honour the soldiers who fought for their freedom are looking for photographs to give each one a face.”
If anyone has a photo of Lance Corporal John Foster please contact either the Overloon work group or Cllr Mervyn Hall on email@example.com