The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

The Foster family

Grave Number 5 and 240

The Foster Family

Plots 5 and 240

Lieutenant-Colonel Henry James Foster 1844-1911

Rectory Lane Cemetery Plot 240

From The Berkhamstedian 1911-12


Foster – on March 3rd, 1911, at Berkhamsted, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry James Foster, V.D.[1] (1854-58)

“A member of one of the oldest families in the town of Berkhamsted, where he has spent the whole of his useful life, Colonel Foster commenced as a clerk on the London and North-Western Railway, and early succeeded to the brewery business carried on as the Swan Brewery. He was for a time a member of the Berkhamsted Urban District Council, and always took a keen interest in the welfare of the town. For over thirty-nine years ge was a member of the old Volunteers, and was the first man to take the oath in front of Colonel Smith Dorrien (the father of General Sir Horace Smith Dorrien. That was in December, 1859, and at the time of his death he held in his possession the first inscribed Roll of the old 7th Hertfordshire Volunteers. He was always proud of pointing to the fact that ‘E’ Company produced two Lieutenant-Colonels who started as Privates, the other being Lieutenant-Colonel S.R. Timson. The Volunteer movement had his strongest support from his earliest years, and in 1884 he proudly led his Company in review order before the late Queen Victoria, at Windsor. How many of the old Volunteers that stood at their Colonel’s grave remembered the battalion drills at Boxmoor and his kindness to them on those occasions? He always attended the funerals of the men of ‘E’ Company, amongst them being that of Chaplain – the Reverend A. Loxley, Charles Weedon, Walter Purton, Harvey Holloway and William Foskett. On Wednesday he was laid with his comrades. For fifty years he was attached to the Berkhamsted Dramatic Company – in fact he spoke the prologue of the first production, and for twenty-five years he held the position of President. For about twenty-five years he was a Governor of Berkhamsted School” – The Berkhamsted Gazette.

The School and the Old Berkhamstedians’ Association were represented at the funeral.

Henry James is buried in plot 240 along with his wife, Rosa Foster (1843-1903) and Edward Charles Foster, who died 12th February 1906, aged 20, their only son.

There is also an Edward Foster, buried in the adjacent plot 239. He died 18th April 1870, aged 24, married to Marion. He was probably Henry’s younger brother.

Another brother, Daniel Charles Foster (1839-1844)

is buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery Grave No 5:

The Hertford Mercury and Reformer, Saturday 19 January 1884 reported that “On Sunday evening, Mr. Daniel Charles Foster, Rector’s churchwarden since 1877, of the firm of Foster Brothers, Swan Brewery, died. Mr. Foster, in addition to the onerous duties of churchwarden, was a trustee of several charities, treasurer of the Dispensary Soup Fund, and a director of various local companies, and he will be greatly missed in many capacities. Mr. Foster succumbed to an attack of inflammation. At the funeral at noon on Wednesday every mark of respect was manifested, and crowds attended.  The chief mourners were Mr. H.J. Foster only brother of deceased; Mr. F.T. Lane, Messrs. Chilten (four brothers), the employees, and a large body of tradesmen and others, including a number of the local Freemasons, to which body Mr. Foster belonged. The choir attended, and preceded the body to the grave. The Rector – assisted by the Reverend H.D. MacNamara – conducted the service. The employees carried the deceased to his grave. A number of choice wreaths were placed on the coffin by female relatives, who awaited the procession at the cemetery, and other friends.”

Easter 1873 Vestry was obliged to ‘take into consideration the deficiency in the Fund’ agreed at the meeting of October 30th 1871 to be raised for providing New Gates and railings for the Churchyard and New Gates for the Cemetery and Col. Dorrien stated that the deficiency in the Fund proposed to be raised amounted to about £160. It was also stated that a number of persons who had entered their names as subscribers to the original Restoration Fund had not paid the Amounts promised by them. It was proposed by Captain Hamilton, seconded by Reverend H. Dixon, that a Committee be formed to call upon those persons to obtain payment – Captain Hamilton, the Reverend Dixon and Mr. D.C. Foster consented to undertake the same.

[1] Volunteer Officers Decoration

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