A Peaceful Place to Rest

 

West Hill Cemetery, Winchester

 

Burials 2

 

Bandsman Burke's funeral processionBandsman Burke's funeral procession crossing
the St James Lane railway bridge

 

Bandsman Burke's funeral procession crossing the St James Lane railway bridge By kind permission of The Trustees of the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum

 

Bandsman F. Burke
2nd Bn. The Hampshire Regiment
d. 17 May 1921

 

On 17 May 1921 'X' Company and the Band of the 2nd Battalion The Hampshire Regiment while on detachment at Youghal, Co. Cork, were marching to the local rifle range for firing practice. About half a mile from the range and where the road entered a glen, the IRA detonated an off-route mine. Three young members of the Band were killed instantly and four more subsequently died of their wounds. Of these, three came from Winchester; Bandsman Burke was one.

 

The funerals of these three young men took place in Winchester on 6 June 1921 with full military honours and the citizens, who wished to pay their last respects to three of their number, lining the City streets. Boy Evans' funeral took place at the Church of The Holy Trinity and his burial at 'the New Cemetery' at Morn Hill. The service for Lance-Corporal McCall was held at St. Peter's and the subsequent burial was in the Roman Catholic Cemetery on the Romsey Road. In the meantime the funeral of Bandsman Burke had taken place at St. Maurice Church before proceeding to West Hill Cemetery. It was a very sad day for the relatives of these young men, The Hampshire Regiment, the County and the City.
(Hampshire Chronicle 4 June 1921 p.5 & 11 June p.6. The Hampshire Regimental Journal June 1921 p.89-91 & 115-116. Note: The title "Royal" was not added to the name of the Regiment until 1946.)

 

Brigadier C.C. Foss VC DSO
Late The Bedfordshire Regiment
b. 9 March 1885
d. 9 April 1953

 

Charles Calveley Foss was born at Kobe, Japan. His father was the Right Reverend Hugh James Foss D.D. Bishop of Osaka. His mother, Janet, was a daughter of Dr. William McEwen M.D. of Chester. After Marlborough and Sandhurst he was commissioned in 1904 to The Bedfordshire Regiment. He was Adjutant of the Second Battalion in South Africa who were returned to England at the outbreak of the First World War and subsequently formed part of the 7th Division in Belgium.

 

On 18 October 1914 he took part in the Battalion's first action of the campaign on the Menin Road between Becelaere and Gheluvelt. When the Commanding Officer was killed that day, Captain Foss took command as the most senior surviving officer. The Battalion came out of the line on 5 November; Foss was the only surviving combatant officer, together with 350 of the 900 men who had started the action. For his conduct he was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.

 

He was awarded the Victoria Cross on 12 March 1915 for "most conspicuous bravery at Neuve Chapelle". The citation continues "after the enemy had captured a part of one of our trenches, and our counter-attack made with one officer and 20 men failed (all of the party being killed or wounded in the attempt). Captain Foss, on his own initiative, dashed forward with eight men, under heavy fire, attacked the enemy with bombs, and captured the position, including the 52 Germans occupying it". Between 1915 and 1917 he was Mentioned in Dispatches four times.

 

Having graduated from the Staff College in 1920 he held various command and staff appointments, retiring from the service as a Brigadier in December 1937. In the Second World War he was very active in the Bedfordshire Home Guard and after the war became Commandant of The Bedfordshire Arm Cadet Force.

 

He married, first Vere Katherine Collard, nee Ovans, daughte of J.Lambert Ovans, and widow of Captain J.M.M. Collard, 90th Punjab Regiment. She died in 1947 and he married secondly Phyllis Ruth Howie, nee Bendyshe-Crowther, and widow o Arthur Howie of Ceylon. She died in 1968 and he died in London on 9 April 1953. Research has failed to show that there were any children of either marriage, nor why his ashes were buried in Winchester.
Bedfordshire and Luton Archive and Record Office: www.chapter-one.com:
www.stuart.prestel. co. uk
vcresearch &austarnet.com.au