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LIVES OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
The E.J. Boys Archive


Amended 16.5.11. Minor edits 12.7.12. Entry tidied up 16.3.17.

1149, Private Samuel FOREMAN - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born at Walmer, Kent, c.1825.

Enlistment

Enlisted at Canterbury on the 6th of December 1842.

Age: 17 years 6 months.

Height: 5' 7".

Trade: Servant.

Features: Fresh complexion. Grey eyes. Brown hair.

Service

From Private to Corporal: 1st of October 1857.

Corporal to Sergeant: 10th of December 1859.

Discharge & pension

Discharged from Canterbury on the 23rd of June 1867, at "Own request, free to pension after 24 years' service".

Served 24 years 7 days. In Turkey and the Crimea, 2 years.

Conduct: "very good".

In possession of three Good Conduct badges when promoted and would now have had five.

Never entered in the Regimental Defaulter's book. Never tried by Court-martial.

Aged 42 years on discharge.

He was awarded a pension of 1/9d per day but this was increased to 2/3d per day for "13 years service as Sergeant Instructor on the Permanent Staff of the Royal East Kent Yeomanry" on the 21st of June 1881.

He had been discharged from Guildford, "in consequence of being found medically unfit, being then 55 years of age and with a total service of 37 years 298 days in the Army."

Medals

Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman, and Sebastopol. Also awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medal on the 21st of March 1861 with a gratuity of 5.

A "Fresh medal" (Crimean) was granted on the 4th of August 1856.

Further medal information archived.

Commemorations

Foreman is not known to have belonged to the Balaclava Commemoration Society in either 1877 or 1879, nor to have ever attended any of the veterans' functions. Given that he was alive at least until June 1891, and his position in the Yeomanry Cavalry, he would surely have been aware of the Society.

Life after service

At discharge, he said he intended to live at 8, Milton Road, Cheapside, Sittingbourne, Kent, but he is later thought to have lived at Ewell, Surrey.

Next of kin (in 1854): Wife, Mary Foreman, living at 14 Howard Street, off Great Jackson Street, Hulme, Manchester. He had sent money from the Crimea (1/10/0) to a Mary Foreman (relationship not stated) during the October-December quarter of 1855. (It was probably from this that a belief arose that this was his wife.) He had previously sent money from the Crimea on two occasions to his father, Richard Foreman, living at Walmer Castle, Deal, Kent.)

1881 Census

159 East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent.

The 1881 Census shows him as a Serjeant Major in the Yeomanry Cavalry, aged 55, born in Walmer, Kent, with his wife, Mary, a Midwife, aged 50, born in Co. Mayow, Ireland, and children, Louisa (a Dressmaker), Richard (Grocer), Selina (Dressmaker), Helena (Teacher), Fitzroy (Draper), and a two-year-old grandson, Samuel George, from his son Richard.

Death & burial

Died 12th of January 1895, London.

Information received from subsequent owners of the medal group shows that Samuel Foreman died, aged 68 years, on the 12th of January 1895 at 36 Wigmore Street, London, from "Acute Bronchitis, Syncope". His occupation was shown as an "Army Pensioner" and a S.J. Foreman, daughter, of the same address, was present at, and the informant of, his death.

He was buried in Grave No. M-91 in the Bell Road Cemetery, Sittingbourne, Kent, on the 16th of January 1895. Also buried in the same grave was a son, Richard Frederick William, who died at Sittingbourne on the 13th of May 1881, aged 30, and Foreman's wife, Mary, who died at 53, Crown Road, Twickenham, London, on the 1st of October 1917, aged 88.

A stone was erected which reads:

"In loving memory of Richard Frederick William Foreman, born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 6th of May 1851 - Died at Sittingbourne 3th of May 1881, aged 30 years.

Also Samuel Foreman, late Sergeant Major of the R.E.K.M.R. and the 13th Hussars. Served throughout the Crimean campaign of 1854-56, Alma, Sebastopol, Balaclava and Inkerman, who died January 12th 1895, aged 68 years. "His mission was war. His end was peace."

Also his loving wife, Mary, who died October 1st 1917, aged 88 years."

There is a photograph of this gravestone in the 13th Hussar file.

A report of his death and funeral appeared in the East Kent Gazette, Saturday 25th of January 1905:

"Death of A Crimean Veteran"

"Those of our readers who are acquainted with Sergeant Major Foreman, who was formerly Drill-Instructor to the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles, and who lived in Sittingbourne for so many years, will regret to learn that he died in London on the 12th inst. The deceased, who lived at Walmer, had gone to London to spend Christmas with his son, Mr. Fitzroy Foreman, of 36 Wigmore Street, Cavendish Square. London, and he died suddenly on the 12th inst. from "Failure of the heart's action." He was 68 years of age.

The late Sergeant Major formerly belonged to the 13th Hussars and he served with his regiment (then known as the 13th Light Dragoons) throughout the Crimean War, having taken part in the engagements at the Alma, Balaclava, Sebastopol and Inkerman, although he was not actually a participator in the Balaclava Charge. He was the possessor of four medals and as many bars.

After serving for 21 years in the Army Sergeant-Major Foreman was appointed Drill-Instructor to the Sittingbourne Troop of the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles, which capacity he filled for almost fourteen years.

For some time after this he served as a trooper in the West Kent Yeomanry. The deceased had lived in Sittingbourne for more than twenty years, and during that time had gained the esteem of many friends. He left here to take up residence at Walmer. His remains were brought down from London and were interred at Sittingbourne on Friday afternoon.

In addition to the family mourners the body was followed to the grave by Captain Ogilvie. Brigade Adjutant to the East and West Kent Yeomanry, Canterbury. Regimental Sergeant Major Halls, Royal East Kent Mounted Yeomanry, Canterbury. Quarter Master H.T. Benstead and Sergeant Major S. Boulding of the Sittingbourne Troop; and Sergeant Newman, a Crimean veteran, 70 years of age, of the West Kent Yeomanry (Folkestone) all of whom were in uniform.

Serjeant Newman, formerly of the 13th Hussars, placed on the coffin a cross of flowers, to which was attached a card bearing the words: "From one who knew him from boyhood to manhood, in war and in peace." Many beautiful wreaths of flowers were also sent by relatives and friends. The deceased was buried in a grave which also contains the remains of his son. The burial service was performed by the Revd G.H.C. Bathey and the funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. A.E. Gorman, of the Fountain Hotel."

Further information

Owen Newman

Who was the "Serjeant Newman, formerly of the 13th Hussars, 'who knew him from boyhood to manhood, in war and in peace?"?

There was a 1204 Owen Newman who served in the 13th Light Dragoons from 1843 to 1856, when he purchased his discharge. He would have been about the same age as the Sergeant Newman mentioned in the newspaper article. He was never known to have been a Sergeant in the 13th Light Draoons, but could have been one in the Yeomanry.

[RM: Owen Newman was Butler to Fitzroy Donald Maclean at the time, who was Lieutenant-Colonel of the West Kent Yeomanry and had served in the Crimea with the 13th Light Dragoons. It would seem certain that given this connection, the Sergeant Newman referred to was one and the same.]

His son [NAME?] was the Band-Sergeant of the Mashonaland Division of the B.S.A. Police, and from the medal roll it would appear that he had served from the 20th of February 1898 to the 19th of May 1901. His medal for South Africa was sent to him at 22, King Street, Twickenham, London.

Harold George Foreman

The H.G. Foreman, whose World War One medals form part of the family group, was Harold George Foreman, born at Regents Park, London, on the 13th of May 1892. He was attested at Battersea on the 12th of December 1915, going on to Class "B" of the Army Reserve the following day. He was then 23 years of age, and 5' 8" in height.

A married man (he had married Mary Ann Young, a spinster, at Battersea on the 15th of April 1914), his home address was No. 13 Gayville Road, Battersea. He was an orchestral musician by profession.

Mobilised on the 14th of April 1916, he spent 1 year 38 days in England (attached to "M" Company) before going to France on the 21st of May 1917. Here he remained only one week, returning to England on the 29th of May. He then served until the 20th of November 1919, when he was transferred to the "Z" Reserve on demobilisation, having served a total of 3 years 221 days. His military conduct was "Good", and his discharge testimonial showed him to be "A first rate musician. Honest and sober."

During this time two children were born into the family: Joan Evelyn Muriel, on the 10th of December 1914, and Margaret Mary, on the 29th of June 1916, both at Battersea. His home address was then 3 Bracken Avenue, Balham, S.W.12.

There is no indication as to just why he only spent one week in France (perhaps he was in the Regimental Band, which only paid a flying visit), neither is there any indication in the appropriate column of any medal entitlement. His WW1 M.I.C. however confirms his entitlement to the medals as shown.


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