1 November (1914)…

Gunner J. Foy 1 November 1914 Strand Military Cemetery, Belgium. (P. Ferguson image, September 2016)

Gunner J. Foy
1 November 1914
Strand Military Cemetery, Belgium
(P. Ferguson image, September 2016)

Gunner J. Foy
4th Siege Battery
Royal Garrison Artillery

On 17 September 1914 the 4th Siege Battery proceeded to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force being equipped with Howitzers firing 6, 8 0r 9.2 inch shells. Although “Mother” the first prototype 9.2 inch gun was in action 31 October 1914 it is more likely the 4th Siege Battery was equipped with 6 or 8 inch guns. Foy, originally buried at Le Bizet Convent Military Cemetery, was one of 88 British soldiers and one Canadian soldier, killed between October 1914 and October 1916, whose remains were later concentrated at Strand Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert, Belgium. Foy rests at gravesite X.I.10 and is one of 1,143 Commonwealth buried or commemorated at the site, 354 of whom are not identified. The cemetery includes eight Second World War burials from May 1940.

Le Bizet was on the grounds of the Assumption Covent between Le Bizet and Motor Car Corner. The later location marked the spot where motor cars were stopped from proceeding to the frontlines. Motor Car Corner Cemetery was started near to this location in June 1917 at the commencement of the Battle of Messines. Today 131 Commonwealth and 1 German soldier are buried there.

Soldiers frequently named places and positions for landmarks familiar to themselves. For those familiar with the Strand in London, England the “Strand” was also a trench and “Charring Cross” the name for the end of the trench that led into Ploegsteert Wood.

This Day
1 November 1914
2,457 Fatalities
Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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