Lt Robert Charles Foster, 1st Fd Coy

Lt Robert Foster, Ancona Cemetery, Italy
Lt Robert Foster, Ancona Cemetery, Italy

Lieutenant Robert Charles Richardson was the son of William and Amy Victoria Garwood Foster and husband of Jeanne Elizabeth M Foster of Victoria, BC.

Robert was serving in the 1st Field Company in Italy during the move forward to the Metauro River at the beginning of the Gothic Line battle. In an attempt to cloak the actual date and time for the attack, the Corps Commander had dictated no advanced preparations of the crossing sites could begin until everything was in place.  The Engineers were on their own to gather the intelligence they needed and no local protection was provided for their reconnaissance parties. The Germans, however, were not static during this time.  They actively patrolled both sides of the Metauro, moving safe lane markers in minefields and replacing many of the mines Canadian sappers had removed.

Lt Foster was leading a reconnaissance party at a potential crossing site when he was killed by the explosion of a Schü mine on the near bank.  The commander of the divisional engineers (Lt-Col Webb) happened to be near the site and brought Robert’s body back ‘under a hail of enemy fire.’

Lt Robert Foster was the first officer in his company killed in Italy.  He is buried in the Ancona War Cemetery. He was 29 years old.

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