• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 5 years, 2 months ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


Foster A W J    CSM WO 2    508    Albert William John    Railway Unit    28    Station master    Single    Pres

Address:    Flemington, Racecourse, “The Lodge”    

Next of Kin:    Foster, J, father, “The Lodge”, Racecourse, Flemington    

Enlisted:    23 Dec 1916         

Embarked:     A70 Ballarat 19 Feb 1917    


The transport HMAT Ballarat after being torpedoed by a German submarine off the

southern English coast on 25 Apr 1917. In the background a British destroyer is

standing by to take the troops.  http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/C01592 AWM Collection.


Mr. and Mrs. J. Foster, Flemington Racecourse, have received a private cable from their youngest son, A. W. V. (sic) Foster, intimating that he has been granted a commission in the Railway Unit. He left here on the "Ballarat." He occupied the position of station master in the Victorian Railway Department prior to his departure.


ROLL OF HONOUR. (1918, January 24). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: Morning. Retrieved June 3, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74604916


Flemington-Kensington Church News,  August 1918


Lieut Albert W. J. Foster, 1st Light Railway Operating Co., who embarked for England on 19th February, 1917, was a relieving Station Master prior to joining the Forces. He left as the Coy. Sergt. Major, later was promoted to Warrant Officer, and is now a full Lieut. The transport by which the unit was conveyed was the "Ballarat," which will be remembered was torpedoed in the English Channel when all our Australian men behaved so gallantly.


After a short stay in England the unit was sent to France and has done splendid work there amid the  frequent and serious attentions of Fritz. In a recent letter he says:- "Our duties here are very different to those of an  ordinary railway. We are operating on the light railways  with a 1-11 7/8 gauge, so you can realise how strange it appears to us after our (Victorian) broad gauge. Our railway lines lead to every portion of the front lines, and  they are splendid feeders and carry tremendous tonnage. Of course our working is not on the thorough foundation of safe working. We have no set system, and everyone is  entirely on his own initiative, but our splendid training in Victoria helps us immensely. Breaks in the lines through shell-fire and bombs, with serious derailments are frequent ...... When in the forward area all lights are obscured."


Flemington-Kensington Church News, June 1919


Lieut. A. W. J. Foster, 1st Light Railways Operating Coy., writes as follows from France :—"Johnstone McElhinney is still with us, but may be leaving any day for England, where he has obtained employment in a private capacity until  embarkation. A number of the boys are receiving private employment, which is good for them apart from the increased knowledge.


We are again conveying salvage to the railheads. One is surprised at the enormous quantities of war material lying on the well-fought sectors. German  war prisoners and Chinese labour companies are used for gathering up the salvage. The French authorities are very anxious to get their people back to the land again .............. Kind remembrances to all."



Mentioned in diary of  Lycett-W-D-Pte-2063


11 May 1918 Will Lycett asks Lieut Foster if he (Lycett) would be going with the others.  Foster says he would.


War Service Commemorated


Essendon Gazette Roll of Honour Wounded

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.