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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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Edward William Lanchester Foxell (1884-1917) - Temp Capt The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) Edward   William   Lanchester   Foxell ,   born   in   Amersham   on   the   7 th    January   1884,   was   the   second   of   five   sons   born   to   the   Reverend William James Foxell and his wife Annie Jane (nee Harte). Edward   was   educated   at   the   Simon   Langton   School,   Canterbury   and   then   completed   a   BSc   at   University   College   London,   graduating   in 1906, and becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1907 he took up a post as Assistant Teacher at Christ’s Hospital school, becoming a Captain in the OTC in 1908. In   December   1914   Edward   applied   for   a   commission   and   was   gazetted   shortly   afterwards,   on   the   21 st    of   the   month,   as   a   Lieutenant   with the 9 th  Battalion, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). The   chronology   of   Edwards’   service   becomes   a   bit   confused   here   as   his   Medal   Index   Card   states   1916   as   his   date   of   entry   to   France   but by   this   time   the   9 th    was   a   reserve   battalion.   What   we   do   know   is   that   in   September   1916   Edward   contracted   trench   fever   and   was invalided home but the paperwork suggests that he was still with the 9 th  and had been promoted to Temporary Captain. His   recovery   from   this   infection   proved   to   be   a   slow   one   however   and   it   was   not   until   January   1917   that   he   was   back   to   operational fitness and was attached to the 3 rd  Reserve Battalion in the UK. At   some   point   during   the   next   six   months   Edward   returned   to   France,   joined   the   7 th    Battalion   and   was   then   attached   to   the   3 rd    Army   Gas School.   The   Gas   Schools   organised   courses   in   gas   defence   and   provided   anti-gas   instruction   for   NCOs,   and   were   located   right   across   the BEF.   The   establishment   for   an   Army   Gas   School   was   one   officer   and   seven   other   ranks   so   it   seems   fair   to   assume   that   Edward   was   in charge of his unit although there is no way to confirm this as these units did not keep diaries. Ironically it was not gas, shot or shell that was the cause of Edwards’ death, but complications resulting from a bout of appendicitis. In   an   increasingly   tragic   series   of   internal   memos   and   telegrams   to   his   father   his   decline   from   “not   serious”   on   the   8 th    June   1917   to   “Died at 9.15” on the 11 th  is recorded. Such   was   the   confusion   in   the   fog   of   war   that   his   obituary   published   in   the   Times   on   the   18 th    June   stated   “Killed   in   Action”   and   a   terse note on an internal memo in his service record asks “Will you please enquire at the Base as to whether Captain Foxell is alive or dead !” Edward died at the RAMC No 6 Stationary Hospital in Frevent and was buried in St Helere Cemetery, Frevent. For his service he was awarded the Victory and British War Medals. His service record survives and can be found at the National Archives in Kew.
The Fallen