Edward William Lanchester Foxell (1884-1917) - Temp Capt The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)Edward William Lanchester Foxell, born in Amersham on the 7thJanuary 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 21stof the month, as a Lieutenant with the 9th 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 9thwas 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 9th 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 3rd Reserve Battalion in the UK. At some point during the next six months Edward returned to France, joined the 7thBattalion and was then attached to the 3rdArmy 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 8thJune 1917 to “Died at 9.15” on the 11th is recorded.Such was the confusion in the fog of war that his obituary published in the Times on the 18thJune 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.