Cuthbert Foster

Name

Cuthbert Foster

Conflict

First World War

Date of Death / Age

27/09/1918
19

Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Lieutenant
20950
Royal Air Force
No. 88 Squadron

Awards

British War and Victory medals

Cemetery/Memorial

ARRAS FLYING SERVICES MEMORIAL
Addenda Panel.
France

Headstone

>Not Researched

UK Memorials

Stevenage Old Town Memorial
St Nicholas' Church Memorial, Stevenage Old Town
Holy Trinity Church Memorial Roll of Honour, Stevenage Old Town

Pre War

Cuthbert Foster was born on the 18th October 1898 and lived at 39 Walkern Road, Stevenage. After completing his education Cuthbert began work as a Bank Clerk but by this time the war had begun and he was carried along with the wave of patriotism, like so many young men of his generation. Shortly after his 18th birthday he volunteered for military service and joined the Army in February 1917 as a Private.

Wartime Service

In November 1917 he was selected for a commission in the Royal Flying Corpsand soon began his pilot training, eventually graduating on the 27th February 1918. He was swiftly posted to " C" Flight of No.88 Fighter Squadron, which had only recently been formed. The Squadron eventually operated from to Serny aerodrome, arriving there on the 2nd August 1918. Local newspaper reports state that during his time at the front Cuthbert was credited with shooting down six enemy aircraft and was responsible for damaging a great many more. Although squadron records indicate that he flew many types of aircraft including the DH6, Sopwith Pup and BE12, as well as the Bristol Fighter there is only one entry in the 1918 log which credits Cuthbert with the destruction of an enemy aircraft. This was on the 4th September when he, and his Observer, Lieutenant B H Smyth, were in combat with a Fokker biplane over Seclin. The enemy aircraft was seen to dive to the ground out of control to, it must be assumed, and it’s destruction. On the 27th September 1918 Cuthbert climbed aboard his Bristol F2b fighter, E2153, along with his observer, Sergeant Thomas Proctor. In conjunction with four other aircraft they were to perform an escort role for aircraft of No.103 Squadron who were on a bombing mission. During the flight they were attacked by a number of enemy aircraft and Cuthbert was seen to perform a double loop whilst out manoeuvring a German aircraft that was on his tail. Having done this successfully he was last seen in full control of his machine but flying low and heading for the British lines. It was assumed at the time that his aircraft was suffering from engine trouble and that he was attempting to make his way back to base. Sadly, neither Cuthbert, his observer, nor the aircraft were ever seen or heard of again. His name is recorded on the Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas-De-Calais, France.

Additional Information

www.stevenageatwar.com

Acknowledgments

Paul Johnson