1914-15 Star medal awarded to Cpl. George Foster, service number 1267, 16th Battalion, A.I.F.
Corporal Foster, an immigrant from England, was a 24 year old labourer when he joined at Morphetville, South Australia on 12 September 1914. His mother in South Australia was initially cited as his next of kin, but later her name was crossed out and substituted with the name of his wife Julia, who lived in London.
George embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT Ceramic on 22 December 1914, bound for Egypt. After several months there, he was part of the early landings on Gallipoli. His service record states that he was wounded there on 28 April 1915 (two days later than the donation note suggests). His wound was later described as a gunshot wound to the 'left loin'. His wound was sufficiently severe for him to be sent to England by hospital ship. By September he was able to return to his unit in Mudros, where on 29 October he was promoted to sergeant in the 48th Battalion. From there he apparently sent back to the Dardenelles front, as his wife later writes that he was involved in the evacuation of Gallipoli.
Back in Egypt in May 1916, George was reported to be suffering from venereal disease, later corrected and described instead as 'ademitus of idropathic inguinal' (an undefined groin condition with swelling). He spent several weeks in hospital. On 8 September 1916 he was sent back to England, and on 16 September he was in France. He survived there just four months. Corporal George Foster was killed in action on 15 January 1917, at Gueudecourt, near Bapaume, France. He was buried at Grass Lane, Gueudecourt. His personal items were sent to his wife: mittens, cap comforter, sergeant's chevrons, whistle, purse, four notebooks, wallet, letters, cards, photos and two coins. She later moved to South Australia.
The 1914-15 Star was authorised in 1918 to be awarded to those who saw service between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915 (excluding those who were eligible for the 1914 Star) - 2,350,000 were issued.
Bronze four point star medal 'ensigned' by a crown. Ribbon is striped in the three colours of the Empire which are shaded and watered. Single pin on back for fastening (not hinged).
Four pointed star with the top point replaced by a crown with attached loop and ribbon, crossed swords project between the points of the star and at the centre, within an oak wreath, a scroll crossing the swords reads '1914-15'; at the base of the wreath is a large 'G' which encloses a 'V' (King George V).
Stamped; '1267 CPL. G. FOSTER 16/BN A.I.F.'.
Donation & Subsequent Transfer from Victorian Branch, Returned & Services League of Australia Limited (RSL), Mrs J. E. Foster, 01/1984
Obverse; '1914 - 15 / GV' (King George V). Reverse; ' 1267 CPL. G. FOSTER 16/BN A.I.F.'.
Type of item
45 mm (Width), 62 mm (Height)
Height to top of suspension ring.
Star with loop and ribbon
References: National Archives records for George Foster - barcode 4023474. [Link 1]
[Book] Joslin, E C., et al. 1988. British Battles and Medals., 227 Pages