1st/12th (County of London) Battalion (The Rangers)
Place of birth:
Wharf Clerk in Coal Trade
Date of death:
Cause of death:
Killed in action
Grave or panel reference:
Name of father:
William James Foy
Name of siblings:
William; Harry; Percy; Quinton
Name(s) of children:
Date of birth:
Place of enlistment:
France and Flanders
Age at death:
Cemetery or memorial:
Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, France
Royal Northern Hospital Arch; St Mark's Church Tollington Park
Name of mother:
Louisa Foy, nee Anderson
Name of spouse:
26 Charteris Road (1911 Census)
Jocelyn Foy was one of four brothers who are commemorated on the plaques in St Mellitus. His twin brother Percy, his older brother Harry and his younger brother Quinton all returned from the war; Jocelyn was killed in action just two months before the Armistice.
The four, and their brother William who died in 1909, were the sons of William James Foy, and his wife Louisa, nee Anderson, both originally from Ireland. William was a police constable in the Highgate Division until 1904, when he retired from the force and worked in the coal trade. The family lived at 26 Charteris Road, very close to the Boys Club and Mission in Lennox Road run by New Court Chapel. In the 1911 census, Jocelyn has followed his father into the coal trade as a Wharf Clerk.
It seems Jocelyn enlisted in 1914, becoming a Private in the 1st/12th (County of London) Battalion of the London Regiment, who were known as The Rangers. Their headquarters was in the Drill Hall in Chenies Street, off Tottenham Court Road, which is now part of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Jocelyn’s service record has not survived, only a few entries in a medical register and the official notices of his death.
We know that he was admitted to a casualty station with ‘effects of cold feet’ on 1 March 1915, transferred to a sick convoy and then to No 4 Ambulance Train. He may have been brought back to Britain for treatment, but we do not know. Jocelyn’s Unit had arrived in France at the end of 1914, and 1915 found them fighting in various actions on the Western Front, including the 2nd Battle of Ypres.
In 1916 the 12th Battalion was a unit of the 56th Division and took part in the diversionary attack at Gommecourt which was the prelude to the Battle of the Somme; they also fought at the Battle of Ginchy, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, the Battle of Morval and the Battle of the Transloy Ridges. Jocelyn is recorded as wounded on 9 August 1916, which entitled him to wear the Wound Stripe on his uniform. He had been promoted to Lance Corporal, and later he would be promoted again through the rank of Corporal to Serjeant.
1917 saw the Rangers fighting against the Germans who were retreating to the Hindenburg Line, and in other actions including the Battle of Arras in April, the Battle of Langemarck in August and the operations at Cambrai in November.
Jocelyn’s Battalion was engaged in many key battles of 1918, including as part of the seven divisions attacking first at the Battle of Amiens, which began on 8 August. This was the opening phase of the Allied offensive later known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which led ultimately to the end of the war and the Armistice on 11 November. The War Office Daily List of 30 October 1918 includes Jocelyn Foy, Acting Serjeant, ‘Listed as Missing.’ In fact, Jocelyn was already dead. He was killed in action, aged 24, on 9 September, just two months before fighting on the Western Front came to an end.
Jocelyn is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial in the Pas de Calais, in northern France. This memorial bears the names of over 9,000 men who fell in the period from 8 August 1918 to Armistice on 11 November in the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois, between the Somme and Loos, and who have no known grave. He is also commemorated in the local parish church of St Mark in Tollington Park, where his brothers were all married in the years after the war. Jocelyn would have been awarded the 1914 Star or the 1914-5 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal, the last of which was awarded to all who died on active service. His family would also have received the Memorial Plaque (which came to be known as the Dead Man’s Penny), a bronze plaque inscribed ‘He died for freedom and honour’, with an accompanying scroll and letter from King George V.