Private John Reginald Foord

Private John Reginald Foord

Thank you to Jane Anthony for this research.

John Reginald Foord was the son of Elizabeth Foord of Okewood Hill. In 1911 he was living with his uncle and aunt at Lower Scent Farm Okewood Hill, His uncle had been a stock man but had graduated to become a farmer and grazer. John was working as a labourer on the farm.

He was attached to the 18th Veterinary Hospital which was part of the 29th Division. They embarked at Avonmouth on 16th-22th March 1915 and went via Malta to Alexandria. On 7th April, the first units to have arrived at Egypt then re-embarked for the move to Mudros, the deep water harbour at the island of Imbros that was going to be used as a forward base for operations at Gallipoli. The Division landed at Cape Helles on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and subsequently took part in the Gallipoli landings

At the invitation of the Greek Prime Minister, Salonika (now Thessalonika) was occupied by three French Divisions and the 10th (Irish) Division from Gallipoli in October 1915. Other French and Commonwealth forces landed during the year and in the summer of 1916, they were joined by Russian and Italian troops. In August 1916, a Greek revolution broke out at Salonika, with the result that the Greek national army came into the war on the Allied side.

The town was the base of the British Salonika Force and it contained, from time to time, eighteen general and stationary hospitals. Three of these hospitals were Canadian, although there were no other Canadian units in the force.

The earliest Commonwealth burials took place in the local Protestant and Roman Catholic cemeteries. Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery (formerly known as the Anglo-French Military Cemetery) was begun in November 1915 and Commonwealth, French, Serbian, Italian and Russian sections were formed. The Commonwealth section remained in use until October 1918, although from the beginning of 1917, burials were also made in Mikra British Cemetery. After the Armistice, some graves were brought in from other cemeteries in Macedonia, Albania and from Scala Cemetery, near Cassivita, on the island of Thasos.

John Reginald Foord died of Malaria at one of the Canadian Hospitals on 11 January 1917. He was aged 24.

He is commemorated in Abinger, Okewood Hill and Forest Green.

Lived                           Okewood Hill, Surrey

Son of                         Elizabeth Foord of Okewood Hill

Regiment                     18th Veterinary Hospital, Royal Veterinary Corps
Number                       18226

Date of Death              11th January 1917
Place of Death             Salonika, Greece
Cause of Death           Died of Malaria

Age                              24

Cemetery                    Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery