Tamworth soldier Private Charles Foster family asked to come forward

BRAVE: Private Foster was just 22 when he was executed by the Japanese.

BRAVE: Private Foster was just 22 when he was executed by the Japanese.

THE search is on for the family of a WWII Tamworth soldier, who is being posthumously recognised for his courage to never give up the fight, even when he was captured.

Private Charles Thomas Foster was born in West Tamworth on March 21, 1919, to parents John Michael and Ethel Maude Foster.

Pvt Foster served with the 2/18th Battalion in Singapore, which like most Australian units involved in the island’s conflict, fell in to a desperate retreat when the Japanese invaded, that end with their surrender on the outskirts of the city on February 15, 1942.

He was just 22 when he was sent to the infamous prisoner of war gaol, Changi. On March 16, 1942, Pvt Foster and five other men staged a daring escape, breaking out of Changi and stealing a boat.

However, they were recaptured by Japanese forces while wading ashore on the Malay side of the Johor Strait.

Pvt Foster and the five soldiers were sentenced to death and executed the following day, on 17 March 1942 – four days shy of Private Foster’s 23rd birthday.

The other men executed alongside him – who are also being posthumously honoured – were privates Arthur Ford, Raymond Geraghty, Edward Moffatt and James O’Dea, and Corporal Michael Grace.

The Department of Defence, along with the Tamworth RSL sub-branch, are looking for Pvt Foster’s next-of-kin to come forward to receive his Commendation for Gallantry.

If you believe you are related to, please send an email to jamieson.murphy@fairfaxmedia.com.au or contact the RSL sub-branch.

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Pvt Foster in 1940.

Pvt Foster in 1940.

This story Search for war hero’s next-of-kin, to present medal for daring escape first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.