Colour Sergeant Barney Foster
the 23rd March 1973 Colour/Sgt B. FOSTER was killed by
terrorists in Belfast. He was known within the Regiment as ‘Barney’
November 1961 ‘Barney’ joined the Newbury Company of the 4th/6th
Royal Berkshire Regiment. He later decided to join the Regular Army and
make soldiering his career.
training at the Wessex Brigade Depot at Exeter, he was posted to his
County Regiment, 1st Bn Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment
at that time serving on the Island of Malta. He joined ‘C’ Company
and was later selected for the 3” Mortar section of their Support
Platoon, eventually qualifying as a Mortar Fire Controller. During the
Battalions tour he also saw service in Libya and in Cyprus, where the
Battalion was manning the Green line in Nicosia during the Greek and
then went with the Battalion to Minden in West Germany, where he joined
the newly formed Support Company. After attending an A.P.C. course he
became a first rate A.P.C. instructor. He also attended an American Army
N.C.O.s course, at which he graduated; he later attended a parachute
was then posted to the Wessex Volunteers at Exeter, where he was a
member of the Wessex Depots Warrant Officers and Sgts mess. Although
from another unit, he was a very active member of that mess in every
sense. He was the person responsible for the introduction of ‘Southern
Comfort’ Liqueur whisky into the mess.
June 1972 he was posted to Headquarters Northern Ireland to fill a new
appointment where he was to work on the urgent operational equipment
requirements in aid of the internal security situation. This appointment
was directly controlled by the Ministry of Defence, and therefore his
selection was very much a feather in his cap.
the beginning he established himself as an NCO of special qualities, in
particular he was able to inspire confidence in everybody who came into
contact with him, no matter what their rank. He was to obtain from
private soldiers detailed assessments of complex equipment and, in the
next breath, to relay these assessments to senior officers.
talking to a general or a private he was invariably, able to put his
viewpoint on technical matters with a simplicity and directness, which
would have been the envy of many of far greater rank and seniority.
enthusiasm for the job was boundless and he was very anxious to see at
first hand new equipment, which were providing problems, or not
performing, as they should. Inevitably this took him all over the
province and often into areas of great risk, all of which he took in his
last day was spent putting on a demonstration of a new prototype
multibarrlled baton gun, which he had helped to develop. This
demonstration was attended by the then C.L.F. Major General Robert FORD,
and all three Brigade Commanders. Largely due to his efforts and
enthusiasm the demonstration was successful and the equipment accepted
for immediate service.
Funeral took place at Newbury, at St Josephs Roman Catholic Church with
full Military Honours.