FODEN, Ernest John
(Service number 77655)

First Rank Sapper Last Rank Sapper


Date 23 June 1887 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with UK Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Royal Engineers
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Export textile buyer & shipper


Date 6 September 1975 Age 88 years
Place of Death Woodford Green, Essex
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Ernest John Foden was born on 23 June 1887 at Timaru, the oldest son of John Foden and his wife Elspet (Elsie) née Storm. John from England and Elsie from Scotland married in 1886 in New Zealand. John and Elsie and their two sons, David and Ernest, left New Zealand when the boys were very young. It was in early 1892 that Mr John Foden sold the “Whole of his Superior Household Furniture, Piano, &c.” John was returning to England to establish London buying offices for a prominent Christchurch firm. In 1900 he founded his own business and travelled widely in all parts of the world, including New Zealand. In 1901 Elsie and her three sons were at Leyton, Essex, England. James Watson Foden was born in 1893 in Essex. In 1901 Elsie, James and daughter Margaret Elsie Foden were at Woodford, Essex. Margaret was born in 1907 in Essex. Mr John Foden had been residing in London for some time when, in April 1909, he paid a visit to the High Commissioner, Mr Hall-Jones, who was an old neighbour and friend of Mr Foden during his residence in Timaru. In the intervening time, Mr Foden had made several trips to the Dominion. He made another visit in January 1911, in his capacity as a buyer for the Firm of Messrs John Foden and Co, London, of which firm he was the head. He held shares in New Zealand firms. He was frequently present at the New Zealand dinner in London, accompanied by his son D. F. Watson Foden at the eighteenth annual dinner in July 1914.

Mr and Mrs Foden, Mr E. Foden and Mr J. Foden (Ernest and James) were among the friends entertained by the parents of the bride following the wedding on 6 June 1914 in London. Ernest John Foden, Regimental Number 77655, served as a sapper with the Royal Engineers. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. His brothers, David Findlay Watson Foden and James Watson Foden, both served in World War I, as did his New Zealand cousins, Edgar Stanley Foden and Leslie Norman Foden. Ernest married Bertha Sophia Youngman on 9 July 1921 at St Mary The Virgin With Christ Church, Wanstead, Essex. Like his father, Ernest travelled a lot. On 6 January 1936, Mr Ernest J. Foden, of London, arrived in New Zealand by the Aorangi from Sydney, and stayed at the Grand Hotel. In March he was the guest of Mr and Mrs B. L. Blodorn, Elizabeth Street, Timaru. In 1939 Ernest and Bertha were living at Wanstead and Woodford, Ernest an export textile buyer and shipper, Bertha a wholesale gown manufacturer. Perhaps Ernest was a partner in his father’s firm. Ernest was a churchwarden at All Saints’ Church, Woodford, Essex, where his father’s funeral service was held in May 1941. Ernest John Foden died on 6 September 1975 at Woodford Green, Essex, aged 88, predeceased by his wife by just eight months. His estate totalled £151462.


NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [24 January 2020]; Timaru Herald, 3 March 1892, Oamaru Mail, 13 April 1909, Evening Post, 28 July 1914, Auckland Star, 6 January 1936, New Zealand Herald, 7 January 1936, Press, 13 March 1936, 12, 30 & 31 July 1941, 8 September 1941 (Papers Past) [27 January 2020]; 1901 England census return ( [24 January 2020]; British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Card ( [26 January 2020]; Essex, England, Church of England Marriage ( [27 January 2020]; 1939 England Register ( [26 January 2020]; England Probate Index ( [26 January 2020]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB