Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Major Foster Swetenham, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), was killed in action near St.Quentin in Picardy, during the retreat from Mons.
Major Swetenham attended Eton College before being commissioned into the Royal Scots Grays in December of 1896. He served in the South African War, and was present at the Relief of Kimberley, and the actions at Driefontein, Paardeberg and Poplar Grove, and received the Queen’s Medal with three clasps. In July of 1900 he was seriously wounded and sent home to England to recuperate. From 1906 to 1911 he was Adjutant of the Ayrshire Yeomanry.
Immediately after the outbreak of the Great War Major Swetenham went with his regiment to France. During the retreat from Mons he was directing fire near St. Quentin when he was shot through the heart by a sniper. He is buried in the Moy-De-L’Aisne Communal Cemetery at Aisne in France, and is commemorated in St. Mary’s Church, in his grandparents’ home village of Astbury in Cheshire. One of his sons went on to become Colonel of the regiment from 1958 to 1968.
Foster, from Cam-yr-Alyn, Rossett, in Denbighshire, was 38 years old and married with three children aged between two and five years old.