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Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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Figure 1.  Major Algernon Campbell Foley, R.E., c. 1895.


I.                   THE FOLEY FAMILY


            Algernon Campbell Foley came from a family of distinction, including peers of the realm and many men who served in both the Royal Navy and in the Army.  His family tree has been traced back numerous generations by others and there is ample information on the Internet regarding various members of the Foley family, especially the Baron Foleys of Kidderminster.  In this research narrative some information regarding the more illustrious members of the family has been included.  The author has attempted to resist the temptation to include too much extraneous information since, in the final analysis, the main character of this research work is Colonel Algernon Campbell Foley, an officer in the Royal Engineers; however, eight other members of his family also served in the forces and their service is due some credit.

             The lineage of the Foley family begins with the first creation of the Baronetage in 1712.  However, this first Baronetage would become extinct in 1766 and was not revived until a second creation in 1776.  An abbreviated explanation of the lineage of the Foley Baronetage is presented below.

 The First Creation

             There were two creations of Baronetages in the Foley line. The first creation consisted of Thomas Foley, 1st Baron Foley, FRS (8 November 1673 – 22 January 1733).  He was the eldest son of Thomas Foley (c. 1641–1701) and inherited the Great Witley[1] estate on his father's death. He was Member of Parliament for Stafford from 1694 until his elevation to the peerage in 1712, as one of 12 peers created on the recommendation of the Lord Treasurer, Robert Harley Earl of Oxford, to give him a majority in the House of Lords.  The 2nd Baron Foley of the first creation was Thomas Foley, 2nd Baron Foley, FRS (1703 – 8 January 1766).  He was the eldest son of Thomas Foley, 1st Baron Foley and inherited the vast Great Witley estate on his father's death in 1733, including ironworks at Wilden[2] and Shelsley Walsh.

The Second Creation

             The lineage of the Foley family, as far as this research work is concerned, began with one Thomas Foley and his wife Hester Foley, née Andrews.  Thomas and Hester had four children; Thomas (1716 - 1777), Martin Andrew, Robert and Sarah.  Their son Thomas, Algernon’s Great Grandfather, became the 1st Baron Foley of Kidderminster.[3]

Thomas Foley, 1st Baron Foley (8 August 1716 – 18 November 1777)

            The 1st Baron Foley was the son of Thomas Foley and his wife Hester (née Andrews), and their cousin, namesake and heir of Thomas Foley, 2nd Baron Foley (a title which became extinct on his death in 1766), thus acquiring Witley Court and the extensive Great Witley estate. This included ironworks at Wilden and Shelsley Walsh, which were leased about at the end of his life. The Foley family descended from the prominent ironmaster Thomas Foley.  Foley was elected to the House of Commons for Droitwich in 1741, a constituency he represented until 1746 and again from 1754 to 1768, and then sat for Herefordshire between 1768 and 1776. The latter year the title held by his cousin was revived when Foley was raised to the peerage as Baron Foley, of Kidderminster in the County of Worcester.  Foley died in November 1777, aged 61. He was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, Thomas.

            Thomas Foley, 1st Baron Foley of Kidderminster, was the Great-Great-Great Grandfather of Algernon Campbell Foley.

Thomas Foley, 2nd Baron Foley (24 June 1742 – 2 July 1793)

            The 2nd Baron Foley was a British peer and politician. He was the eldest son of the first baron, another Thomas Foley. He represented Herefordshire from 1767 to 1774 and Droitwich from 1774 until he succeeded to his father's peerage in 1777. 

              Thomas, the 2nd Baron Foley, married Henrietta Stanhope (1750 – 1781) and they had two children; Thomas (1780 – 1833) and Harriet ( - 1843).  Their son Thomas became the 3rd Baron Foley of Kidderminster, P.C.[4]

             Thomas Foley, 2nd Baron Foley of Kidderminster, was the Great-Great Grandfather of Algernon Campbell Foley.


Figure 2.  The 2nd Baron Foley.


Thomas Foley, 3rd Baron Foley PC, DL (22 December 1780 – 16 April 1833)

            The 3rd Baron Foley was a British peer and Whig politician. He served as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen Pensioners under Lord Grey between 1830 and 1833.[5]  Foley succeeded as third Baron Foley on the death of his father in 1793 and was able to take his seat in the House of Lords on his 21st birthday in 1801. When the Whigs came to power under Lord Grey in 1830, Foley was appointed Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen Pensioners, a post he held until his early death in 1833.  In 1830 he was admitted to the Privy Council.[6] Apart from his political career he was also Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire between 1831 and 1833 and Master of the Quorn Hunt from 1805 to 1806.

             Lord Foley married Lady Cecilia Olivia Geraldine FitzGerald (3 March 1786 - 27 July 1863), daughter of William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster, in Boyle Farm, Kingston upon Thames, on 18 August 1806. Lord Foley died in London in April 1833, aged 52, and was succeeded in the barony by his son, Thomas, who also succeeded him as chief whip in the Whig government. Lady Foley died in 1863.

            Thomas Foley, 3rd Baron Foley of Kidderminster, was the Great Grandfather of Algernon Campbell Foley.

Thomas Henry Foley, 4th Baron Foley of Kidderminster DL (11 December 1808 – 20 November 1869)

            He was a British peer and Liberal politician. He held office in every Whig/Liberal government between 1833 and 1869.

            Lord Foley married Lady Mary Charlotte Howard, daughter of Henry Charles Howard, 13th Duke of Norfolk, in 1849.  He was elected to the House of Commons for Worcestershire in 1830, a seat he held until 1832, when he was returned for the newly created constituency of West Worcestershire. In April the following year he succeeded as fourth Baron Foley on the early death of his father and took his seat in the House of Lords. He also succeeded his father as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, despite being only 24 years of age.  He died in November 1869, aged 60, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son Henry Thomas Foley.

            Thomas Henry Foley, 4th Baron Foley of Kidderminster was the Grandfather of Algernon Campbell Foley.

Henry Thomas Foley, 5th Baron Foley of Kidderminster DL (4 December 1850 – 17 December 1905)

            Foley was the son of Thomas Henry Foley, 4th Baron Foley, and Lady Mary Charlotte Howard, the daughter of Henry Charles Howard, 13th Duke of Norfolk.  When his father died in 1869, he inherited his title and wealth.  The 5th Baron Foley was a Liberal Unionist Peer.

            Foley married Evelyne Vaughan Radford, daughter of Arthur Radford, on 25 October 1899 in London. They had no children and when he died at Ruxley Lodge aged 55, he was succeeded by his brother.

                Figures 3 and 4 below show the 5th Baron Foley and Lady Foley in the robes and gowns they wore at the Coronation of King Edward VII on the 9th of August 1902.  The photographs were taken at The Lafayette Studio, 179 New Bond Street on the 11th of August 1902.  Lord Foley is wearing Peer's robes over the old pattern dress uniform of a Deputy Lieutenant of County Worcester.


Figures 3 and 4.  The 5th Baron Foley and Lady Foley, c. 1902.

FitzAlan Charles John Foley, 6th Baron Foley (1852–1918)

            FitzAlan (or Fitzgerald Alan) Charles John Foley, the brother of Henry Thomas Foley, became the 6th Baron Foley. 

Gerald Henry Foley, 7th Baron Foley (1898–1927)

            Gerald Henry Foley, 7th Baron Foley of Kidderminster was born in 1898 to Henry St. George Foley and Mary Adelaide Foley, née Agar.  Henry St. George Foley (1866 – 1903) was the son of General the Honourable Sir St. George Gerald Foley, K.C.B. (1814 – 1897) who was the brother of the 4th Baron Foley. 

            Gerald Henry Foley married Lady Minoru Greenstone in 1922 at age 24.  They had one child.  Gerald Henry Foley died in 1927 at age 28.

            The Foley peerage continued and continues to this day with the following two men: 

Adrian Gerald Foley, 8th Baron Foley (1923–2012)

Thomas Henry Foley, 9th Baron Foley (b. 1961)

            However, since the 7th Baron Foley died one year after Algernon Campbell Foley, the author considers it prudent to stop any further presentation of the details of the lives of these men as the main character of this narrative did not live to know them.  More complete information regarding the Foley family is presented in family tree format in Appendix of this research work.  The lineage of the Foley family may be found on the Internet at www.william1.co.uk/t12.htm.


Figure 5.  The Coat of Arms of the Foley Family

 The Foley family motto, Ut prosim, translates as “That I May Do Good.



Captain Henry John Wentworth Hodgetts-Foley


            Henry John Wentworth Hodgetts-Foley of Prestwood House, then in Kingswinford parish (9 December 1828 – 23 April 1894) was a British MP.  

            He was the son of John Hodgetts Hodgetts-Foley and a descendant of General Thomas Gage and Margaret Kemble, and it is through Kemble that he is a descendant of the Schuyler family, the Van Cortlandt family, and the Delancey family from colonial British North America.  He represented South Staffordshire in Parliament from 1857–1868. He inherited the Prestwood estate in Kinver (also partly then in Kingswinford parish) from his father in 1861 and was appointed High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1877.

            Hodgetts-Foley married Jane Frances Anne Vivian, the daughter of the first Lord Vivian. Their son Paul Henry Foley (19 March 1857 –21 January 1928) inherited the Stoke Edith estate in Herefordshire on the death in 1900 of his great aunt by marriage Lady Emily Foley, the widow of Edward Thomas Foley. The whole of the Prestwood estate and a substantial portion of the Stoke Edith estate were sold by Paul by auction in 1913 and 1919. Sir John Paul Foley is a grandson of Paul.

            Captain Hodgetts-Foley served in the Worcestershire Militia.  The military presence with the longest history with the city and county, is the Worcestershire Militia. A common law tradition dating from Anglo Saxon times, the men of the militia were county residents who could be called upon by the county’s Lord Lieutenant to arrest lawbreakers, preserve internal order or defend the locality against an invader.

            The Worcestershire Militia was called upon at the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and again during the English Civil War, 1642–1651. It was formally re-established in 1770 and, with only one short break, was embodied from 1793 – 1816, seeing service in Ireland in 1798. In 1878 its Depot was moved from St. George’s Square in the city to Norton Barracks.  Captain Hodgetts-Foley probably served in the Worcestershire Militia during the mid- to late Victorian period.  Captain Hodgetts-Foley was a distant cousin of Algernon Campbell Foley.

Colonel, The Honourable Augustus Frederick Foley

            Augustus Frederick Foley (1810 – 1881) was the second son of Thomas Foley, 3rd Baron of Kidderminster.  He was commissioned in the 1st or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards as an Ensign on the 30th of December 1828; promoted Lieutenant on 16 March 1832; promoted Captain and Temporary Lieutenant Colonel on 16 February 1844 and he eventually rose to the rank of Colonel in the Grenadier Guards.  He was an heir presumptive to the 4th Baron Foley of Kidderminster.  He was a Great Uncle of Algernon Campbell Foley.

General Sir St. George Gerald Foley, K.C.B.

            St. George Gerald Foley was the son of Thomas, 3rd Baron of Kidderminster.  He was commissioned in the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot as an Ensign on the 29th of June 1832.  He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 27th of May 1836 and to Captain on the 3rd of August 1841. 

            He served in the Crimean War from 1855 to 1856 and then in the China War from 1857 to 1861.  He was the Military Attaché in Vienna, Austria from 1865 to 1866 and then served as the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey from 1874 to 1879.

            He was promoted to the rank of General in 1881 and became the Honorary Colonel of the 2nd Battalion, 38th Regiment of Foot (The Staffordshire Regiment) and was created a Knight Commander of the Bath (K.C.B.) on the 29th of May 1886.  Foley also was a recipient of the French Legion of Honour and the Turkish Order of the Medjidie (First Class) for his distinguished service in the Crimean War.

            He was a Great Uncle of Algernon Cameron Foley.

Admiral, The Honourable Fitzgerald Algernon Charles Foley, Royal Navy     

            Admiral Foley (1823 – 1903) was the youngest son of Thomas Henry Foley, 3th Baron Foley of Kidderminster.  He was born on the 5th of September 1823 and married the first time on the 27th of August 1850 to Frances Campbell (1825 – 1867), the daughter of Sir George Campbell.  After the death of Frances on the 21st of July 1878 he married Renira Anna Purvis the daughter of the Reverend Richard Fortescue Purvis and widow of Captain Edward Henry Gage Lambert.  Admiral Foley died on the 26th of July 1903 at Packham, Fordingbridge, Hampshire.

            Admiral Foley had a rather distinguished career.  He entered the Royal Navy on the 2nd of May 1837 and received the following promotions:

Lieutenant:                  15 January 1846

Commander:               7 September 1855

Captain:                       6 August 1860

Rear-Admiral:             30 December 1876

Vice-Admiral:             23 November 1881

Admiral (Retired):      24 May 1887

 His service record is shown in the table below.

14 February 1846:

Assigned to H.M.S. Raleigh commanded by Captain Thomas Herbert off the southeast coast of America

28 December 1853:

Assigned to H.M.S. Victoria and Albert commanded by Captain Joseph             Denman at Portsmouth.

10 July 1858:

Assigned as the commander, H.M.S. Coquette in the Mediterranean.

11 July 1862 to 14 May 1863:

Assigned as the captain, H.M.S. Edgar (from commissioning of the ship at Portsmouth), the flagship of Rear-Admiral Colpoys Dacres, second in the command in the Mediterranean.

13 June 1863 to April 1865:

Captain of H.M.S. Revenge (until paying off at Plymouth), the flagship of Rear-Admiral Hastings Reginald Yelverton, second in command in the Mediterranean (until replaced by H.M.S. Caledonia).

27 April 1865:

Captain of H.M.S. Caledonia (from the commissioning of the ship at Plymouth), flagship of Rear-Admiral Hastings Reginald Yelverton in the Mediterranean.        

May 1867 to May 1871:

Captain of H.M.S. Cambridge, a gunnery ship, at Devonport.

August 1871 to August 1874:

Captain of H.M.S. Britannia, a training ship for naval cadets at


January 1875 to1877:

Captain-Superintendent of Sheerness Dockyard.

30 April 1877 to1882:

Admiral Superintendant of Portsmouth Dockyard.

            Admiral Foley was the father of Algernon Campbell Foley.  He married Frances Campbell (1825 – 1867) and in addition to Algernon they had six other children: Cecil Fitzgerald (1851 – 1922); Francis John (1855 – 1913); Reginald Edward (1864 – 1900); Adelaide Mary (1860 – 1896); Frances (1865 – 1953) and Edith (1865 – 1867).  Note that Reginald and Adelaide both died at age 36 and Edith only lived for 2 years.

Commander Cecil Fitzgerald Foley, Royal Navy

            Cecil Fitzgerald Foley (1851 – 1922) was the brother of Algernon Campbell Foley.  He was commissioned in the Royal Navy on the 9th of August 1864 and in 1871 he was serving as a sub-Lieutenant aboard H.M.S. Immortalite.  He fought in the Ashanti War in 1873 perhaps as a member of the Naval Brigade that went ashore during that campaign.  He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 1st of September 1874 and in 1881 he was posted to Her Majesty’s Dockyard in Portsea, Hampshire.  He retired from the Royal Navy as a Commander on the 1st of September 1896.

Figure 6.  Commander Cecil Fitzgerald Foley, R.N.

Captain Fitzalan Charles John Foley

            Born on the 27th of September 1852, Fitzalan (or FitzAlan or Fitzgerald Alan) Charles John Foley was the second son of Thomas Henry Foley, 4th Baron Foley of Kidderminster.  He was appointed a Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion Derbyshire Regiment (2nd Derby Militia) on the 13th of March 1875.  He was promoted to the rank of Captain in that regiment on the 5th of May 1879 and was assigned to the Army Reserve on the 1st of October 1881.  He became the 6th Baron Foley of Kidderminster before his death in 1918.

Vice-Admiral Francis John Foley, Royal Navy

            Francis John Foley (1855 – 1911) was the brother of Algernon Campbell Foley.  He was born at Leamington on the 2nd of December 1855, the third son of Admiral, The Honourable Fitzgerald Algernon Charles Foley.  He married Frances Blaine in 1883 and was the father of one son and two daughters.

            He entered the Royal Navy in 1868 and was appointed a Lieutenant on the 9th of March 1876 with first class certificates in all subjects. He was employed in boats on the African coast for suppression of slave traffic from 1876 to 1880 and was a qualified interpreter in Swahili, Persian and Hindustani.

            Foley served aboard H.M.S. Inflexible during the bombardment of Alexandria, Egypt in 1882. He subsequently was assigned to H.M.S. Vernon on the 9th of September 1883 to qualify as a torpedo Lieutenant.  He was promoted to the rank of Commander in 1889.   While in command of H.M.S. Barracouta he hoisted the British flag on the island of Trinidad in the South Atlantic and formerly annexed it to the British Crown.

            He was appointed in command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 72 and additionally to H.M.S. Pembroke for torpedo duties on the 30th of October 1888. He next was appointed to the sloop H.M.S. Basilisk on the 12th of August 1893.

            Foley was promoted to the rank of Captain on the 31st of December 1895 and was awarded the Jubilee Medal in 1897.  On the 12th of March 1901 he assumed command of the first class protected cruiser H.M.S. Andromeda.  Foley next served as captain of H.M.S. Illustrious from March 1902 through July 1903.  He was appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to King Edward VII on the 24th of May 1905.  From January to July of 1906 he was captain of H.M.S. New Zealand and he also commanded the Gunnery School at Devonport from 1903 to 1906. 

Foley was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on the 1st of July 1906 and to the rank of Vice-Admiral on the 3rd of January 1911.  He died on the 5th of March 1911.

            His only son, Lieutenant Thomas Algernon Fitzgerald Foley of the 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment, was killed in action on the 25th of October 1914.

Lieutenant Thomas Algernon Fitzgerald Foley, Norfolk Regiment

Figure 7.  Lieutenant Thomas Algernon Fitzgerald Foley, c. 1914.

            Lieutenant Thomas Algernon Fitzgerald Foley, 1st Battalion, The Norfolk Regiment was born on the 29th of December 1889, at Egerton Gardens, London, S.W.  He was the only son of the Vice Admiral Francis John Foley, grandson of Admiral the Hon. Fitzgerald A. C. Foley, a grandnephew of Colonel the Hon. Augustus Frederick Foley. Grenadier Guards, and of General the Hon. Sir St. George Gerald Foley, and a cousin of the present Baron Foley. 

            Thomas was educated at Eton (Mr. F. H. Rawlins' and Mr. H. de Havilland's Houses), to which he went in 1904. There he was in the Army Class, took prizes for history, mathematics, and other subjects and was in the O.T.C. From Eton he passed directly into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in 1908, passing first in order of merit in the Junior Trials, He was on the revolver team in 1909, which won many competitions, and he himself made the highest score against Woolwich.         

             He passed sixth out of Sandhurst, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Norfolk Regiment in September of 1909, joining his battalion at Brentwood, from which it went to Aldershot. There he shot successfully in several of the Aldershot rifle meetings, and was on his company's team for the Inter-Regimental Grand Challenge Shield, which they retained. He was promoted Lieutenant in October of 1911, and on the 3rd of August 1914, his battalion being then at Holywood, Belfast, was sent to take charge of Grey Point Fort. He was recalled to his battalion for mobilisation, and sailed with it for the front on the 14th August, landing at Havre.

            Within a few days the battalion was in action at Dour, in Belgium; and, beginning with the retirement from Mons, Lieutenant Foley was in every action till he fell at Festubert on the 25th October 1914. The following account of the circumstances was given by the Colonel and others :—" He had just made a most gallant advance to the trenches with his men under a very heavy fire, and had reached there safely. He was in the very foremost of the British lines when he fell, and he died at the head of his men, driving back a most desperate attack by overwhelming numbers of the enemy. He was buried, like a soldier, where he fell. The actual place where he was laid to rest is close to the most advanced trenches, as our line in that part of the battlefield has not advanced a yard since the day when he fell, gallantly defending it." Lieutenant Foley was a keen soldier, an excellent shot and horseman, his chief recreation having been hunting.

            His mother received several letters from soldiers, showing that they held their late officer in great esteem.


NOTE: The description of Lieutenant Foley’s life and service as presented above was taken from the Internet sale web site of Dix Noonan Web (DNW), which had Foley’s dress sword for sale some years back.  Figure 8 below is a photograph of that sword as it appeared on the DNW web site.



Figure 8.  The Dress Sword of Lieutenant Thomas Algernon Fitzgerald Foley.







            We now come to the main character of this research work.  This work was prompted by the author’s purchase of Colonel Foley’s campaign medals in 2006.  His medals consist of the following and are shown in order below in Figure 9 from left to right.


Afghanistan Medal, 1878 (no clasp)

Egypt 1882 Medal with clasp [GEMAIZAH]

Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps [CAPE COLONY]


Khedive’s Star Medal (undated)


Figure 9.  The Medals of Colonel Algernon Campbell Foley, R.E.


The naming on each of the medals is in engraved upper case lettering as indicated below as indicated below.  The Khedive’s Star is unnamed, as issued.


Afghanistan Medal, 1878:  LIEUT. A.C. FOLEY. R.E.


Egypt 1882 Medal:  CAPTAIN. A.C. FOLEY. R.E.


Queen’s South Africa Medal: LT: COL: A.C. FOLEY. R.E.


            Some of the information contained below may have already been presented in previous sections of this narrative when discussing the Foley family; however, it bears repeating in this section dealing with Colonel Campbell so that the reader will have a better understanding of his life and military service.  Most of the information presented below has been obtained from copies of original documents regarding Foley’s life and service; specifically from Army Lists, medal rolls, census returns and newspapers as shown in the REFERNCES at the end of this narrative.  Information from other sources is cited as necessary.


His Early Life


            Algernon Campbell Foley was born on the 17th of January 1853 in Garboldisham, Norfolk, a town located about 21 miles southwest of the town of Norfolk.  He was the second son of Admiral, The Honourable Fitzgerald Algernon Charles Foley, R.N. and Frances Foley (née Campbell).  Admiral Foley and Frances had six additional children:  


Cecil Fitzgerald (born 1851, died 1922, aged 71 years);

Francis John (born 1855, died 1913, aged 58 years);

Reginald Edward (born 1864, died 1900, aged 36 years);

Adelaide Mary (born 1860, died 1896, aged 36 years);

Frances (born 1865, died 1953, aged 88 years)

Edith (born 1865, died 1867, aged 2 years).


Frances and Edith were twins.  Oddly, Frances lived the longest of all the siblings and her twin sister Edith died only two years after their birth.


            In 1861 the Foley family was residing at Leamington Priors in Leamington,[8] Warwickshire, located 24 miles southeast of Birmingham and 2 miles northeast of Warwick on the River Leam.  Algernon is shown in the census of this year as a scholar, 8 years of age.[9]           By 1867 Admiral Foley and his wife had all the children that they apparently planned to have, but the first quarter of that year was a tragic one.  Frances Foley died on the 23rd of February at the age of 42 and little Edith died on the 1st of March.


His Military Education


            Algernon joined the Army as a Gentleman Cadet on the 26th of July 1870 at the age of 17.  The 1871 Census of England and Wales shows him as a Gentleman Cadet residing at the Army Service Corps Barracks in Woolwich, Kent and as a student in the Royal Military Academy.  After almost 2 years at Woolwich he was commissioned a Temporary Lieutenant in the Corps of Royal Engineers with commission to bear the date of the 2nd of November 1872.[10]  However, his temporary commission was made permanent and antedated to the 2nd of May 1872, but not with back pay.[11]  


            Following his commissioning he was posted to the School of Military Engineering at Chatham, Kent where he remained until 1875.  While Algernon was at Chatham his father married for a second time to Renira Ann Purvis.  Admiral Foley and Renira did not have any children.


            On the 26th of March 1875 Lieutenant Foley received a report on completing the Course of Instruction at the School of Military Engineering.  The report contained the following comments:  Military Duties, Satisfactory; Field Works, Very Good; Construction and Estimating, Good; Telegraph and Army Signalling, Good; Survey, Fair;

and Chemistry: Good.


            The report would seem to indicate that Lieutenant Foley was not an outstanding student at the School of Military Engineering.  His strong subject obviously was Field Works where he achieved a mark of Very Good.  The term Field Works, as interpreted by the author by way of his own training and experience as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army, would have taken in the subjects of field fortification, explosives, demolitions, trenching or sapping, expedient bridge construction and other areas of field engineering to assist the Army on the battlefield.  If an officer of the Royal Engineers had to excel in any of the subject listed above, Field Works would probably be the most important.


            Lieutenant Foley’s marks during the course also may have been affected by something that was not within his control.  On the 27th of March 1875 the Commandant of the School prepared the following document addressed to the Deputy Adjutant General of the Royal Engineers:


Confidential Report by the Commandant, School of Military Engineering


To: The D.A. General, Royal Engineers


I have the honor to report that Lieutenant A.C. Foley Royal Engineers has completed his course of instruction.  Lieutenant Foley has done his work well generally speaking.  He has exceeded his allotted time at the S.M. Engineering by 93 days in consequence of a long illness which has caused an excess of leave = 154 days.


His endeavors to save time on some of his courses accounts for certain parts of his work being hurriedly done.

I have the honor to be


Your ob. Servant

T.L.J. Gallwey[12]

Colonel, R.E.



            It is obvious from Colonel Gallwey’s confidential report that he was trying to assist Lieutenant Foley by giving an explanation for his achieving only Satisfactory to Good marks in five of the six subjects that he studied.  Given the duration of Foley’s illness while at the school, Gallwey is attempting to give him credit for the effort that he put into his studies, despite his long illness.  Apparently Foley’s performance at the School of Military Engineering, helped along by Colonel Gallwey’s comment, convinced the D.A. General that Foley was worthy of retaining in the Corps.


His Active Service


India, 1876-1877


            Sometime in 1876, upon leaving the School of Military Engineering and perhaps after a short period of leave, Lieutenant Foley was posted to Bengal, India.    By 1877 he was serving as Assistant Engineer, 2nd Grade, with the Department of Public Works, Irrigation Branch in Bengal.


Afghanistan, 1878-1880

            His first period of truly active service began with the start of the Second Afghan War of 1878 to 1880.  He served as Assistant Field Engineer with the Kandahar Field Force during the first campaign and was present during the advance to Khelat-i-Ghilzai.  He also was present during the occupation of Kandahar.[13]  He was awarded the Afghanistan 1878-1880 medal but without any clasps, probably indicating that he was not present at the battles that took place at either of those locations.[14]  The reader is referred to S.H. Shadbolt’s book, The Afghan Campaign of 1878-1880 for details of these battles.


            There were two field companies of Bengal Sappers and Miners in the British 1st Division that were actively engaged in the battles of the Second Afghan War, and Lieutenant Foley served with each of them for a short period of time.  The Royal Engineers order of battle in the Kandahar Field Force in December of 1878 was as follows:

 1st Division

 Commander Royal Engineers: Colonel R H Sanker

Brigade Major: Major A. Le Mesurier

Assistant Field Engineers: Lt C.F. Call and Lt E.S.E. Childers

Superintendent Field telegraphs: Lt G.R.S. Savage

9th and 10th companies Bengal Sappers & Miners

Engineer Field Park

 2nd Division

Commander Royal Engineers: Lt-Colonel W. Hichens

Field Engineers: Captain W.S.S. Bisset and Captain W.G. Nicholson

5th Company Bengal Sappers & Miners

Engineer Field Park

            Foley’s participation in the war as an Assistant Field Engineer most likely involved survey work, road construction work and general engineering works on the lines of communication in Afghanistan.  He probably visited the major battle fields of the war during his time there, but as indicated above and by the lack of a clasp on his medal, he did not take an active part in any of the battles.   

            This description of Kandahar at the time that Lieutenant Foley was there is taken from The History of the Corps of Royal Engineers, Volume II:-  

"Some of us went over the citadel to see what there was ...... The buildings were scattered about anyhow, small courtyards and large gardens and squares, magazine and arsenal, a succession of mud walls, low doors, underground passages, and filth and ordure of every description in the greatest profusion, large tanks of stagnant water, muddy ditch, and a stench pervading which made one sick. As for the fortifications, the section or profile was all right (had the works been in repair), and consisted of a ditch 25 feet wide, and generally 10 feet deep, with means of filling it with water at pleasure, then an outer wall 10 feet high and about 18 inches thick, then a chemin des rondes 18 feet wide, then a main parapet 20 feet high, average 15 feet thick in the centre, provided with a 6-foot wall on top, and an interior way of 30 feet clear when the houses began. The material, mud built up in layers with chopped straw, which might have stood battering guns for a length of time, in fact, some of the artillery men doubted if any impression to speak of could have been made."  

Another entry from the Corps History indicates that:-

 "Foley's survey is capitally done, and gives the whole route from Khelat-i-Ghilzai here, except the first and last marches. . . . “  This comment was made by Major A. Le Mesurier, the Brigade Major of the 1st Division.

             This would lend credence to the idea that Foley’s tasks during the campaign, as an Assistant Field Engineer, at a minimum consisted of route survey for the Field Force

             The Corps History provides an extensive list of the officer of the Royal Engineers who served in the campaign, among whom Foley is listed.  Some of these officers served with units of the Bengal Sappers and Miners, but the majority served in staff positions.

             The Engineers who took part in the war and received the medal with clasps for the various actions at which they were present were more numerous than in any previous campaign.[15] The list is as follows, with the red crosses (┼) indicating casualties:-

 Major-General Sir M. K. Kennedy who was Controller-General of Transport and Supply to all the columns; Major-General F. R. Maunsell; Colonels R. H. Sankey, R. de Bourbel, D. Limond, W. Hichens, E. Perkins, J. Bonus; Lieutenant-Colonels J. Hills, J. G. Lindsay, E. T. Thackeray, G. S. Hills, G. E. Sanford, T. F. Dowden, W. B. Holmes, F. Blair, R. Thompson, O. B. C. St. John (employed as a Political Officer), C. A. Sim, W. M. Campbell, James Browne (also employed as a Political Officer), B. Lovett, W. North, H. G. Woodthorpe, E. P. Leach; Majors C. R. Judge, A. LeMesurier, S. C. Clarke, E. N. Peters, M. J. Macartney, E. D. Twemlow, K. A. Jopp, W. J. Heaviside, R. P. Tickell, M. A. Alves, C. Strahan, S. W. Jenner, E. Harvey, A Hill, W. A. Wallace, B. Blood, M. W. Rogers, E. M. Larminie, T. H. Holditch, W. S. Bisset, W. G. Nicholson, C. F. Call, L. F; Brown; Captains G. F. Boughey, J. L McPherson, J. T. Wright, R. R. Pulford, M. C. Brackenbury, S. L. Jacob, C. H. Kensington, W. H. Haydon, G. M. Cruickshank, R. F. Moore, G. Henry, C. H. Bagot, G. W. Bartram, W. W. Whiteford, C. C. Rawson, A. R. Dorward, C. F. Fuller, H. A. Yorke, H. Dove, R. C. Hart, V. C., H. 0. Selby, F. T. Spratt, W. W. Robinson, W. Peacocke, R. T. Orpen, G. R. R. Savage, P. Haslett, J. W. Thurburn, C. Hoskyns, T. Beauclerk, St. G. C. Gore, R. H. Brown, D. A. Scott, M. Martin, C. B. Henderson, L. Langley, and   J. Dundas; Lieutenants F. B. D'Aguilar, W. T. Shone, W. H. White, J. M. T. Badgley, H. W. Duperier, H. L. Wells, E. Raban, B. Scott, S. Grant, S. H. Exham, E. Glennie, H. P. Leach, W. H. Chipendall, A. C. Bruce, J. H. C. Harrison, T. P. Cather, H. D. Olivier, E. S. Hill, H. W. Smith, W. G. Bowyer, J. C. Addison, J. C. Campbell, G. Davidson, G. H. O'Sullivan, E. Blunt, R. C. Hamilton, J. Burn-Murdoch, J.B. Sharpe, T. Digby, M. C. Barton, R. C. Maxwell, A. C. Foley, J. Neville, C. L. Young, R. Jennings, C. H. Darling, P. T. Buston, G. H. Sim, H. Finnis, J. A. Ferrier, J. D. Fullerton, E. C. Spilsbury, G. T. Jones, W. D. Conner, R. V. Phillpotts, W. D. Lindley, E. H. Bethell, F. W. Attree, Hon. M. G. Talbot, A. L. Mein, S. A. Hickson, G. C. Onslow, W. F. Stafford, E. A. Waller, A. H. Kenney, R. A. Wahab, W. A. St. Clair, E. S. Childers, C. Maxwell, W. Coles, G. E. Shute, J. G. Day, G. M. Porter, A. E. Dobson, H. W. Jerome, G. K. Scott-Moncrieff, F. Peel, A. C. Macdonnell, A. H. Mason, J. E. Dickie, H. E. Abbott, H. H. Barnet, C. B. Mayne, H. E. Goodwyn, A. J. Kater, A. H. Randolph, L. C. Jackson, F. B. Longe, G. H. B. Gordon, E. C. Stanton, J. Kellie, A. R. Ancrum, T. R. Henn, C. Nugent, B. Poulter, and J. T. Rice.

             Of the officers listed above, seven lost their lives during the war.  Captain Cruickshank and Lieutenant Henn were killed in action, Captain Dundas and Lieutenant Nugent were killed by an explosion, and Lieutenants Dobson, Poulter, and Rice died from exposure.


 1.      While the above list of officers may seem superfluous to the story of Foley’s life and service, the author thinks that its inclusion may help others researching Royal Engineers officers who served in the Second Afghan War.

2.      The medal roll on which Lieutenant Foley appears for the award of the Afghanistan Medal also contains the names of two very prominent Royal Engineers officers; Major E.J. Thackeray, V.C. and Captain (later General Sir) Bindon Blood.


India, 1880-1885

            Later in 1880, following the campaign in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Foley was posted to Kasaulie, India.  Kasaulie (or Kasauli (Hindi: कसौली)) was (and still is) a cantonment and town, located in Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The cantonment was established by the British Raj in 1842 as a Colonial hill station, 77 kilometers from Simla (or Shimla), 65 kilometers from Chandigarh, and 94 kilometers from Ambala Cantt (Haryana), an important Railway Junction of North India.  It lies at an elevation of 6,322 feet above sea level.

            Kasaulie had a very interesting history.  The 1857 Indian War of Independence (the Indian Mutiny) stirred the hearts of the Kasaulie Guard, numbering about eighty Indian soldiers. Receiving news that the Gurkha Regiment at nearby Jutogh has also risen in revolt, the garrison at Kasaulie set out to join them. Before the two could combine and pose a serious threat, the British agent talked the Gurkha Regiment into submission, on promise of a general pardon. The Kasaulie Guard found themselves completely isolated. So far from being pardoned, they were severely punished for their insurgence. Kasaulie was developed as a cantonment-sanatorium over 20 years, after the British had based themselves at Simla. Most of the old houses in Kasaulie, bought by princely families of Punjab and by generals in the Indian Army around the time of Independence, have been maintained quite well even to this day.  The fact that Kasaulie was developed as a “cantonment-sanatorium” may lead one to the conclusion that Foley was sent there to recuperate, perhaps from an illness or injury, following his service in Afghanistan.  No evidence has been uncovered to indicate that he was wounded during his time in Afghanistan, so it is only a surmise on the author’s part that he may have been sent to Kasaulie for rest and recuperation.

            From 1881 to 1885 Foley served as Duty Officer with the Indian Sappers and Miners at Roorkee.  Roorkee was the headquarters and depot of the Bengal Sappers and Miners, the unit to which Foley had originally been assigned when he first reached India.  Following the war in Afghanistan his association with this unit appears to have continued.  He was promoted to the rank of Captain on the 2nd of May 1884 while serving at Roorkee. His promotion was made under the provisions of Article 7 (b) of the Royal Warrant of the 11th of March 1882.[16]


Egypt and the Sudan, 1885-1893


            His service from 1885 to 1888 was not readily available to this researcher.  He may have spent an extended period on home leave, but this is not known for certain.  In 1888 he was serving at Suakin in the Sudan; however, he may have been posted to the Sudan as early as 1885 as the British Army was involved in operations in Egypt and the Sudan at that time against the dervish forces of the Mahdi.[17]  The Mahdi died of smallpox in June of 1885 and was succeeded by Khalifa Abdullah El Taashi.  From 1885 to December of 1888 there was considerable fighting in Egypt and the Sudan for which no bars were awarded.  However, in December of 1888 General Sir Francis Grenfell arrived with a combined British and Egyptian force, which was as usual surrounded by dervishes under Osman Digna.  On the 20th of December he made a sortie from Suakin and defeated them at Gemaizah, after which the troops at Suakin were again withdrawn except for small garrisons.[18]


Figure 10 and 11.  Sir Francis Wallace Grenfell, G.C.M.G., K.C.B.

Commander of British Troops at Gemaizah.


            The British land forces present at the battle of Gemaizah included 147 troopers of the 20th Hussars, 17 men of the 24th Company, Royal Engineers, the 2nd Battalion, 25th Foot (King’s Own Scottish Borderers), the 41st Foot (The Welsh Regiment), 34 men of the 86th Foot (Royal Irish Rifles), some Mounted Infantry and Egyptian Native Troops as well as a Naval Brigade made up of men from HMS Starling and HMS Racer.[19]  After one and a half hours of fighting, the casualties were 12 on the side of the British and Egyptians, and 1,000 on the side of the Arabs.   In this battle, three of the swords of the 20th Hussars broke short, an incident which later caused debate in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.  In the ensuing fighting, Osman Digna lost his arm.


            The following is the narrative written by Major-General Sir Francis Grenfell describing in detail the action at Gemaizah on the 20th of December 1888 as taken from the London Gazette dated January 11, 1889.  The London Gazette entry was provided by the War Office on January 9, 1889 and is based on the despatch written in Cairo on December 28, 1888 by Major-General Honourable J.C. Dormer, C.B    ., Commanding in Egypt.  It is the most comprehensive description of the action at Gemaizah that the author has been able to find anywhere.  Parts of the despatch have been omitted where they do not add to the description of the battle.  In its entirety the despatch consists of six double-column pages (pages 197 through 200).

I HAVE the honour to forward the following report on the action of Gemaizah on the 20th December 1888:-

            Previous to the action I examined personally the position of the enemy’s trenches which lie to the south-west of the North (Shaata) and South Water (Gemaizah) Forts, the latter being connected by an embankment running nearly due north at a distance of 1,200 yards from the enceinte [20]  The main trenches are roughly on a radius of 850-900 yards from the South Water Fort and 1,000 yards in length.  They traverse two khors, the north flank being carried about 50 yards beyond the crest of the spur, the south flank on a knoll south-south-west of the South Water Fort.  There are two gun emplacements, one in the north khor, and the other on the south flank.  The ground to the west of the trenches is a succession of open spurs running roughly east and west and was divided by bushy khors, but on the south-west the thick bush approaches more closely the south flank.

            Owing to the ground to the west of the enemy’s north flank being clear and practicable for cavalry, and the existence of a deep khor to the north of the north flank, which would afford excellent cover to form for attack before coming under fire, I determined to attack the enemy  on their north flank, at the same time making a feint on their south flank.[21]


[At this point in his despatch General Grenfell discusses rations, transport, medical, signals and ammunition details before resuming the narrative with the disposition of his forces before the attack.  These logistical details have been omitted here.]


            On the morning of the day of the attack the troops marched out from the enceinte and drew up at 6.30 a.m. in the khor between “H” redoubt and Ansari Gate facing south in the following order:-

            20th Hussars, Egyptian Cavalry, Mounted Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Barrow, D.S.O.

            2nd Brigade, 11th Soudanese Battalion.

            1st Brigade, 9th Soudanese Battalion, 10th Soudanese Battalion, 12th Soudanese Battalion under Colonel Kitchener, C.M.G., A.D.C.

            2nd Brigade, 4th Battalion.

            2nd Brigade was under Lieutenant-Colonel Holled Smith.

            Bearer Company.


            The 2nd Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Coke; 1st Battalion, Welsh Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Smyth; and 3rd Egyptian Battalion, under Captain Sillem (Kaimakam, Egyptian Army), marched out independently, and formed up in rear of Water Forts under cover at 6.30 a.m.

            Thirty marksmen, 2nd Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers were stationed in Fort Shaata, and twenty of 1st Battalion Welsh Regiment, in Fort Gamaizah.


[At this point there is a discussion of the rations, water, sandbags, entrenching tools and ammunition carried by the troops as well as feed for horses.  That discussion has been omitted from this narrative.]


            I then ordered Kitchener’s and Smith’s Brigades to advance up the khor running due west, covered by Barrow’s mounted men.

            Previous to this I had given orders that a general bombardment of the enemy’s trenches by guns of the forts and Her Majesty’s ship “Racer” should take place at 6 a.m., and this was continued until my arrival with my staff at Fort Gamaizah at 7.30 a.m., where a signalling station was established, and from which all orders emanated.  I then took control of the artillery fire, and directed it principally on the north and south flanks of the enemy’s trenches.

            At 7 a.m. the 2nd Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borders lined the embankment between the gun emplacements, and fired company volleys into the trenches and bush behind.

            The 1st Battalion Welsh Regiment deployed along the embankment to the south of Fort Gamaizah, poured section volleys into the enemy who appeared on the south flank.  They replied with a heavy but badly-aimed rifle fire.

            The attacking brigades now appeared in sight on the plateau to the north of the enemy’s north flank, in the following formation:-

            First Line. – 11th Battalion on the right, forming three sides of a square, with one Company in the square as a reserve; 1 Company 9th Battalion; 2 Companies 10th Battalion.

            Second Line. – 1 Company 9th Battalion; 2 Companies 10 Battalion.

            Supports. – 2 Companies in column 9th Battalion, 2 Companies in column 12th Battalion.

            Reserve echeloned on outer flank.

            4th Battalion in square

            At 600 yards about, the enemy opened a hot but badly-directed fire on the advancing Brigades, which reserved their fire till within 200 yards of the north end of the trench, where the larger number of the dervishes had collected.

            This position was strong and consisted of a double trench and several cross trenches to protect the flank.


             The Brigades now advanced by successive quick rushes, a heavy fire being kept up, which checked the dervishes, who showed a good front and appeared as if they were about to charge.

            The position was eventually taken at the point of the bayonet, and the dervishes, who stood gallantly to their trenches, despatched.

            About 50 dervish bodies lying in the trenches at this spot marked the severity of the fight.

            The 11th Battalion from their eagerness to fight broke their square on coming into contact with the enemy, deployed, and fired.

            The second line and supports were kept well in hand, were very steady, and did not fire a cartridge.

            The Brigades now advanced steadily up the trenches, firing when necessary; the main body of dervishes, however, vacated the trenches and attempted to form on our outer flank, but were broken up by the 11th Battalion, and retreated under a very heavy fire.

            I now ordered the 2nd Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers to move out from the north end of Fort Shaata.  They advanced and occupied the captured position, and at once entrenched themselves.

            The 4th Battalion had in the meantime halted on the trenches south of the Borderers, occupying a strong position sweeping the khor.

            On the first line coming into contact with the dervishes, I ordered out two Companies 1st Battalion Welsh Regiment and two Companies 3rd Battalion, to advance on the enemy’s redoubt on their south flank, and the Egyptian Horse Battery to gallop out and shell the dervishes, who were now showing freely.

            On this force appearing round the bank south of Fort Gamaizah, simultaneously with the continued advance along the trenches of the attacking Brigades, the remaining dervishes left their trenches and were soon in full retreat.  The guns of the left defence were directed on the bush behind the trenches, and their fire, especially that of the Naval 64-pounder R.M.L. gun and 6 Nordenfelt battery, together with the steady volleys of the Welsh and 3rd Battalion did great execution.

            The Horse Artillery Battery came into action 500 yards south of the enemy’s redoubt and shelled the retreating enemy as they ran into the bush.

            Cease fire sounded at 8 a.m. Two guns were captured, four kilo bronze guns, Egyptian manufacture, throwing 9-pounder shells; also a large quantity of gun and rifle ammunition, the dervish gunners being reported killed at their guns.

            When the Brigades formed to the south for attack, the Egyptian cavalry were pushed out towards Handoub, the 20th Hussars and Mounted Infantry protecting their right flank and rear.  The Mounted Infantry brought a well-aimed fire on the dervishes retreating from their north flank.

            The enemy’s cavalry having been reported working round our right flank, the cavalry were ordered to hold them in check.  Shortly afterwards the 20th Hussars came into contact with them, and arrested their advance by a successful charge, which broke up their line and threw them back in great disorder towards Hasheen.


            I regret that in this charge the Hussars lost for men killed and three wounded.

            At 8.15 a.m. when the enemy were in full retreat, the Mounted Infantry and Cavalry pursued them towards Hasheen till I ordered the pursuit to cease.  The Mounted Infantry and one troop Hussars pushed outwards [toward] Handoub to check a possible advance of the enemy from that direction.

            The Battalions now entrenched themselves, four zeribas being formed: No. 1 by the Borderers and Welsh who had joined them; No. 2 by the 11th Battalion; No. 3 by the 9th and 12th Battalions; No .4 by the 10th Battalion.

            The last entrenchments were admirably executed, and in less than an hour the troops were fully under cover and prepared to resist any attack from Handoub or Hasheen.  Two well-designed blockhouses in zeribas (1) and (2) were also erected under Captain Foley, R.E. and Lieutenant Buckland, R.E., and a detachment of Royal Engineers.  The rapidity with which they were built reflects great credit on both these officers.


            These last two sentences of course provide the Mention in Despatches that Foley received for his part in the battle at Gemaizah.[22]  The remainder of Major-General Grenfell’s despatch deals with mentions of other officers and men who distinguished themselves during the battle and the number of casualties that each unit suffered, both killed and wounded.


            Grenfell’s description of the battle is interesting in two regards.  First, he appeared to use the Egyptian and Soudanese forces in the forefront of the battle, holding the British troops back from the initial assault.  The result of this was that the British units suffered far fewer casualties than the Egyptians and Soudanese.  Secondly, Grenfell appeared to have micro-managed the battle, where by his own description of his actions and orders he moved companies around on the battlefield rather than providing guidance to brigade and battalion commanders for his concept of the operation of the battle so that they could direct the companies of their units to accomplish the mission.  His actions may have been typical of those of general officers during the Victorian period.


   A General Order, dated the 2nd of January 1890, authorized the issue of the Sudan medal with a bar, inscribed Gemaizah, 1888, to all troops who were landed at Suakin before the action of Gemaizah on the 20th of December 1888, and were there on that day. It also directed that the same medal should be granted to all troops who were employed on the Nile at and south of Korosko on August 3rd, 1889; and that a bar, inscribed Toski, 1889, be given to all who were present at that action on August 3rd. Captain Foley received the medal with the Gemaizah 1888 clasp.[23]  He also was awarded the Khedive’s Star (undated) for his service in the Sudan.




Figure 12.  The Battle of Suakin (Gemaizah), 20 December 1888.


   The medal roll authorizing Captain Foley the Egypt 1882 Medal indicates that he was not previously in possession of the medal for any actions in Egypt and the Sudan; therefore, his participation at the battle of Gemaizah was his first award of this medal.  It shows him eligible for the clasp [GEMAIZAH 1888] but not for the Toski clasp.  The roll also indicates that he was serving with his regiment, in this case the 24th Company, Royal Engineers and as he was the senior officer in the company (or the section of the company at Gemaizah) he was in command of the unit.  The 17 officers and men of the company who served in the battle at Gemaizah are listed below:

 Captain A.C. Foley

Lieutenant R.U.H. Buckland

18778 Sapper F. Baines

19089 Sapper J.T. Chamberlain

19289 Sapper A. Cram

14329 Sergeant G. Cordell

19225 Sapper F.G. Daine

16951 2nd Corporal N.D. Evans

18611 Sapper R. Gardner

19268 Sapper H. Gillard

19228 Sapper R. McKenzie

20074 Sapper H. Morris

19270 Sapper H. Peel

18693 Sapper D.C. Thorpe

18874 Sapper T. Vesey

18796 Lance Corporal F. Ward

19125 Driver F. Wyatt


In the summer of 1889 Sir Francis Grenfell went on to engage the dervish forces at Toski.  There is some question as to whether or not Captain Foley and his section were present at the battle of Toski, which took place on the 3rd of August 1889.  The medal roll for the 24th Company indicates that none of the men of Foley’s section were entitled to the clasp for Toski; however, Sandes (pp. 120-121) gives the following account of the battle:


Two brigades of Egyptian infantry and a regiment of British cavalry having arrived [at Toski], and a brigade of British infantry being on its way from Aswan, Grenfell attacked and defeated Wad en Nejumi in a decisive battle at Toski on August 3rd, 1889.  In this action, Kitchener was in command of the mounted troops, and, by skilful maneuvering of his squadrons, lured the dervish force to destruction.  Wad en Nejumi was killed and his force almost annihilated.  Several Royal Engineers, besides Kitchener, took part in these operations.  Major A.G. Clayton and Captain A.C. Foley were present with a section of the 24th Company.

Sandes was an eminent writer of the history of the Royal Engineers in India, Egypt and the Sudan.  His works had been published by The Institution of Royal Engineers and are considered excellent sources for information regarding the Corps.  However, there is no doubt that the medal roll for 24th Company at Gemaizah and Toski shows that Foley and his men did not received the clasp [TOSKI] for their medals.[24]  It is possible, and even quite probable, that the section of the 24th Company was with Grenfell’s forces near Toski as his brigades were virtually identical to those that fought at Gemaizah.  However, the section may have been far enough removed from the actual battlefield and not engaged in any way in the action, so that the men were not considered to be eligible for the clasp.  This would seem to have been rather stingy on the part of the War Office not to grant the clasp to these men.  Sandes may just have assumed that since the men of the 24th Company were with Grenfell’s force at the time, that they “were present” and “took part” in the battle itself.  Gordon (p. 212) shows that no unit of the Royal Engineers was present at Toski.


   In volume III of The History of the Corps of Royal Engineers (p. 61) the following description is given regarding the organization of the British forces at Toski:

General Grenfell, to whom Lieut.-Colonel Settle, R.E. acted as Chief Staff Officer, completed his preparations early in August.  The Anglo-Egyptian force under his command was organized in the following manner.  The British brigade, which was commanded by Major-General the Hon. R. de Montmorency, was composed of three infantry battalions, a squadron of cavalry, a battery of artillery, and a section of the 24th Field Company, Royal Engineers, under Captain Foley; Major Clayton held the post of Commanding Royal Engineer.  The Egyptian troops were organized in two columns, the first commanded by Colonel Wodehouse, R.A., and the second by Colonel Kitchener, R.E.

           Again we see, this time in the Corps History, that Foley and his section were at Toski, or at least they were part of the force that fought at Toski.  Did Colonel Sir Charles M. Watson, who wrote this volume of the Corps History, get his information from Sandes or did Sandes get it from Watson?  The source of the data is uncertain, but it appears certain that Foley was at Toski.  Why were he and his men not authorized the clasp for that battle?  Is it possible that the General Officer Commanding simply awarded the infantry and cavalry who fought in the battle and neglected the support troops?  That was not uncommon then and is not uncommon to this day.


                Army Lists indicate that Foley remained in Egypt until at least May of 1890.  On the 21st of January 1890 the Egypt medal roll for his unit was prepared in Cairo and as previously mentioned it showed his entitlement to the clasp [GEMAIZAH] but not for [TOSKI].  The roll was sent to England and was received at Woolwich on the 19th of February 1890 and Foley received his medal with the clasp on the 21st of April of that year.  On the 23rd of November 1891 Foley was promoted to the rank of Major.[25] 

 Home Service, 1893-1899

                His service during 1892 was not found in any Army Lists of the period and it is possible that he was on an extended period of leave during that time.  In 1893 he was serving as the Officer Commanding the 37th Field Company, Royal Engineers in the Curragh, Ireland and in 1895 he was the Officer Commanding the 23rd Field Company at Aldershot, Hampshire.  In March of 1898 the Army Lists show him serving in Cardiff, Wales and on the 9th of June 1899 he received a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

 South Africa, 1899-1900

            Lieutenant Colonel Foley served in the South African War of 1899 to 1902.  On the 3rd of December 1900 Foley, Commanding Royal Engineer (CRE) of the Third Division, and the 12th Field Company, under Major Graham Thomson, landed at East London in the Cape Colony and proceeded at once to Sir W. Gatacre’s headquarters at Putterskraal between Queenstown and Sterkstrom, where the general was making preparations to drive the Boers out of Stormberg. 


            The greater part of the 12th Company was detailed to take part in the operation and went by train to Molteno on the afternoon of 6th of December, as it was arranged that the British force was to make a night march from that place and surprise the Boers at Stormberg. Owing to various causes, the attack failed, and the British troops retired to Sterkstrom, where the 12th Company did good work in constructing defences at that place, and at advanced positions in front of it. 

             As the CRE of the Third Division, Foley directed the general engineering works in the Cape Colony (1899-1900) and the Orange Free State (1900).  He also served in the Transvaal in May and June of 1900.[26]  During Foley’s time in South Africa his brother, Captain Reginald Edward Foley of the Shropshire Light Infantry, the 45th Sikhs and the Indian Staff Corps, died.  He was 36 years of age when he died on the 7th of February 1900.

             On the 5th and 6th of May 1900 Foley took part in the operations at the Vet River and Zand River.  On the 5th of May the Boers were driven from their position on the Vet River, but they succeeded in blowing up the railway bridge before retreating.  During the advance, the 12th and 26th Field Companies marched with their respective divisions, and had much work improving the roads and assisting in the repair of the railway.  The 12th Field Company was in the Third Division and it was under Foley’s direction that this work was done.  Similar work was accomplished at the Zand River on the 6th of May.[27]

             On the 31st of May 1900, as the Commander Royal Engineers of the British 3rd Infantry Division, Lieutenant Colonel Foley took part in the action at Johannesburg.  This was the next operation undertaken by Lord Roberts and on the 29th of May General Ian Hamilton's column, which had crossed from the left to the right of the British main advance, prepared to attack Doornkop, a hill 12 miles west of the town, where the Boers had taken up a strong position. This was captured after some severe fighting, the brunt of which fell on the 19th Infantry Brigade, to which a section of the 7th Field Company, commanded by Lieut. E. E. B. Wilson, was attached, and the 21st Brigade, with which was a section of the 9th Field Company, commanded by Lieut.-Llewelyn Evans. Meanwhile, the Cavalry Division threatened the right flank of the Boers who withdrew to Johannesburg but did not hold it long, as the place surrendered on May 31st. 

             On the 11th and 12th of June 1900 Lieutenant Colonel Foley took part in the battle at Diamond Hill.  When the British Army took possession of Pretoria on the 15th of June, the Transvaal forces, under General Botha, retired along the railway leading east from the capital, and took up a position on some hills near Pienaarpoort Station about 14 miles distant.  Lord Roberts sent a force of about 14,000 men to attack them, and Diamond Hill, the key of the position, was captured, when the Boers retired, leaving Pretoria safe from further trouble. Rut Lord Roberts decided not to follow them up until the Natal Army had arrived to take part in the operations. 

             Although Lord Roberts in his advance to Pretoria, had defeated all the Boer forces, with which he had come in contact, he had left behind him a long line of communications, passing through hostile territory, and liable to attack at many places.  To guard this, it was necessary to keep a large force in the Orange Free State, consisting of the Third, Sixth, Eighth, and part of the Ninth Infantry Divisions, to hold the railway, and, as far as possible, to maintain order in the eastern and southern parts of the State.

             From the 26th through the 27th of August 1900 Foley took part in the operations around  Belfast.  Belfast was occupied on the 24th, when the 12th Field Company of Foley’s Third Division was employed in constructing defences round it.  The following day Lord Roberts arrived at Belfast and issued orders for the attack of the Boer position at Bergendal, 5 miles to the east, and this was captured on the 27th.

 Home Service, 1900-1904

                Lieutenant Colonel Foley left South Africa for England on the 17th of November 1900 aboard S.S. Norham Castle.  The London Times of the 21st of November 1900 indicated that Foley and Lieutenant Colonel A.H. Kenney, R.E. were aboard the ship.  A unit of Electrical Engineers consisting of 7 officers and 42 men also was noted to be aboard the ship.  The officers were Captains F. Lindsay, A. Bain, H.M. Leaf[28] and a Captain by the name of Lloyd, whose initials were not given, and Lieutenants J. Oshaughnessy, F. Powell Williams and a Lieutenant by the name of Bigge whose initials also were not given.  The London Times of the 8th of December 1900 indicated that the ship with Foley aboard landed at Southampton.  Upon his arrival home, Foley was posted to the Isle of Wight where he lived in Burlington Shanklin.


Figure 13.  S.S. Norham Castle.


   In 1903 Foley became involved in a libel action by him against one Ella Lawrence.  Two newspaper accounts of the legal proceedings that took place in the Central Criminal Court on the 19th and 24th of October 1903, Twelfth Session, 1902-1903 were published and are presented below:-


19 October 1903 (Before the Common Sergeant.)[29]


Ella Lawrence surrendered her bail upon an indictment for publishing libel concerning Lieutenant-Colonel A.C. Foley, of the Royal Engineers.

   Mr. Muir and Mr. R.B. Murphy prosecuted.

   It was stated by Mr. Muir that the accused up to the death of the late Mr. George Lake received from him an allowance of £2,000 per annum, and during the lifetime of Mr. Lake Colonel Foley occasionally visited them.  He had not seen the accused or heard of her from 1899 until comparatively recently.  After his father died in the course of the present year the accused wrote to him reminding him of the hospitality he had had, informing him of her straitened circumstances, and intimating that a sum of £500 would be of the greatest use to her.  In a second letter £50 was mentioned.  As Colonel Foley did not reply to any of the letters, the accused wrote to his brother, an officer in the Navy, and forwarded a large number of postcards written, in many cases, in an offensive manner to Colonel Foley.

   Colonel Foley was called and said he was never in the defendant’s house more than a dozen times in eight years, and the only hospitality he ever received was a cup of tea.

   The Common Sergeant, at the request of the accused, looked through the letters with the view of advising her what to do.  He saw, he said, in one of her letters an expression of regret for writing them, and as nothing would justify or excuse the publication of the libels the sooner she pleaded guilty the better.

   The accused. – “I am sorry I wrote the post-cards.”

   The defendant was found Guilty and was bound over in a recognizance of £50 to come up for judgment if called upon.

   The Common Sergeant said there was nothing in the letters which in the slightest degree reflected on Colonel Foley.  The accused seemed to have been unfortunate owing to the death of Mr. Lake, and if she had any friends they had better look after her.  Probably she was not the only person who had suffered by the death of Mr. Lake.


24 October 1903


Ella Lawrence of Woburn Place, Russell Square was summoned for maliciously publishing a defamatory libel of and concerning Colonel Algernon Campbell Foley, Royal Engineers, stationed at Ryed, Isle of Wight.[30] Mr. Herbert Muskett appeared in support of the summons; Mr. Harold Simmons defended.  Mr. Muskett said the document complained of was a post-card, and that it was libelous nobody who read it could dispute.  William Thomas Parsloo, superintendant clerk in the Adjutant General’s Office, Royal Engineers, said the card in question was delivered by post at the War Office on August 26.  He re-addressed it, and forwarded it to the complainant at Ryde.  Colonel Foley then proved the receipt of the post-card at Ryde.  He said it was one of about 30 or 40 others of a similar class which had been sent by the defendant to his relatives and himself at the War Office, his bankers, his club, and his private address.  The card was a gross libel, and everything upon it was utterly untrue.  In cross-examination, the complainant said the card was libel so far as the contents related to him.  The latter part, dealing with destitution, he knew nothing about.  The magistrate pointed out that the only thing he had to decide at that Court was whether the card was libelous and whether it had been published by the defendant.  In further cross-examination, the complainant said the defendant had been an acquaintance of his since 1883, but he had not seen her for the last six years.  He had not seen her write, but had received a great number of letters while in Egypt, and he had replied to some of the earlier ones.  He did not think he had been inside her mansions during the last six or eight years.  The defendant was then committed for trial; and, on receiving an undertaking from the defendant that she would not write to the complainant in this way pending the trial, the magistrate allowed her out on her own recognizances in £50 to come up for judgment if called upon. 


   The Common Sergeant said there was nothing in the letters which in the slightest degree reflected on Colonel Foley.  The accused seemed to have been unfortunate owing to the death of Mr. Lake, and if she had any friends they had better look after her.  Probably she was not the only person who had suffered by the death of Mr. Lake.


                   These are two separate newspaper accounts of the proceedings at the trial, which in many ways are identical in context and in wording.  Unfortunately the newspaper accounts do not answer certain questions that may have arisen with regard to the libel suit.  Specifically, what did the part about “destitution” have to do with Ella Lawrence and Colonel Foley and who was Mr. Lake?  Apparently poor Ella may have had both monetary and psychological problems.         

 Barbados, 1901-1903

                After his posting to the Isle of Wight, Lieutenant Colonel Foley was posted to the island of Barbados where he was assigned as the Commander Royal Engineers.  Upon arrival on Barbados he took up residence in Shot Hall (now a Yacht Club), a building that had been erected in 1810.  This was the private residence of the Officer Commanding the Royal Engineers.[31]


Figure 14.  Shot Hall, the C.R.E. Residence on Barbados in 1901.

            On the 20th of April 1901 Algernon Campbell Foley married Mabel Molyneux Seel McDonagh, the daughter of Vincent Eustace McDonagh of Dublin, Ireland.  The information regarding Mabel’s name was taken from a web site titled THE DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, created by Alan G Freer A.C.I.B., Member of the Society of Genealogists in London.  The site may be found at www.william1.co.uk/t12.htm.  However, there are some discrepancies between this web site information and the marriage certificate for Algernon and Mabel that was obtain by the author of this narrative.  The marriage certificate gives the following information:

MARRIAGE solemnized in the Cathedral and Parish Church of Saint Michael, in the Island of Barbados, on April 20th in the Year 1901


and Surname









Father’s Name

Rank or Occupation

Algernon Campbell Foley


49 yrs



Lieut. Col. R.E.



Shot Hall

Fitzgerald Foley




Mabel Molyneux Seal Applin


22 yrs






Shot Hall

V.E. McDonagh


Army Medical Staff

             The marriage certificate verifies that Foley was residing at Shot Hall when he married Mabel.  Mabel is shown as a widow whose surname was Applin and not McDonagh at the time that she married Foley.  This could be explained by the fact that Mr. Freer might not have been aware that she married and was widowed, although his research did indicate that her maiden name had been McDonagh.  No information regarding her first husband (Applin) was uncovered during the course of this research.  One other difference between the certificate and the work done by Alan Freer is the spelling of one of Mabel’s given names.  Freer gives it as “Seel” and the marriage certificate shows it as “Seal.”  The marriage certificate may be in error since the entry probably was made by a clerk who wrote the name on the certificate based on what he heard when her name was given to him verbally.  It is interesting to note that there was a 27-year difference in their ages at the time of their marriage!

            On the 17th of July 1901, while serving on Barbados, Lieutenant Colonel Foley was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with the clasps [CAPE COLONY][ORANGE FREE STATE][JOHANNESBURG] [DIAMOND HILL] and [BELFAST].[32]  On the 10th of September 1901 the London Gazette published a despatch from Lord Roberts in which Lieutenant Colonel Foley is mentioned for his meritorious service in South Africa.

            Foley was appointed to the brevet rank of Colonel on the 9th of June 1903 while serving on Barbados.  He actually received his Queen’s South Africa Medal on the 25th of June 1903 when the medal finally was issued to him.  His father, Admiral F.A.C. Foley died at the age of 80 on the 26th of July 1903 while Algernon was serving on Barbados and he and his wife returned to England shortly thereafter.

Retirement, 1904-1914

            Colonel Foley was placed on half pay on the 9th of June 1904 and he retired from the Army on the 26th of October of that year. 

            In January of 1905 Colonel and Mrs. Foley were residing at Ashton Lodge in Codford, Wiltshire.[33]  He was a member of the Naval & Military Club.  A check of the Royal Engineers Lists from 1910 through 1912 indicated that they no longer were living at Ashton Lodge, but their address was not shown in the lists.  During that period (on the 5th of March 1911) Colonel Foley’s brother, Vice Admiral Francis John Foley, R.N. died at age 56.

            Electoral Registers for the London area for the years 1913 through 1915 show that Colonel Foley and his wife had a residence at 21 Spencer Road, Grove Park, Chiswick.  The 1911 Census of England and Wales shows their address as Sutton Court in Chiswick and includes Algernon (age 58), Mabel (age 30), a housekeeper and two housemaids.  Mabel’s place of birth is shown as Bombay, India.  The Foleys had no children. 

Return to Temporary Military Duties, 1914-1915

            On the 2nd of November 1914 the War Office contacted Foley and called him back to the Colours as a Retired Officer Temporarily Employed.  His primary duty was to train recruits of the Royal Engineers for the New Armies.  It appears that he began this duty by serving with the Royal Engineers of the 17th and 18th Divisions of the New Armies.

            The 17th (Northern) Division was established by the Northern Command in September 1914, as part of the Army Orders authorizing Kitchener’s Second New Army, K2. Early days were somewhat chaotic, the new volunteers having very few trained officers and NCOs to command them, no organized billets or equipment. The units of the Division initially concentrated in the Wareham – Lulworth – Swanage – Wool- Bovington area of Dorset but moved in late May 1915 to the Winchester area.  After receiving an order that the Division would be retained for home defence (subsequently cancelled), advance parties left for France on the 6th of July 1915.[34]  Foley did not accompany the division to France.

            The 18th (Eastern) Division was established by the Eastern Command in September 1914, as part of the Army Orders authorizing Kitchener’s Second New Army, K2. Again, the early days during the establishment of this division were confused with the new volunteers having very few trained officers and NCOs to command them and no organized billets or equipment. The units of the Division initially concentrated in the Colchester area but moved in May 1915 to Salisbury Plain. King George V inspected the Division on the 24th of June 1915.  Embarkation for France began on the 24th of July 1915 and units moved to assemble near Flesselles, completing concentration there five days later.[35]  Again, Foley did not accompany the division to France.

            In April of 1915 Foley was appointed as the temporary Commander Royal Engineers of the 23rd Division.   This Division was established in September 1914 as part of Army Order 388 authorizing Kitchener’s Third New Army, K3. The units of the Division began to assemble at Bullswater (68th Brigade) and Frensham (69th and 70th Brigades and RE) in Hampshire in September 1914. The King, Queen and Princess Mary visited the fledgling Division on the 29th of September. The artillery formed at Mytchett Camp from November onwards.

            In early December, as the weather worsened, the Division moved into Aldershot.  More moves were made to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915 and to Bordon in Hampshire at the end of May. In April and May, some of the infantry was engaged on building defences to the south of London.

            Between the 21st and the 26th of August 1915 the 23rd Division landed in Boulogne and proceeded to the concentrate near Tilques.[36]  Foley was replaced by a younger officer prior to the move to France.

The Final Years, 1915-1926

            The Foleys lived in London following the Great War of 1914-1918.  In 1922 his brother, Commander Cecil Fitzgerald Foley died at the age of 71.  From 1923 to 1925 the Foleys resided at 60 St. James’s Court, Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London, S.W.1.

            On the 14th of March 1926 Algernon Campbell Foley died after a short illness at the Empire Nursing Home, Vincent Square, in the County of Middlesex at the age of 73 years.  He was interred on the 17th of March at the City of Westminster Cemetery.[37]  His obituary was published in The London Times of the 18th of November 1926. 

            Foley had prepared his last will and testament on the 15th of February 1904 while he and his wife were living at Burlington Shanklin on the Isle of Wight.  His wife, Mabel Molyneux Seel Foley, was designated his Executrix.  It should be noted that in his will his wife’s given name is shown as “Seel” and not “Seal” as on their marriage certificate, thus putting to rest the conflict with the spelling of that name which was previously discussed.  On the 1st day of July 1926 probate of this will was granted to Mabel Foley.  The gross value of his estate at the time of this death was £2,169-10s-1p.  The net value of the estate was £2,009-6s-9p.  Any claims on the estate of Colonel Foley were to be sent to his Solicitor, W.H. Bellamy at the Walter House, 418-422, Strand, London, W.C. 2.[38]

            Frances Foley, his last living sibling, died on the 1st of January 1953 at the age of 88 years.  No date of death could be found for the death of Mabel Foley during the course of this research.



Army Lists

1.      The Army List, 1873, p. 184.

2.      The Monthly Army List, April 1890, p. 240.

3.      The Monthly Army List, May 1890, p. 240.

4.      The Monthly Army List, March 1898, p. 445.

5.      The Official Army List, January 1911, p. 1978.

6.      The Monthly Army List, February 1915, pp. 810g and 818b.

7.      The Monthly Army List, April 1915, pp. 39, 812a and 818h.

8.      Hart’s Annual Army List, 1873, p. 216.

9.      Hart’s Annual Army List, 1874, p. 217.

10.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1876, p. 216.

11.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1877, p. 216.

12.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1880, p. 212.

13.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1881, p. 212.

14.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1884, p. 211.

15.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1885, p. 210.

16.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1888.

17.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1893, p. 209.

18.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1895, pp. 58 and 208.

19.  Hart’s New Army List, 1900, p. 270.

20.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1902, pp. 48 and 208.

21.  Harts Army List, 1908, p.785.

22.  Hart’s Annual Army List, 1914, p. 1387.


1.      BURKE, Sir Bernard.  Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Companionage.  Harrison & Sons, London, 1912, pp. 782-783.

2.      GORDON, L.L.  British Battles and Medals.  Spink & Son, Ltd., London, 1971, p. 212.

3.      HUNTER, A.  KITECHNER’S SWORD ARM: The Life and Campaigns of General Sir Archibald Hunter.  Sarpedon, New York, 1996, pp. 29, 31-33, 45 and 106.

4.      MERRIAM WEBSTER.  Geographical Dictionary, Springfield, MA, 1997.

5.      SHADBOLT, S.H.  The Afghan Campaign of 1878-1880.  J.B. Hayward & Son, London, undated, p. 127.

6.      SANDES, E.W.C.  The Royal Engineers in Egypt and the Sudan.  The Institution of Royal Engineers, Chatham, Kent, 1937.

7.      SANDILANDS, H.R.  The 23rd Division, 1914-1919.  William Blackwood and Sons, London, 1925, p. 355.

8.      Who Was Who, 1897-1916.  A. & C. Black Limited, London, 1920, p. 250.

Census Records

1.      1861 Census of England, RG9/2221, Registration District: Warwick, Sub-registration district: Leamington Priors, Enumeration District: 07, Folio: 42, Page 24, Household schedule number: 112, GSU Number: 542938.

2.      1871 Census of England, RG10/786, Registration District: Woolwich, Sub-registration district: Woolwich Arsenal, Institution: Army Service Corps Barracks and Royal Military Academy, Folio: 99, Page 31, Household schedule number: 1, GSU Number: 827741.

3.      1911 Census of England and Wales, Chiswick, London, Schedule 238.

Civil Registers

1.      Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, England and Wales.  Registration Year: 1853. Quarter: January-February-March. Registration District: Guiltcross, Norfolk.  Volume 4b, page 253.

2.      England Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975.

3.      London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965 for the years 1913, 1914, 1915 1923, 1924 and 1925.

4.      Civil Registration Death Index, England and Wales, 1916-2007, January-February-March 1926.

Civil Documents

1.      Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915, page 14, number 109.

2.      Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth, General Register Office, Number BXCB 727838 dated 1st August 2006 (Algernon Campbell Foley).

3.      Copy of Church Marriage License, Cathedral and Parish Church of Saint Michael, Island of Barbados, 1901, Algernon Campbell Foley and Mabel Molyneux Seal Applin.

4.      Proceedings of the Central Criminal Court, 19th October 1903, Twelfth Session, p. 65.

5.      Extract Copy of the Will of Algernon Campbell Foley and Probate Register.

6.      Certified Copy of an Entry of Death, General Register Office, Number DYB 096520, dated 31st July 2006 (Algernon Campbell Foley).

7.      England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, Algernon Campbell Foley, 1926.

Family Trees

1.      Brown: http://person.ancestry.com/tree/4189739/person/6844777896/facts

2.      Gumpper, K.: http://person.ancestry.com/tree/27537846/person/320043430888/facts

3.      Leitner, Mary C.: http://person.ancestry.com/tree/78048160/person/30378146132/facts

Internet Web Sites

1. Barbados Garrison.

2. Biography of Fitzgerald Algernon Charles Foley, R.N.  www.pdavis.nl/ShowBiog.php?id=1170

3. The Peerage.


4. The Peerage.


5. The Descendants of William the Conqueror.


6.  Francis John Foley.

7.  Francis John Foley.

8.  Dix Noonan Web Catalog.

9.  Battle of Gemaizah. https://books.google.com/books?id=HONCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA216&lpg=PA216&dq=royal+engineers+battle+of+gemaizah+1888&source=bl&ots=5409sA60Pu&sig=7i5Sl4qwm9398ewlGY2ff-aE3Fc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjozu2t64jQAhWC8YMKHWZ-D6YQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

10. Thomas Foley, 2nd Baron Foley.

11. Baron Foley.

12.  Division Histories.



13.  Wilden Ironworks.


London Gazette

1.      The London Gazette, November 1, 1872, p. 5107.

2.      The London Gazette, April 20, 1875, p. 2189.

3.      The London Gazette, May 2, 1884, p. 1981.

4.      The London Gazette, January 11, 1889, p. 199.

5.      The London Gazette, December 22, 1891, p. 7072.

6.      The London Gazette, September 10, 1901.

7.      The London Gazette, 23 July 1926, p. 4905.

Medal Rolls

1.      Afghan 1878-80 Medal Roll.  WO100/51.

2.      Egypt 1882 Medal Roll, 24th Company, R.E. for Operation at Gemaizah.  WO100/65.

3.      Medal Roll, Queen’s South Africa Medal, 12th Field Company, R.E. WO100/155 and WO100/156.

4.      Medal Index Card, Lieutenant Thomas Algernon Fitzgerald Foley, 1st Battalion, The Norfolk Regiment.

Military Service Papers and Documents

1.      Report of Qualifications, School of Military Engineering, 26 March 1875.

2.      Confidential Report prepared by the Commandant, S.M.E., dated 27 March 1875.

3.      Statement of Services of Algernon Campbell Foley.

Miscellaneous Notes

1.      Elite Collections Note accompanying sale of medals.

2.      Letter from Peter Bennett or Fleet, Hampshire to Edward De Santis, dated 4 August 2006.

3.      Commonwealth War Graves Commission Register for Thomas Algernon Fitzgerald Foley.

4.      Commonwealth War Graves Commission Scroll for Thomas Algernon Fitzgerald Foley.

Newspaper Articles

1.      Obituary, Algernon Campbell Foley, The Times, 14 September 1926.

2.      Newspaper Article, 1903, Regarding a Libel Action by Algernon Campbell Foley Against one Ella Lawrence.

Royal Engineers Lists

1.      The Royal Engineers Monthly List, January 1905, p. xvii.

2.      The Royal Engineers Monthly List, August 1910, p. xxxii.

3.      The Royal Engineers Journal, June 1930, page 347.


[1]  Witley Court was one of the great country houses of England, reaching its peak in the Victorian period when it was the setting for extravagant parties and royal entertainments. After a devastating fire in 1937, however, it became one of the country’s most spectacular ruins. It is still possible to gain a sense of the opulence and scale of the 19th-century interiors, as well as to see the earlier layers of the building’s history laid bare by the fire.

[2]  The Foley Ironworks: In 1647, it was referred to as having (or rather having had) six walk stocks and two corn mills. In fact, in about 1633, it had been converted to include a slitting mill. This was bought by Richard Foley, who subsequently gave it to his son Thomas. In 1647, he built a finery forge there, and when his eldest son another Thomas renewed the lease in 1685, it was described as having a slitting mill and two forges.  This was one of a number of ironworks in the lower Stour valley that depended on pig iron brought up the River Severn from the Forest of Dean and elsewhere. It produced bar iron and wrought iron for manufacture into finished iron goods, such as nails, in the Black Country.  Operation of the ironworks passed in 1669 with the rest of the older Thomas's Midlands ironworks to his youngest son Philip Foley, and he operated them until 1679, when he arranged for his brother to lease the works to Richard Avenant and John Wheeler, who had been his managers. They ran them until 1692 when a new partnership, 'Ironworks in Partnership', was formed between Philip Foley, his brother Paul, Avenant, Wheeler, and Wheeler's brother Richard, with John Wheeler as managing partner. Richard withdrew in 1698, taking over certain other ironworks on his own. In 1705, the partnership gave up its last ironworks in the Midlands, when William Rea of a new partnership.

[3]  Kidderminster is a town located 18 miles west southwest of Birmingham on the River Stour in the present county of Hereford and Worcester.  It is known for its worsteds, metal ware and Kidderminster carpets, which have been manufactured since 1735. 

[4]  Privy Council.  P.C. is a post-nominal used only by peers of the realm.

[5]  The Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms is a bodyguard to the British Monarch. Until 17 March 1834, they were known as The Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners.

[6]  The Privy Council is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians, who are present or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

[7]  Clasps verified on British War Office medal rolls WO 100/155/14 and WO100 /156/99.

[8]  Now known as Royal Leamington Spa.

[9]  1861 Census of England and Wales.

[10]  The London Gazette, November 1, 1872, p. 5107.

[11]  The London Gazette, April 20, 1875, p. 2189.

[12]  T. Lionel J. Gallwey.  Date of rank to Colonel, 12 April 1872.

[13]  Harts Army List, 1890, p. 228c.

[14]  Afghan, 1878-80 Medal Roll, WO100/51.

[15]  Due to the nature of Foley’s work during the campaign he did not receive any clasps to his medal.  The clasps that were awarded included Ali Musjid, Piewar Kotal, Charasia, Ahmed Khel, Kabul and Kandahar.

[16]  The London Gazette, May 2, 1884, p. 1981.

[17] Muhammad Ahmad (1845–1885), a Sudanese Sufi sheikh of the Samaniyya order, declared himself Mahdi in June 1881 and went on to lead a successful military campaign against the Turko-Egyptian government of Sudan. Although he died shortly after capturing the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, in 1885, the Mahdist state continued under his successor, Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, until 1898, when it fell to the British army following the Battle of Omdurman.[66][67]

[18]  Gordon, pp. 207 and 208.

[19]  Ibid., p. 208.

[20]  An enceinte is an enclosure or the enclosing wall of a fortified place

[21]  Many searches have been made of literature that might provide a map of the terrain described by General Grenfell, unfortunately without success. 

[22]  Note that General Grenfell referred to the location of the battle as Gamaizah, while the clasp for the medal for this battle is [GEMAIZAH]. 

[23]  Medal Roll, 24th Company, Royal Engineers, dated Woolwich, 19 February 1890.

[24]  The author has a copy of this medal roll.

[25]  The London Gazette, December 22, 1891, p. 7072.

[26]  Although he served in the Transvaal during this period he did not get the [TRANSVAAL] clasp for his Queen’s South Africa Medal.

[27]  Corps History, Volume III, p. 115.

[28]  Later Lieutenant Colonel Henry Meredith Leaf, D.S.O., R.E., London Electrical Engineers.  He served in the Great War of 1914-1918 and was wounded in action.  He died on 23 April 1931.  

[29]  The Common Serjeant of London (full title The Serjeant-at-Law in the Common Hall) is an ancient British legal office, first recorded in 1291, and is the second most senior permanent judge of the Central Criminal Court after the Recorder of London, acting as deputy to that office, and sitting as a judge in the trial of criminal offences.

[30]  Ryde is a British seaside town and civil parish on the Isle of Wight.  It lies on the north-east coast. The town grew in size as a seaside resort after the villages of Upper Ryde and Lower Ryde were merged in the 19th century. The influence of this era is still strongly visible in the town's central and seafront architecture.

[31]  http://www.barbados.org/garrison.htm

[32]  Queen’s South Africa Medal Roll, WO100/14 and WO100/156/99.

[33]  Codford is a civil parish south of Salisbury Plain in the Wylye Valley in Wiltshire, England.

[34]  http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/17th-northern-division/

[35]  http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/18th-eastern-division/

[36]  http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/23rd-division/  

  Cemetery notes and/or description: Formerly City of Westminster Cemetery, it is entirely separate from the Hanwell Cemetery at 31 Uxbridge Road.  The cemetery is on the South side of the Uxbridge Road, at Hanwell, opposite Kensington Cemetery. It belongs to the City of Westminster which operates three cemeteries situated outside the borough. The Parks Client team manages the service which is contracted to Continental Landscapes Limited.
Originally called 'City of Westminster Cemetery', this cemetery was owned and managed by the original City of Westminster before local government reorganization in 1965.

[38]  The London Gazette, 23 July 1926, p. 4905.