23RD AUGUST 1917 AGE 29


There's a problem with the personal inscriptions belonging to members of the Newfoundland Regiment - every single one of them was signed for by Lt. Colonel T. Nangle, Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries, 39 Victoria St, London SW1. I have always assumed that Nangle simply dealt with the British end of the paper work, that families having chosen an inscription left it to him to see it through. However, now I'm not so sure, or certainly not sure that it was true in all cases.
The Newfoundland Regiment's records have been digitised and can be found online. From Foaley's attestation form we can see that he gave his full address as 1 Cave Street, Moscow, that in answer to the question "Are you a British subject?" he replied "No, Russian", and to the question, "Have you ever served in any Branch of His Majesty's Forces, naval or military, if so, which?" his answer was, "No (was in Russian Army)". The form was dated 24 November 1916, the date that appears on his headstone.
Foaley's Newfoundland draft arrived in France on 12 June 1917. His active service Casualty Form records that he was wounded in action a month later, on 10 July, in his left hand. Discharged to duty on 31 July, he rejoined his battalion on 4 August. Ten days later, on 14 August, he was wounded in action again. Admitted to No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station with shell wounds in his face and abdomen, he died nine days later.
Foaley named his brother, Stanisloff Foaley, 1 Cave Street, Moscow, as his next-of-kin. The word certainly looks like 'brother' anyway. However, when the time came to dispose of his estate, the Newfoundland authorities had a problem. As the Department of Justice wrote on 29 November 1918:

"I think an effort should be made to ascertain if his given next of kin, his brother, is still in Moscow. Owing to the unsettled condition of Russia at the present time, and the prospects that its condition will remain unsettled for a long time yet, it may be difficult to get in touch with the brother of the decesased."

The same problem arose over despatching Foaley's medals in 1922. Enquiries had been made at his last known address in Newfoundland where "his landlady and friend", Mrs William Hollett, 1 Duckworth Street, St John's, told them that Foaley's father died before Foaley came to Newfoundland, that his mother had died after they had been here about three months and that one brother had been killed fighting for the Russians. None of this helped with the disposal of his medals, which were returned to the War Office.
You can see why I wonder who chose Foaley's inscription, and why I doubt that it was his brother and think that it might have been composed by Lt Colonel T Nangle himself. If so, he did a good job of giving Dominic Foaley an identity.