Topic: Private Daniel Joseph Foley

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War killed in action during the fighting for Bapaume.

Private Daniel Joseph Foley - 60928

Daniel was born at Burwood on 2nd August 1889, son of Maurice and Julia A. Foley. Before enlisting he was working as a farm labourer for J. McMullen at Springston. He had previously been rejected for service in July 1916 as he had deformed toes.  When examined it was the second toe on his left foot and he claimed it “never troubled him” and that he was desperate to get into camp. This time he was passed fit. He was 5ft 10in tall with a fair complexion, blue/grey eyes and light brown hair.

Daniel enlisted at Christchurch on 22 June 1917 and was assigned to 31st Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company. Whilst in Featherston Camp he overstayed his leave and was docked one day’s pay. He embarked from Wellington on 16 November 1917 and arrived in Liverpool on 7th January 1918. He marched into Sling Camp and was posted to the Canterbury Regiment the next day. He left for France from Sling on 20th March and marched into New Zealand Infantry and General base depot at Etaples on 24th March where he joined the 2nd NZ Entrenching Battalion. From there he was sent to join the 1st Battalion Canterbury Regiment in the field on 28th March. Three days later on 31st March he was posted to 13th Company. Sadly, three days later he was killed in action aged 29 on 3rd September, the last day of the battle of Bapaume when the New Zealand Division was involved in what became the beginning of the Hundred Days Offensive and the turning point in the War. He was initially buried near the railway line near Sunken Road but after the war he was gathered in and now lies in the Beaumetz Crossroads Cemetery. In New Zealand Daniel is remembered on the Malvern County War Memorial and the West Melton Roll of Honour.

Researched and written by L M Seaton. 

CWGC Cemetery locale history: Beaumetz-les-Cambrai is a village 1 Km south of the N30, Cambrai to Bapaume road. Beaumetz Crossroads Cemetery lies to the south of the village on the road to Hermies.  The village of Beaumetz-les-Cambrai was captured by the enemy on the 22nd March, 1918, after an obstinate defence by the 51st (Highland) and 25th Divisions, and retaken in the middle of the following September. Beaumetz Cross Roads Cemetery was begun by fighting units in March, 1917, and used until February, 1918; these graves are in Row D. The Germans knew it as No.6 (English Military) Cemetery. Further British burials were made (in Rows E and F) in September and October, 1918. After the Armistice graves of 1917-18 were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and the body of one United States soldier was removed to another cemetery. There are now over 250, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over a quarter are unidentified and special memorials are erected to four soldiers from the United Kingdom and three from Australia, known or believed to be buried among them. The Cemetery covers an area of 1,405 square metres and is enclosed by a flint wall on three sides.

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Private Daniel Joseph Foley


First Names:Daniel Joseph
Last Name:Foley
Date of Birth:2nd August 1889
Place of Birth:Burwood, Christchurch
Date of Death:3 September 1918
Place of Death:Havrincourt, France
Memorial or Cemetery:Beaumetz Crossroads Cemetery, Beaumetz-Les-Cambrai, France
Age at death:30
User Name:L M Seaton
Occupation before enlisting:Farmhand
Marital Status:Single
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 31st Reinforcements
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:22 June 1917
Parents or Next of Kin:Maurice and Julia A Foley, Travis Road, Burwood Christchurch
Service Number:60928
Rank last held:Private
Embarkation:16 November 1917
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Transport:Tahiti
Theatres of War:Western Front
Cause of Death:Killed in action