We were saddened to learn that our dear friend Albert George Foulser, a veteran of the Second World War who celebrated his 97th birthday last August, passed away on 15 December 2021.
Mr Albert George Foulser was born on 11 August 1924 in Walthamstow, North East London. He left school at 14 and trained as a cabinet maker. At 18 Albert received his call-up papers and had a four-month basic training at HMS Glendower at Pwllheli. Then he got posted to HMS Walker – which was converted to a Long Range Escort – where he met Bill Perks, and the two of them became shipmates and close friends on Atlantic Convoys to Gibraltar and Arctic Convoys to Murmansk until HMS Walker was paid off at the end of the war. Albert and Bill next met at the Cenotaph in 2005 when they were awarded the Arctic Emblem.
By April 1943 Londonderry (the shore base for escort duties to Gibraltar) was responsible for 149 escort and anti-submarine patrol vessels, 2,000 shore-based personnel and 20,000 British and Canadian seamen. Albert was on five Arctic Convoys to Polyarny, the Russian naval base near Murmansk on the Kola inlet from 1944 to early 1945. In January 1944 they were fitted out with cold weather gear for escorting Arctic Convoys. HMS Walker with HMS Keppell, Beagle and Boadicea formed the 8th Escort Group, part of the Close Escort for convoys to the Kola inlet in North Russia under overall command of Vice-Admiral F. Dalrymple-Hamilton RN. The convoys of merchant ships formed up in Loch Ewe. HMS Walker escorted ships from Liverpool and the Clyde to the assembly point at Loch Ewe. Albert was the only person with a camera on the ship and took lots of photographs. You can see them and read about Albert on the V&W Destroyer Association website.
Albert was very proud of his part in the Arctic Convoys and with his wife Joan, who passed away earlier in 2021, enjoyed the various opportunities that meeting so many people afforded them. We were fortunate to meet with Albert in London at the annual VE Day ceremonies at the Soviet War Memorial. Albert, a man of great wit with a kind heart, was featured in the first part of our publication “Remembering the Second World War”, which appeared in 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Please see page 20 of the PDF document here (page 18 in the printed booklet).
You can also listen to Albert’s stories. He was interviewed by Bill Foster in April 2016. The recordings are available on the Imperial War Museum website (3 parts, 25-30 minutes each). You can watch a video interview recorded in April 2017, “Russian Convoys: Seventy years later…” on YouTube in English and in Russian.
The funeral took place on Friday 14 January 2022, 13:30 at Forest Park Crematorium, Forest Road, Ilford IG6 3HP.