Who was Nellie Payne?

Perpetual shield carved in 1923 for Major John Askin Foster.

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Much time was spent trying to track this piece down and many thanks to the staff at Patterson Barracks, Launceston and those in Hobart who also helped. Unfortunately we were not successful. If you have anything further to add to this story please contact Westbury and Districts Historical Society through the contact page.

Examiner, Thursday 23 May 1918, page 3
Major John Askin Foster, of the A.I.F. has had a special mention in despatches by Sir Douglas Haig. It is published in a supplement of the London “Gazette” of Friday, December 28, 1917, and promulgated in Australian military orders, Melbourne, April 27, 1918. Major John A. Foster was a lieutenant in the 92nd Infantry, and joined the 12th Battalion. A.I.F., when it was formed at Brighton camp. He left as a second-lieutenant. He was present at the landing in Gallipoli, when he was wounded, and at Pozieres and Bullecourt, where he was again wounded in each engagement. He was an old scholar of the Launceston Grammar School and Hutchins School, Hobart. He is a brother of Lieutenant Francis M. Foster, late adjutant of Claremont camp, who is now at the front, and his father is Major Henry Foster, of the 92nd Infantry, who was major and second in command of the 20th Battalion, A.T.F., and fought on Gallipoli.

Examiner, Tuesday 29 May 1923, page 3
RIFLE SHOOTING. SENIOR CADET COMPETITION. Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Foster, of Merton Vale, Campbell Town, has presented to the 51st Battalion, Senior Cadet Companies, a trophy for competition between the platoons of the battalion. This trophy named the “Major John Askin Foster Memorial Shield,” In memory of Colonel Foster’s son, the late Major J. A. Foster, 12th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, who was killed on active service in France in August, 1915.

The shield is to be competed for annually between teams of one officer and 20 cadets from each platoon, the practices fired to be selected from the annual musketry course for cadets as authorised from time to time. Service rifles only are to be used, and targets as laid down for the annual musketry course.

The initial shoot took place on Saturday afternoon on the Launceston rifle range, under favourable conditions, although the range was very wet under foot after the recent heavy rains. The practices selected were five rounds at 160, 300, and 300 yards. The highest possible score at each range was 20 points The arrangements were in the hands of Major B. Sampson, D.S.O. (C.O. 51st Battalion), and he was ably assisted by Captains W. Fotheringham, P. C. Thompson, C. H. Woods, of the 61st Battalion; Captain A. L. Meston, Lieut. O. E. Wigan, Cadet Second-Lieutenant C. E. Adams of the 51st Battalion Senior Cadets; and Lieut. T. McCredie, Australian Instructional Corps, Area Officer.

Some exceptionally good shooting resulted, and one lad   (Cadet G. A. Kemp) was only one point off the possible score at the three ranges.

No. 3 platoon ran out winners of the shield for this year, with a total of 838 points, with No. 1 platoon a close second, with 834 points. The result was in doubt until the last lad of each team had fired.

It is hoped by means of these competitions to make the training of the cadets, especially in the handling of the rifle more interesting and instructive, and thus give the lads a greater incentive to make themselves efficient in their training.