CFHS code : BE57

Parish : St Bene’t

Inscription : headstone AR CHARLES FOSTER for thirty years Sexton of St Benedicts Parish d May 10 186[5] aged 57 line illegible THIRZA wife of the above d Aug 29 1893 aged 83 reverse In Loving Memory of FREDERICK WILLIAM STRACHAN d Nov 28th 1949 aged 80 also GERTRUDE ALICE STRACHAN d Feb 12th 1958 aged 70

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones/Footstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Relationship: Husband, wife, great grand-daughter and great grand-daughter’s husband

Charles Foster (c.1808 – 10 May 1865)

Charles was born in Cambridge and married Thirza Musk at St Benet’s Church on 3rd August 1835.  They had one son:  Frederick Charles Foster (1836-1882).  Charles worked as a sexton and they lived at 15 Terrace Lane [1841], Gothic Street [1851] and then 9 Queen Street [1861].  He combined being a sexton with also being an agricultural worker and painter. Charles died aged 57 years old and his probate records described him as a painter.

Thirza A Foster (née Musk) (c.1810 – 29 August 1893)

Thirza was born in Ashdon in Essex and she was baptised on 8th April 1810.  Her parents were James and Sarah Musk. She married Charles Foster when she was 25 years old and worked as a dressmaker throughout her life.

After being widowed she continued to live at 9 Queen Street with her grand-daughter Thirza, who was also a dressmaker (1871/1881).  By 1891 she  had moved to 18 Queens Street and was living there with her other granddaughters Clara and Florence. She died at Queen’s Street aged 83 years old.

Frederick William (Fred) Strachan  (14 July 1869 – 28 November 1949)

Fred was the son ofJames and Rebecca Strachan.  He grew up at 8 Adam and Eve Street  and his father worked as a wood sawyer.  Fred  worked for Messrs. Barrett and Son’s of St. Andrews Street and Market Hill as a salesman in their glass/china department.  The firm applied for exemption for him being enlisted in September 1918 when he was described as ‘manager of the wholesale hardware and chandlery department and wholesale salesman’. He  married Gertrude Foster in 1919 and they lived at 119 Mawson Road from at least 1935 onwards. By 1939 Fred had retired and died at home aged 80 years old.

Gertrude Alice Strachan  (née Foster) (7 March 1887 – 12 February 1958)

Gertrude was the daughter of Charles Frederick and Alice, and grand daughter of Frederick Charles Foster, the only son of Charles and Thirza. Her father was a plumber/painter and she grew up on  Union Road (1901/1911) before marrying Fred Strachan when she was 32 years old. She died in Camridge aged 70 years old.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Charles Foster; Thirza Foster; Frederick William Strachan; Gertrude Alice Strachan