Tracks in the Sand


The Story of a First World War Railwayman
edited by James Foster Dodds and Catherine Dodds

Tim Foster first saw action in Gallipoli and was lucky to survive. Taking a camera with him to his next campaign in Egypt and Palestine he recorded everything around him, sending photographs home with his letters. At the Suez Canal he was in charge of a light railway as part of the Canal Defence Force. As the war advanced he was transferred to the Royal Engineers to operate the military railway under construction through the Sinai desert. In Palestine he became the first English station master at Jerusalem before finally returning home to his sweetheart seven months after the war had ended.


Over 100 letters and postcards, cigar boxes full of tiny negatives, faded contact prints, railway documents and timetables, tickets, scrapbooks and all sorts of ephemera have been passed down through the family. Tim’s photographs witness the importance that railways played in securing victory in the Middle East. The letters document the courtship of Tim and Pollie Foster and their six year engagement separated by war. Piecing together their tracks left in the sand has brought to life a fascinating story.



Jardine Press 2017.
204 x 280mm, 200pp
Full colour, 245 images

Hardback: £30
ISBN 978 0 9934779 4 2



East Anglian Daily Times (Martin Newell) 6 Jan 2018 (link to website)

Gazette and Essex County Standard (Neil D’Arcy Jones) 27 Jan 2018 (link to website) 

Sunday Express (Martin Newell) 29 Jan 2018