Rodney Foster was an Indian Army colonel who retired from public service to Hythe, Kent, in the 1930s. With the outbreak of war in 1939, he soon found himself recalled to arms in the Home Guard – the real 'Dad's Army'.
He kept diaries throughout his life, including his account of his Home Guard years and unique view of the Second World War. The original versions of these were acquired by the antiques dealer Shaun Sewell, who had previously rescued the illustrated diaries of Thomas Cairns Livingstone, with their unique view of the First World War – as featured on the BBC Antiques Roadshow.
Foster also recorded many of his observations in watercolour.