CWG: Corporal Henry Forrest

Corporal Henry Forrest

Henry Charles Forrest was born in Bromley, Kent, in the summer of 1893. The youngest of eight children to William and Wilhelmina Forrest, Henry’s father was a police sergeant, who retired not long after his youngest son’s birth, moving his family to Worthing in West Sussex.

Henry was obviously a bright lad; the 1911 census records him as a student teacher. The only one of William and Wilhelmina’s children still living at home, he was, by this point, still just 17 years old. His career continued over the next few years, and he taught at the Ham Road Schools in Worthing.

In the spring of 1916, Henry married Constance Robertson. The young couple had a lot in common and seemed like a perfect match. Constance was the daughter of a retired police constable, and was also a student teacher.

War, by this time, had come to Europe. Full details of Henry’s military service are not available, but it seems that he initially joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Private Forrest was promoted to the rank of Corporal, and subsequently transferred to the Army Cycling Corps, serving in France.

As the war moved on, Corporal Forrest was released to resume his teaching back in Worthing but, in the autumn of 1918, he contracted influenza and pneumonia. The conditions got the better of him, and he passed away on 5th December 1918, at the age of just 25 years old.

Henry Charles Forrest was laid to rest in the Broadwater Cemetery in Worthing; sadly, it seems that Constance was unable to attend – she was represented at the ceremony by her mother.


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