Frederick Edward FORREST MC

FORREST, Frederick Edward

Service Number: 1921
Enlisted: 20 September 1914
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 10th Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Berlin (now Rheola), Victoria, Australia, 20 April 1877
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Soldier
Died: Heart seizure, Private Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, 19 October 1930, aged 53 years
Cemetery: Brighton General Cemetery, Victoria
Memorials: Hobart Roll of Honour, Inglewood War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

20 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
20 Oct 1914: Involvement SN 1921, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
20 Oct 1914: Embarked SN 1921, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade , HMAT Geelong, Hobart
19 Dec 1914: Promoted AIF WW1, Warrant Officer, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
13 Jul 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
8 Dec 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
27 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, 4th Division Artillery , Headquarters
12 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Staff Captain
1 Jan 1917: Honoured Military Cross, Announced London Gazette 1/1/1917. Recommendation for Military Cross - 24th September 1916. On formation of 4th Australian Divisional Artillery in February 1916, this Officer was appointed Staff Captain, and for some time acted as Brigade Major in addition. His Staff work has been particularly meritorious especially during operations at FLEURBAIX from 5th July to 3rd August 1916, and in YPRES SALIENT from 27th August to 20th September 1916.
1 Aug 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Major
4 Aug 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, 10th Field Artillery Brigade , 39th Battery
12 Oct 1917: Wounded
6 Aug 1918: Discharged AIF WW1

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Biography contributed by Heather Ford

Frederick Edward FORREST was born on the 20th April 1877 at Berlin, Vic, (now Rheola, reg. 6901), the son of Edward James and Cecilia Hannah (nee ATCHISON) FORREST, who married in 1875.  Edward, who was one of the first miners to find gold in paying quantities during the rush at Berlin, died on the 30/1/1913 at their home in Borung St, Inglewood, aged 73; where Cecilia also died on the 26/4/1928, aged 74.  They are both buried at Inglewood Cemetery.

Siblings:  Gertrude Emma (or Mary) b.Berlin 1875-1952;  Agnes May (Mary) b.1879 Carlton – marr John Hy TURPIE – d.28/1/1924 Salisbury West;  Edith Emily b.1881 Rheola;  [all others b. Inglewood]  Clara Emilie b.1883;  Edward Lang b.1888;  Cecilia Elizabeth b.1889;  William Francis 1892-1904.  *Henry Atchison (Harry) b.1894 Inglewood – WW1: Cpl 986, 14th Bn; 4th DAC; 24th FAB; 10th FAB – marr Joan G Ingoldsby 1925 – d.2/6/1965 NSW.  *Francis Gregory (Frank) b.1897 Inglewood – WW1: Gnr 1171, 38th Bn; 10th FAB – marr Mary M Neale 1923 – d.21/4/1976 SA


Occupations (and Affiliations):

*Professional Soldier – Australian Garrison Artillery 1900-01; Victorian Regiment Royal Australian Artillery (VRRAA) 1901-04; Light Horse, Qld 1904-05; Field Artillery, Tas 1905-14 – Staff Battery-Sergeant-Major (Drill Instructor), attached to the 15th battery, Field Artillery; Sergeant-major, 9th Brigade Field Artillery 1914

*Commander, 13th Garrison Artillery 1921.  *Commander, 10th Australian Field Artillery Brigade 1926 – 1930.

*Estate Agent / Auctioneer 1926

*Vice-president / President, Tamanian Branch of the A.N.A.  *State Secretary of the Tasmanian Returned Soldier’s League (R.S.S.I.LA.) – 1920.  *General (Federal) Secretary of the Returned Soldier’s League – Apr 1921 – Feb 1924.  *President of the Limbless Soldiers’ Association ball committee – 1930.  *Foundation member of the Remembrance Club, Tasmania.  *Foundation member of the Legacy Club, Victoria.  *Founder of the 2nd Caulfield Rover Scout Crew.  *Patron of the Caulfield City Cricket Club – 1929.  *Member of the Hawksburn Freemasons’ Lodge.  *Member of the Develop Australia League (D.A.L.).  *Member of the Legislative Assembly (M.L.A.) – 1927.

Married:  Bertha Ada GRAHAM on the 14th September 1904 Vic (reg. 5391).  Daughter of Ross and Elizabeth (nee WESTHEAD) GRAHAM – born in 1878 in Vic, Bertha died the 18th July 1943 at Cootamundra, NSW, and was buried with Fred at Brighton Cemetery.

Children (3):  1. Lillian Mary, born 1905 at South Melbourne (reg. 4719) –Typist – married William F.T. McCOLL 8/5/1929 St Mary’s Church, Caulfield; Resident of Cootamundra, NSW in 1967.  2. Edward Graham, born 18/8/1906 Qld – married Betty – resident Toorak in 1943 – WW2: RAAF – died 11/7/1960 Qld.  3. Gertrude Margaret (aka Peggy) – married Frank J. O’CONNELL 24/12/1937 Albury, NSW – resident St Kilda in 1943

Resident at Sandy Bay, Hobart, Tas on enlistment in WW1

WW1 Service:

Enlisted 20th September 1914 at Pontville, Tasmania [age 37] – and appointed Battery Sergeant Major of the 9th Battery, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade (FAB), 1st Division Artillery.  Embarked Hobart, Tas, 20th October 1914 on the A2 Geelong, and left Australia’s shores on the 1/11/1914 as part of the First Convoy, disembarking Alexandria, Egypt 9/12/1914.  Appointed Warrant Officer 19/12/14 and took over Brigade duties with Headquarters 3rd F.A.B. on the 31/12/14.

Sailed from Alexandria 7/4/15 on the Cardiganshire for Lemnos, in readiness for the Gallipoli Landing 25/4/1915.  Did not land Gallipoli Peninsula due to lack of space for guns and horses, but remained anchored offshore until orders received 12/5/15 to return to Egypt to exercise the horses, arriving Alexandria 3 days later.  Left again for Lemnos 23/5/15 on the Derfflinger, and finally landed Gallipoli on the 26/5/1915.

Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant – 13/7/15

Returned to Lemnos for a few days in hospital in August.  [His horse ‘Patch’ died at Alexandria 28/9/1915]

Promoted to Lieutenant 8/12/1915

Evacuated back to Lemnos on the 19/12/1915 – transferred to the Hororata on the 24/12/1915 and arrived back at Alexandria 27/12/15.  Transferred to 4th Division Artillery HQ 27/2/1916 at Tel-el-Kebir.

Promoted Temporary Captain and appointed Staff Captain 12/3/1916

Embarked at Alexandria 29/5/1916 on the Tunisian and disembarked Marseilles, France 5/6/1916 to join the B.E.F.  Granted UK Leave 12th to the 19th of August 1916.

Awarded the Military Cross:

Honours and Awards File:  Recommendation for Military Cross - 24th September 1916.    On formation of 4th Australian Divisional Artillery in February 1916, this Officer was appointed Staff Captain, and for some time acted as Brigade Major in addition.  His Staff work has been particularly meritorious especially during operations at FLEURBAIX from 5th July to 3rd August 1916, and in YPRES SALIENT from 27th August to 20th September 1916.

Detached to Ammunition School at the 1st Anzac Ammunition Park from 19/1/1917 to 29/1/1917.    Relinquished his appointment of Staff Captain 26/7/1917 to be Temorary Major, vice Major Williams – promoted to Major 1/8/1917, transferred to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade 4/8/1917 and posted to the 39th Battery.

Wounded in action 12th October 1917, but remained at duty – admitted to hospital 14/10/17 with contusion of ribs and arm – discharged back to duty 9/11/1917.  Sick to hospital 4/12/1917 with Lumbago and Neuritis, and transferred through the hospital system, embarking on the Warilda 12/12/1917 for England, where he was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth the following day.  On Leave from 7/2/1918 awaiting transport to Australia.

Embarked for return to Australia 10th March 1918 on the Durham Castle, transferring to the Orontes at Capetown, and arrived Melbourne 10th May 1918 (then to Hobart).  Invalided home for a change due to headaches, lumbago and neuritis.

Appointment terminated in the A.I.F. 6th August 1918 at Hobart.


Appointed to the substantive rank of Major with the Reserve of Officers 1/10/1920.  Appointed from the R. of O. to the 13th Australian Garrison Artillery (Militia) 30/3/1921, and transferred to the Australian Field Artillery (3rd Military Dist) 1/6/1921.  Appointed Lieutenant Colonel 31st March 1926, to command the 10th Australian Field Artillery Brigade until 31st March 1930, at which time he was transferred to the Unattached List.

Resident of 47 Fitzgerald St, Sth Yarra, Vic in 1921, 1925 – Secretary.  Resident “Rheola”, Walworth Ave, Caulfield in 1926, 1928 – Auctioneer.  Stil residing at Walworth Ave, Caulfield at time of death (Probate  241/701).

Frederick died on the 19th October 1930, at a private hospital in Melbourne, aged 53, (reg. 14436).  “He had been ill for some weeks.  On October 17 he underwent an operation, which was successful, and he was believed to be making good progress, when he had a heart seizure, from which he died.”  He was buried on Tuesday the 21st October in a full military funeral at the Brighton Cemetery.


The Mercury (Hobart, Tas) Thur 15 Apr 1909:  MILITARY ENCAMPMENTS.  THE FIELD FORCE AT ROSS.  …………….. The result of the shooting is not available at the time of writing, but the fire discipline was very good, and, as far as one could see, there was a total absence of gun shyness.  Much of this is due to the exertions of S.B.S.M. F.E. Forrest, instructor to the A.F.A. in Tasmania, who is most untiring in his efforts to bring the Artillery up to the required standard of efficiency.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Fri 27 Jun 1913:  Staff Battery-Sergeant-Major F.E. Forrest, who has been attached to the 15th battery, Field Artillery, Launceston, has been transferred to Hobart, whither he proceeds next week.  Last night he was entertained by the non-commissioned officers of the battery at a smoke social, and presented with a smoker’s outfit, in recognition of his sterling services.

Examiner (Launceston, Tas) Wed 2 Jul 1913:  Staff Sergeant-Major F.E. Forrest, with his wife and family, left by yesterday’s express to take up his residence in Hobart.  …………………  His work in Launceston was not all given to the military, as in his spare time he found other use for the exercise of his abilities.  He was a prominent member of the A.N.A., and for some time occupied the position of vice-president, and later on was also president of that association.  He was also vice-president of the Bush Nursing Order, in which he did some useful work; and his absence from that body will leave a gap that will be very hard to fill. ..........

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Tue 17/11/1914 (p.2):  Another Inglewood representative to leave for the war is Sergeant Major Forrest, of the 9th Brigade of Field Artillery.  Sergeant Major Forrest left with the first contingent from Tasmania.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Fri 25/6/1915 (p.2):  …………………  Mrs Forrest has two sons on active service, the other being Warrant-officer F. Forrest, who some years ago took up military life as a profession, and rapidly qualified himself for promotion until his present responsible position had been reached.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Tue 12/10/1915 (p.2):  INGLEWOOD SOLDIER PROMOTED.  VALUABLE SERVICE IN FIELD.  Lieutenant F.E. Forrest, writing to his mother, Mrs Forrest, of Inglewood, under date 1/8/15, gives the pleasing news that he has been promoted to commissioned rank.  He says: - “I know you will appreciate my good fortune when I tell you that I have been granted a commission and promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  I am the first “ranker” to get a commission in our artillery, which in itself is an honor.  It was granted to me for valuable and conspicuous services rendered during mobilisation in Tasmania, training in Egypt, and in action here.  I am fortunate in being able to remain in my old brigade, and am appointed orderly officer, or, in other words, A.D.C. to the colonel commanding the artillery.  In addition to the above duties I am also acting adjutant to the brigade, which is quite a big thing in the way of staff appointments and will lead to something better before the show is over.  I received my promotion yesterday, and have been congratulated by the generals, etc.  My colonel is highly pleased, and says it is only what I deserve for the valuable work rendered, not that I myself think I have done anything outside my duty, but if they think otherwise well and good.  It is nice, anyway, to think that one’s service here is appreciated.”  Some years ago Lieutenant Forrest adopted military work as a profession, and his success will give much pleasure to his friends.

Diary excerpts (on-line):  23rd Nov 1915:  Enemy shelling beach persistently.  A “Peace” stunt on in progress.  Enemy have the idea that we are preparing to evacuate.  No firing of any sort to be carried out.  24th Nov 1915:  Enemy very active.  Patrols crawling up to our trenches to see if they are still occupied.  They never return to their own trenches.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Fri 7/4/1916 (p.2):  The very pleasing intelligence has been received by Mrs Forrest, of Borung street, that the eldest of her three sons serving with the forces, F.E. Forrest, has been promoted to the rank of captain.  Captain Forrest adopted the military profession some years ago, serving in the field artillery, and was stationed in Tasmania at the outbreak of war.  He held the rank of sergeant-major when leaving for active service, but speedily won recognition as a capable officer and promotion until, towards the close of the Gallipoli campaign, he was given commissioned rank as a lieutenant.  It stands greatly to his credit that his efforts in this capacity have been such as to merit further advancement, and his friends and the public generally will join in the wish that he may be spared to win and receive even higher honors.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Sat 2 Dec 1916 (p.3):  TASMANIAN OFFICER’S LETTER.  CAPTAIN FORREST AND THE BIG PUSH – “TANK” WONDERS.  Mr F.M. Lovett, secretary of the Hobart branch of the A.N.A. has received a most interesting letter from Captain F.E. Forrest, who is with the Australian forces in France.  Captain Forrest left Tasmania as a sergeant, and on learning that he had secured a captaincy the A.N.A., with which he was prominently connected, sent him hearty congratulations.  In his letter, Captain Forrest acknowledges the congratulations, and proceeds: – “My rather rapid promotion is due largely to opportunities that have been thrown in my way, and if I have made a little further progress in this direction than my less fortunate comrades, it is not that I have done better work than they, for this, I think, would be impossible.  One of the most pleasing features of the many hardships and struggles that our boys have gone through is the fact that their movements are keenly watched and appreciated by those in Homeland.  Since leaving Australia we have seen many countries, and have had quite a lot of exciting experiences.  The landing on Gallipoli was, perhaps, the most exciting that we have yet encountered, for it was here that we received our baptism of fire, and until then little was known of the fighting qualities of the Australians.  You have long been in possession of the full details of our exploits in that country, so I shall not bore you with a repetition of our work there, other than to say that never was I more proud of being an Australian than I was on the morning of April 25, 1915.  Only those who were privileged to witness this landing can really appreciate the difficulties that our infantry had to contend with, and the magnificent way in which all obstacles were cleared.  The most regrettable feature about this show was the fact that we had to withdraw before completing our mission.  As you know, since arriving in this country we have had some very heavy fighting to contend with, as the casualty lists will show.  The work of our men during the big push was simply splendid.  The taking of Mouquet Farm was the first break in the Pozieres line, and after several attempts this was taken by one of the senior battalions, which had a good many Tasmanians in the ranks.  It was here that Captain Margetts fell.  All of our divisions – less the one recently arrived from Australia – have now been through this ‘mill,’ and are given credit of having fulfilled every task allotted to them, which is saying a great deal.  One pleasing feature about this little Australian Army of ours is that all the technical arms have shown up remarkably well, and have quite held their own alongside the pick of the British troops.  The artillery and engineers have done particularly well, and we are all convinced that for gallantry, endurance, and dash our infantry are quite as good, if not better, than those alongside whom they are fighting.  Our infantry have nothing to learn from others – in trench warfare, at all events – and when we get the Hun on the move I feel sure that we will find them just as good.  Generally speaking, the situation here is looking fairly bright.  The Hun is being pushed back slowly and surely.  Every foot, of ground taken is held firmly, and if we can only keep the ‘push’ going, the end of the winter should see a good deal, if not the whole, of Belgium free.  Everything depends now on the supply of men, and if we can only keep the gaps filled our progress will become still more rapid.  In this trench warfare our infantry are swallowed up like chaff before a furnace.  I suppose you have heard all about our new engines of war, i.e., the ‘Tanks,’ as they are officially known.  At present they are doing wonderful work.  Nothing but a deep stream will stop them; buildings and parapets fall before them like a pack of cards.  Trenches are completely obliterated after being traversed by one of these monsters.  It is quite an inspiring sight to see a couple of these Tanks leading a battalion of infantry to the attack, and pushing asunder every obstacle in their way.  The one cruel part of this war that meets one’s eye at every turn is the large number of wrecked homes and villages.  Not a house for miles in the rear of our lines is left intact.  Every village or town within range of the Hun guns has been bombarded to such an extent that hardly a wall stands.  Perhaps the most cruel sight of the lot are the ruins of that once beautiful and historic city, Ypres.  I had the good fortune to spend a few hours amongst the ruins some few weeks ago.  Not a building is left standing.  The ‘Cloth-hall,” which was considered to be a masterpiece in architectural design, is now a heap of broken stones and mortar.  Now, I am afraid I have allowed my pen to run away with myself, so I will conclude by again thanking you and the members of your branch for their kind thoughts, and ere the next year is past, I hope to be amongst you once more.”

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Tue 9/1/1917 (p.2):  Staff-captain F.E. Forrest, eldest son of Mrs Forrest, of Borung street, has been awarded the Military Medal, and has been further highly complimented by his general upon the efficient manner in which he has managed the organizations of the guns and munitions under his control, and carried out his work in general.  Captain Forrest’s case is one in which merit has obtained its reward.  He was appointed to a commission on Gallipoli, and his progress since then is highly commendable.  Several years ago he took up military life as a profession, and, we have no doubt, is thoroughly capable of discharging any duties which may be entrusted to him.  We wish him continued success, and a long life in which to enjoy the distinction his bravery has won him.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Fri 12/1/1917 (p.2):  An unfortunate mistake was made in our reference in last issue to the distinction won by Staff-captain F.E. Forrest, it being stated that he had been awarded the military medal.  The award gained was the military cross, which ranks next in order to the Victoria Cross, and is naturally of greater value than the medal.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Tue 24/7/1917 (p.2):  STAFF-CAPTAIN F. FORREST.  Mrs Forrest, of Borung-street, has received the following letter from her son, Staff-Captain Fred Forrest: –  France, 6th May.  Another week passed, and, oh, what a week of slaughter it has been.  Thousands of fine lives have passed to the Great Unknown during the last few days.  If one could only see the end of this continual usage of fine youth; but it must go on until we have completely crushed the barbarians who are opposed to us.

The cables and press notes will no doubt have told you that we have commenced the big thrust of 1917.  Our continual pressure during those awful winter months was largely the cause of the Boche withdrawing from the Somme front.  His retirement was a masterpiece of tactical work, but he did not count on the vigilance of our Australian boys, who were quick to follow him up and so bring him to battle on the great Hindenburg line before he had time to complete his defences.  On Easter Sunday we had completed our concentration, and during the early hours of the following morning we opened a bombardment which shook the country for miles, and under this hail of shells of all calibres our infantry went over, and within a very short period broke through the famous German stronghold - the Hindenburg line - and during the first 24 hours we took 15,000 prisoners.  Since that opening day we have had battle upon battle, each one unceasing in its fury of gunfire and attacks, counter-attacks being met by counter-attacks, and ground being won and lost as many as nine times in the course of a day's fighting.  The fighting is the hardest that has ever taken place on this front during the whole period of the war, and that is saying a lot.  The Australian divisions have taken part in all battles, and their conduct has been beyond praise. All their objectives have invariably been taken.  Certainly some have been lost again to the enemy, but honors in all cases have rested with us.  The Boche is now fighting the fight of his life, for he knows that once he is driven from this last line of defence he will be at our mercy.  Censoring restrictions prevent me from giving a more detailed account of the great fight which is now taking place, but I trust that Bean will be given a certain amount of liberty in sending out to you a detailed account of the work of our boys, for I am sure it would be very interesting reading, especially at the present juncture, when reinforcements are so badly needed.  It is a sight for the Gods to see the way our boys go out of the trenches to an attack.  Our one great difficulty is to hold them back.  We have lost a few very fine officers during the last few days - men that will be very hard to replace. . . Fortunately we have had glorious weather, which has assisted us greatly and given our lads great help.  The feel of the spring sun, after those terrible months of winter, is an ideal tonic to all of us. . . You will be pleased to know that Harry, Frank and myself are keeping well.  Harry has been having rather a bad time of it during the last few days, but he has come through the ordeal O.K.  I received a very cheery letter from Frank yesterday, I have not been successful in obtaining his transfer to this division, but still I have hopes.  I hope this finds you keeping well and happy, and that you are not feeling the cold too severely.  Give my kind regards to all old friends in your midst.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Fri 10/8/1917 (p.2):  Mrs C. Forrest, of Borung St, who has three sons on active service, has received word from the Defence Department that Gunner H.A. Forrest has been gassed.  Gunner Forrest’s brother, Captain Fred Forrest, recently won the military medal.


Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Fri 17/8/1917 (p.2):  Tidings of Soldiers.  CAPTAIN F.E. FORREST.

The above soldier writes to his mother (Mrs Forrest, of Borung street) under date of May 29th, as follows: - I received your loving, long and cheery letter, and am delighted to hear that you are keeping well.  As for myself, I was never better, and that is saying a lot.  With the coming of the fine weather I have taken a fresh lease of life.  The few days' rest we have been enjoying has set us up again, ready for another push forward.  We are having delightful weather here now, and the country is looking lovely.  At present our batteries are out having a short rest before entering the fray once more, and I can assure you they have earned it.  During a period of six solid weeks they suffered the agonies of a perfect hell in all its intensity.  Our last stand was, without a doubt, the hottest corner that we have yet been in; that is, from a gunner's point of view.  Perhaps before another month has passed I may be telling you that our next show will be equally bad or worse.  The Boche knows what he is up against, and is resisting our efforts to the utmost.  The sideslipping of Russia on the Eastern line allowed him to weaken his defence on the Eastern front and bring fresh troops against us.  Notwithstanding this, we are pushing him back and inflicting serious casualties on his ranks.  I do not think the British Army was ever in a better position to fight the struggle to a finish.  I feel sure, had the Russians only made some show on the offensive on the Eastern front this Spring, we would have had the show closed well before next Xmas.  As it is, I am afraid it will see another year out.  The entrance of America into the conflict will no doubt make some slight difference, for she has men and material, which will come in very handy to us.  The submarine menace is the only thing that is causing us any degree of anxiety, and that is showing an improvement.  The sinking of so many ships by the U boats must necessarily have a wide-spreading effect on the feeding of the nation out there and here in England.  The position at the present moment is quite sound, but it will necessitate the strictest economy being exercised in every line to secure absolute immunity from starvation.  The whole nation will require to practice economy to a great degree, and in addition every square foot of land will need cultivating for foodstuffs.  It is a pleasing picture to see the remarkably fine way our lads are fighting.  They go over the parapets like veterans, and are considered to be about the best troops in France.  You no doubt are feeling a bit sad on the news of our recent casualties, but one consolation should be the fact that the Boche suffered the loss of 20 to every one of ours.  You will be pleased to hear that Frank is now with me.  I at last managed to drive through the tangle of red tape and secure his transfer from the infantry to the artillery.  The poor boy had been having a very hard time while stretcher-bearing.  On his arrival here he was completely worn out, and on meeting me he broke down.  I can tell you I also felt very chokey myself.  Frank is alright now, and likes his new work very much.  Harry is keeping well, although he has had a pretty hard time killing Boches.

A further letter, dated June 12th, states: - Since last writing we fought another big battle, and the result was the biggest success we have had on this front.  Our objective was the largest stronghold the Boche had, and consisted of a high ridge which, during the last three years, the Boche has used every means to fortify.  Our boys walked right through and took everything before them, and I am pleased to say our casualties were light.  This big defeat has completely knocked the Boche out, and we are preparing to push ahead and follow up our gains.  I saw Frank and Harry yesterday, and they send their love to all.  I am enclosing a leaf from a Copper Beach, the only tree left standing on the great Messines Ridge.  Kindly remember me to all old friends.  Cheer up, dear mother, and do not worry, but look forward to the time when your three sons from France will be with you again.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Tue 9/10/1917 (p.2):  Mrs Forrest of Borung street, has received the welcome news that his [sic] son, Captain F. Forrest, has been promoted to the rank of Major, and is now in command of the 39th Battery, Australian Field Artillery.  The soldier gained commissioned rank on Gallipoli, and is to be congratulated upon the rapid progress he has since made.  In June last he was presented by the King with the Military Cross awarded him for bravery in the field.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Tue 27/11/1917 (p.2):  Mrs Forrest, of Borung street, received word yesterday that here son, Major Forrest, has been slightly wounded.

The Sydney Stock and Station Journal (NSW), Fri 8 Feb 1918 (p.12):  Driver A.D. Bull.  DEATH IN FRANCE.  Mr A.W.N. Bull, stock and station agent, of Bingara, has received the following letter from Major F.E. Forrest, Commanding 39th Battery Field Artillery, concerning the death of his son Driver A.D.N. Bull: –

“Dear Mr Bull, – Your cable requesting information concerning the death of your son, Driver Bull, reached me only to-day.  It was my intention to write to you, giving you full particulars of his death, but unfortunately I was also hit the following day, and only returned to my battery two days ago.  The death of your son was due to injuries caused by an aeroplane bomb, which was dropped into our waggon lines on the 1st of November.  Driver Bull was very badly wounded, and I had him carried to No.17 Casualty Clearing Station immediately.  Everything possible was done to save him, but he had been too badly wounded and he passed away very peacefully at 6.35 a.m. on the 2nd November.  Although badly knocked about he was unconscious throughout, and his suffering was very slight.  He was buried in one of our military cemeteries, just behind the ruins of Ypres, with full military honors, and I am having a suitable cross erected to mark the grave.

“It might be some comfort to you to know that your son was a fine soldier, and was one of my best men.  He really did not know what fear was; was always a willing worker, and was always to the fore when we were in a tight corner.  I can assure you I deeply regret the loss of so fine a soldier.  He was loved by all his comrades, who also mourn his loss.  It well be some slight consolation to you to know that he died doing his duty, and that his death was due to a large extent in risking his life to save others.  In conclusion, dear sir, I would ask you to accept my sincere condolence for the loss of so fine a son.”

[Alfred Douglas Norman Bull – Dvr 2000, 39th Battery, AFA – DOW 2/11/1917 Belgium – buried Lijssenthoek Mil Cem]

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Fri 22/3/1918 (p.2):  Unveiling of State School Honor Roll.  SUCCESSFUL GATHERING - CROWDED ATTENDANCE.  …..……  On the list they had some names which had won great distinction.  …………., and also Major Forrest, a young man who by his integrity and bravery had fought his way up from the ranks.  ………

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Tue 26/3/1918 (p.2):  Pithy Pars.  Mrs Forrest, of Borung street, yesterday received word that her son, Major Fred Forrest, is being invalided home as the result of a nervous breakdown.  The soldier has been in the fight since the start, and won his commission on Gallipoli.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), 17/5/1918 (p.2):  State School Committee.  The monthly meeting………  Correspondence.  From Major F.E. Forrest, acknowledging the committee’s congratulations upon his promotion.  The strain of fighting had somewhat impaired his health, and he had been declared medically unfit for a period of six months, consequently would be returning to Australia for a change and rest.  On visiting Inglewood he would like to personally thank them for their kindness and good wishes. – Received.

Examiner (Launceston, Tas), Sat 1 June 1918 (p.8):  OUR BOYS AT THE FRONT.  In the Mechanics’ Hall on Tuesday evening next, at 8 o’clock, Major F.E. Forrest, M.M., well known in Launceston at one time as sergeant-major of the Launceston Battery, Field Artillery, and who has just returned from the front, will be accorded a welcome under the auspices of the Australian Natives’ Association (of which Major Forrest is an ex-president) and the Y.M.C.A.  ………..

Examiner (Launceston, Tas), Thur 6 Jun 1918 (p.6):  ABOUT PEOPLE.  Among the passengers to Melbourne by the Rotomahana yesterday was Major F.E. Forrest, M.C., who has been spending a week or so in the state.  Major Forrest intends spending about a month on the mainland before returning to Tasmania again.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Fri 7/6/1918 (p.2):  Major F.E. Forrest, who has been invalided home from France, is in Tasmania, from where he joined the service, and will pay a visit to his mother, Mrs Forrest, next week, arriving on Wednesday.  On arrival at Hobart he was accorded an enthusiastic welcome, concerning which particulars will be published in our next issue.

A.N.A. pictures will be shown on Wednesday.  A leading feature of the evening will be a welcome offered to Major F.E. Forrest and Pte A. Makepeace, both of whom have just returned from France.

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), Tue 11/6/1918 (p.2):  Returned Soldier.  MAYORAL WELCOME AT THE HOBART TOWN HALL.  MAJOR FORREST ON THE WAR.  The following is an extract (taken from the Hobart “Mercury”) of a welcome home to returned soldiers, included among these being Major F.E. Forrest: -  The soldiers who returned from the front on Saturday evening, May 11th, were publicly welcomed back at the Town Hall on Monday morning in the presence of a large number of people.  The Mayor …………

Colonel Clark (State Commandant) welcomed the returned officers and men on behalf of the Department of Defence.  He said that Major Forrest and he had belonged to the same regiment of Australian Artillery.  Major Forrest was a typical example of what our soldiers had done; he had returned bearing scars, having bravely stuck it out for 3½ years.  He had done most excellent work, having joined the forces without a commission and had risen to field rank, returning with the prominent rank of major.  (Applause)  …………

Major F.E. Forrest, who was greeted with much applause, in rising to reply, said that some of them might have done better than others at the front, but each and all had endeavoured to do his very best.  ……………  The lads who went away with the first contingent were the finest soldiers that ever breathed the air of freedom, and the Australian infantry had proved to be the finest soldiers ever born.  (Applause)  They sorely needed rest and relief, but sufficient men could not be got to take their places, and at present every man was required to fight on.  A French girl one day, taking an interest in the conversation of some Australian soldiers, made a remark that went home to all of them.  She said, “If you Australians and British have come so far to fight for liberty and justice and to save us from being placed under the savage heel of the enemy, you will recognise that we are giving you the land in France to fight your battles.”  In France we were fighting for Australia as much as for England and for France, and fighting it out in France, thereby saving the rest of the countries of the Allies all the terrors and disabilities of a campaign against an implacable foe, whilst we out in Australia were living in prosperity and plenty.  The fight was as much Australia’s as France’s.  (Applause)  There were five fighting divisions of Australians in France, but there were two corps recognised as elite – a corps of the great British Guards division and the Anzac Corps.  (Applause)  It must also be very gratifying to all Australians to know that Australian soldiers were so highly thought of in France; that in every big fight that had taken place during the last two years the Australian corps had been the first to open the battle, and to break the back of it.  (Loud applause)  In the great Passchendaele fight, the hardest yet participated in, all the Australian divisions took part.  Time after time they went into battle full of strength, and came out 30 per cent less, and were built up again and fought again.  (Applause)  The good feeling which existed between the soldiers of the Old Country, of France, Canada, and Australia was wonderful.  Some bad conduct of a small number of Australians in the early days of the war, among so many, had been enormously magnified in a shameful way, whilst as a fact in France Australian soldiers stood in the very highest estimation of the people for good conduct, high honor and soldierly qualities.  Every house in France was only too pleased to accommodate them, it being held that every man of them, from the lowest to the highest was a gentleman.  (Applause)  Not one third of the reported happenings about bad conduct were true, and such exaggerations had produced grievous heart-burnings among Australian forces.  (Applause)  One of the finest organisations existing in the great war was the Y.M.C.A., and every man had a lot to thank it for.  (Applause)  If those present could only see some of the places the Y.M.C.A. men crawled up to with their coffee stalls and soup kitchens, amid shells bursting all about them, they would be astonished at their heroic efforts.  Frequently an effort was made to keep them back from the firing line, but they were like a plucky British bulldog, which would poke his nose there whether he was wanted or not.  (Laughter and applause)  On they would come into the firing line with their spirit stoves (not to produce smoke), and often up to their waists in mud, supplying the soldiers in the fight with cups of hot cocoa, hot soup and biscuits.  No one could realise what that meant to the men, but those who had gone through it.  (Loud applause)  In England the Y.M.C.A. and the Red Cross fixed up hostels, which were a great boon and comfort to men coming in from the front, hungry, covered with mud, and so on.  In a few hours they were cleaned up, and appeared spick and span.  (Applause)  The Anzac buffets were a great institution also in looking after the boys, and the On Active Service Fund organisation was a tremendous boon to them.  He took the opportunity of telling anybody sending comforts to the boys at the front – and in the happy receipt of such comforts no one could adequately describe what it meant to them – to send them through the O.A.S.  (Applause)  …………

Inglewood Advertiser (Vic), 14/6/1918 (p.2):  Tidings of Soldiers.  Major F.E. Forrest arrived at Inglewood yesterday, and was met at the station by the Mayor, Cr Renshaw and Mr Cooper (town clerk) representing the Borough Council, and a large number of friends.  Cars provided by Messrs J.H. Turpie and Mr C. Freeman conveyed the party to Mrs Forrest’s residence, Borung street.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Mon 22 Mar 1920:  SUIT LENGTHS FOR RETURNED MEN.  To the Editor of “The Mercury”.  Sir, - The assertion appearing in a letter published in “The Mercury” of 18th inst. over the signature C. Wilson, late F.A., that suit lengths are only available to league members, calls for prompt and emphatic official denial.  On application to the nearest sub-branch of the league any returned man, on production of his bona fides as such, can be booked for a suit length, whether he be a member of the league or otherwise.  This is in strict accordance with the league’s activities in all matters pertaining to the welfare of returned men. – Yours, etc.,  F.E. FORREST, State Secretary R.S.S.I.LA., Hobart

Advocate (Burnie, Tas), Thur 24 Mar 1921:  THE MILITARY FORCES.  TASMANIAN CHANGES – SCHEME OF RE-ORGANISATION.  …………  Major F.E. Forrest, M.C., at present commands 13th Garrison Artillery, ……………

Inglewood Advertiser, Tue Apr 12, 1921:  Pithy Pars.  Mr F.E. Forrest was on Friday appointed general secretary of the Returned Soldier’s League at a salary of L520 a year, in succession to the late Mr W.J. Henderson.  Mr Forrest, who is a native of Inglewood, and the eldest son of Mrs Forrest, of Borung street, has been secretary of the Tasmanian branch of the league for the last 18 months.  He left Australia in 1914 as sergeant major and served on Gallipoli, where he received his commission.  Later he gained the rank of major, and was in charge of a battery.  He returned to Australia in 1919, after nearly four years’ service.

Examiner (Launceston, Tas), Mon 11 Apr 1921:  Returned Soldiers – New General Secretary.  MAJOR F.E. FORREST APPOINTED.  HOBART, Saturday.  Major F.E. Forrest, M.C., secretary of the Returned Soldiers’ Association, who has just received the appointment of general secretary for Australia of that organization, vice Mr W.J. Henderson, deceased, has been 12 years in Tasmania.  For six years he was an instructor in the Field Artillery stationed at Launceston, where he took a very prominent part in A.N.A. matters.  Shortly after the outbreak of war he enlisted for active service, and went away with the original 9th Battery as battery sergeant-major.  He received his commission on the field on Gallipoli, and rose to the rank of staff-captain of the 4th Divisional Artillery.  He was afterwards appointed to command the 39th Battery.  Major Forrest will enter up on his new duties at the beginning of next month.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Fri 6 Jan 1922:  SOLDIERS’ COLUMN – BY NARETEV.  Among returned men the visit of Major F.E. Forrest, M.C., general secretary of the league, is welcomed, not so much on account of his breezy personality as the strong faith that possesses him of the ideals of the returned soldiers being fulfilled through their claims being put forward to the powers that be, by such champions as are, at the present day, found in legislative circles.  Met the other day, Major Forrest said that the public are now sitting up and taking notice of the promises made prior to the great adventure, and among the more conscientious the feeling is that not quite enough is being done for the men who saved the Empire.  Every digger who knows Major Forrest and his good lady will welcome the fact that so long as one single unfortunate digger is alive the words of poor men will never be in vain.

Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), Thur 5 Jul 1923:  “ANGEL OF DURBAN”.  ARRIVAL IN MELBOURNE – ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME.  Miss Ethel Campbell, …………… was welcomed by representatives of the Returned Soldiers’ League, namely Mr E. Turnbull, acting Federal president, Mr. F.E. Forrest, Federal secretary,  ……..

The West Australian, Fri 22 Feb 1924:  RETURNED SOLDIERS’ LEAGUE.  RESIGNATION OF FEDERAL SECRETARY.  The State secretary of the R.S.L. has received advice that Major F.E. Forrest, the general secretary, in Melbourne, has tendered his resignation.  Major Forrest occupied the position for several years, having succeeded the late Lieutenant W.J. Henderson, who was appointed from Western Australia.

Frankston and Somerville Standard (Vic) Fri 1 May 1925:  D.A.L.  WHAT DOES THIS STAND FOR?  It Stands for the “Develop Austrlia League.”  …………..  Personal Sketches of Develop Australia League Speakers.  Major F.E. Forrest, M.C. – Is one of the “big guns” in the battery of speakers for the Develop Australia League.  He is an amiable, yet earnest man, full of energy and enthusiasm.  Vitality and a pleasant personality endow this tall, sanguiene Digger.  He is a Victorian native, born at Inglewood.  His military record shows him to have been one of the first of the A.I.F. to get a commission for service on Gallipoli.  He was one who helped to get the first gun into position on the Peninsula against Johnny Turk, and, eventually, as Commander of the 39th Battery, he supervised the blowing up of the last guns upon the memorable evacuation.  He was awarded the M.C. in France, and returned to Aussie in September 1918.

“Fred” Forrest has long been active in public work.  He is an ex-president of the A.N.A.  The possessor of a good voice and a quick intelligence he has attributes for success in public platform advocacy of any noble cause.  He is one of the executive of the Develop Australia League.  To hear him at an open-air meeting, in say, Chapel street, Prahran, with half a thousand people listening to his adjuration to buy Australian-made goods is to listen to something satisfying.

“A feast of strong meat” is how somebody described the speech of Forceful Fred.  He has lived lived and made his mark in three States.  Since the armistice Tasmania claimed him for several years, but the opportunities on the mainland exercised inevitable attraction and he returned to Victoria as general secretary to the returned soldiers.  The Major is now in private business, but, in civil life as in war, he is destined to achieve much in his country’s service.  The “Develop Australia” movement will provide him surely with scope for his patriotism and talents.

The Argus, Tue 18 Jan 1927:  DEVELOPING AUSTRALIA.  Speaking from 3LO last night, Mr F.E. Forrest, of the Develop Australia League, made further reference to the addresses delivered on the subject of developing Australia by the five Victorian members of the Australian cricket team.  He refuted the suggestion that the league consisted of “tariff propagandists”.  The league’s work, he said, was purely educative.  Its first aim was to stimulate belief, faith, and confidence in Australia and everything Australian.  He suggested that patriotic shoppers should insist upon obtaining Australian goods, if necessary by interviewing the manager.  The speeches broadcast by the cricketers had done much to stimulate interest in the ideals of the league, and he thanked them on its behalf for their demonstration of good citizenship.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 11 Apr 1927:  VICTORIA GENERAL ELECTIONS.  ……..  Mr F.E. Forrest, and Independent, defeated Mr Farthing, chairman of committee, in the new electorate of Caulfield.  ……………

The Argus (Melb, Vic), Mon 3 Oct 1927 (p.12):  INGLEWOOD REUNION.  INGLEWOOD, Saturday – The Inglewood reunion was commenced most successfully to-day.  A great stimulus was given by the welcome fall of rain, which completely changed the outlook for agriculturists, and put everyone in excellent spirits.  The special train from Melbourne was splendidly patronized, 140 travelling by it.  On its arrival it was greeted by hundreds of townspeople and visitors who had arrived earlier.  It is estimated that nearly 600 visitors are participating.  A hearty welcome was given by the mayor (Councillor Scholes), and it was acknowledged by Mr Arthur Nixon (president) and Mr Forrest, M.L.A. (secretary), of the Melbourne committee.  The day’s entertainment consisted of a football match and a reunion social at night, both events being largely attended.  A highly successful week is expected.  Splendid efforts in decoration have been made by residents.

Frankston and Somerville Standard (Vic), Sat 3 Aug 1929:  CAULFIELD CITY CLUB.  The following officials were elected at the annual meeting of the Caulfield City Cricket Club for the coming season: - ………………; patrons, Messrs F.E. Forrest, M.L.A., and ………..

Table Talk (Melb, Vic), Thur 14 Aug 1930 (p.50):  BALL TO AID LIMBLESS SOLDIERS.  The small committee who had worked earnestly for some time past had the gratification of seeing their efforts carried to a successful issue last Tuesday evening, when the ball they had arranged in the St Kilda Town Hall took place.  The proceeds were to augment the funds of the Limbless Soldiers’ Association, and the large number present showed themselves rightly interested in the project.  Mr Sydney Hutchinson was hon. Secretary, and he had very able assistance from Mrs E. Willcocks, Mr Eric Welch, Miss E. Gough, and last but not least, Lieut-Col. F.E. Forrest, president of the ball committee.  ………………..

The Argus, Mon Oct 20, 1930:  DEATHS.  FORREST – On the 19th October, at a private hospital, Melbourne, Frederick Edward, beloved husband of Bertha Ada Forrest, of Rheola, Walworth avenue, Caulfield, and loving father of Lillian, Edward and Peggy, aged 53 years.
FUNERAL NOTICES.  FORREST – The funeral of the late Lieut-Colonel FREDERICK EDWARD FORREST, M.L.A., will take place at the Brighton Cemetery To-morrow (Tuesday, 21st October).  Further particulars as to the funeral arrangements will be announced in Tuesday’s press.  A.A. SLEIGHT PTY LTD., Brighton.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 20 Oct 1930:  OBITUARY.  LIEUT-COLONEL FORREST.  MELBOURNE, Sunday.  The death of Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Edward Forrest, M.L.A. for Caulfield, occurred suddenlyat a private hospital in East Melbourne this morning.  He was 53 years, and leaves a widow, a son, and two daughters.

Lieutenant-Colonel Forrest had a distinguished military career.  He was, it is believed, either the first or second man to enlist in Tasmania.  He remained in France, serving with considerable distinction, until four months before the end of the war, when he returned to Australia as a result of wounds received at Passchendale.  He was decorated with the Military Cross.  His good work as secretary of the Tasmanian branch of the Returned Soldier’s League immediatley after the war caused him to be appointed general secretary of the League, with headquarters in Melbourne.

The Argus (Melb, Vic), Mon 20 Oct 1930 (p.8):  LIEUT-COL FORREST, M.L.A.  DEATH IN HOSPITAL – NOTABLE MILITARY RECORD.  [Photo]  ………

His good work as secretary of the Tasmanian branch of the Returned Soldiers’ League immediately after the war caused him to be appointed general secretary of the league, with headquarters in Melbourne.  During three years in that position – he then resigned to take up business as an estate agent – he became well known throughout Australia as one of the strongest and most active guardians of the rights of former soldiers.  He was promoted to the rank of lieut-colonel in the Citizen Forces, and was given charge of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade, Albert Park.  His military services extended over a period of more than 30 years, and he received the long service and good conduct medals.  He was a foundation member of the Remembrance Club, Tasmania, founded by Sir John Gellibrand, and of the Legacy Club, Victoria.  He was a member of the Hawksburn Freemasons’ Lodge.

When Caulfield became, in 1927, a separate electorate, Lieut-Colonel Forrest, as a Progressive Liberal, contested the seat with Mr A.A. Farthing, whose electorate of East Melbourne had been abolished under the redistribution plan, and Mr J.T. Packer.  He was successful, and he retained the seat at the last election.  In Parliament he watched closely the interests of former soldiers.  He maintained independence on many questions, but usually voted with the Nationalists.  He was a constant advocate of redistributon of seats to give the metropolitan area greater representation in Parliament.  The burial will take place at the Brighton Cemetery to-morrow.  It is expected that the Legislative Assembly will adjourn to-morrow afternoon as a mark of respect to the memory of Lieut-Colonel Forrest.

Loss to Soldiers’ League.  Mr G.J.C. Dyett, the Federal president of the Returned Soldiers’ League, yesterday expressed deep regret at the death of Lieut-Colonel Forrest, who, he said, had given splendid service to ex-service men and women.  Members of the Limbless Soldiers’ Association ball committee, of which Lieut-Colonel Forrest was president, said that they would feel the loss greatly.  At all times he had done his utmost to help the association.

Canon Langley’s Tribute.  Reference to Lieutenant-Colonel Forrest’s death was made last night by Canon Langley when preaching at St Mary’s Church, Caulfield.  Canon Langley said that Lieutenant-Colonel Forrest was one of those who years after the war had paid the price of heroic service for King and country.  He had done many acts of kindness for those in need, and he had been a practical and sincere friend of all returned soldiers.  Recently he had realised a long-felt desire for confirmation, and he had always taken a warm interest in the work of the St Margaret’s branch of St Mary’s Church.

Mr T.S. Nettlefold’s Regret.  “As one who was closely associated with Lieut-Colonel Forrest in Tasmania after the war, I desire to express my sincere regret at his untimely death,” said the president of the Young Nationalists’ Organisation (Mr T.S. Nettlefold) last night.  Mr Nettlefold added that in recent weeks he had been conducting certain negotiations with Mr Forrest, who had expressed admiration of the work and objects of the Young Nationalists.

The Argus, Tue Oct 21, 1930FUNERAL NOTICES.  FORREST – The friends of the late Lieut-Colonel FREDERICK EDWARD FORREST, M.L.A., are informed that a military funeral will leave St Mary’s Anglican Church, Gleneira road, Caulfield, THIS DAY (Tuesday, the 21st October), at 3p.m., for the Brighton Cemetery.  A service will be conducted by the Rev. Canon H.T. Langley at 2.40p.m.

The Age (Melb, Vic), Wed 22 Oct 1930 (p.10):  FUNERAL OF MR FORREST, M.L.A.  IMPRESSIVE MILITARY OBSEQUIES.  Impressive obsequies marked the funeral of the late Colonel Forrest, M.L.A., at Brighton Cemetery yesterday.  In addition to private mourners, all political parties and various returned soldiers’ organisations were represented.  Following a full choral service at St Mary’s Church of England, Caulfield, at which Canon Langley officiated, the funeral cortege proceeded to the cemetery headed by a firing party of the 10th Field Artillery, followed by the coffin draped with a Union Jack on a gun carriage, the late Colonel Forrest’s charger, members of the R.S.S.I.I., Legacy Club, Hawksburn Masonic Lodge, mourning coaches and official and private cars.  The First Glen Huntly Boy Scouts paraded at the graveside.  The pall-bearers were: – The Premier, Mr Hogan; the Speaker, Sir Alexander Peacock; Sir Stanley Argyle, leader of the Opposition; Mr J. Allen, leader of the Country party; Mr B. Gray, M.L.A.; Captain Dyett, Federal president of the R.S.S.I.L.; Mr C. Smith, president of the Legacy Club; the mayor of Caulfield (Cr Ritchie), Colonel Caddy, Colonel Harold Cohen, and Lieutenants-Colonel Lyster, Bolton, St Clair and Martyn.  Following the brief service at the interment conducted by Canon Langley, three volleys were fired over the grave, and the Last Post sounded by the trumpeter of the 10th Brigade of Field Artillery.

Among the numerous floral tributes were those from Parliamentary parties, the Speaker, and member of the Legislative Assembly, branches of the R.S.S.I.L., General Blamey, the V.A.T.C., Tattersalls’ Club, the Legacy Club, Limbless Soldiers’ Association, City of Camberwell, City of St Kilda, Caulfield District Boy Scouts, National Liberal party, Caulfield Unemployed and others.  The funeral arrangements were in the hands of A.A. Sleight.

The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld), Thur 23 Oct 1930 (p.54):  Lieut-Colonel F.E. Forrest.  The death of Lieut-Col Frederick Edward Forrest, M.L.A. for Caulfield, occurred suddenly at private hospital in East Melbourne on October 19.  He had been ill for some weeks.  On October 17 he underwent an operation, which was successful, and he was believed to be making good progress, when he had a heart seizure, from which he died.  He was aged 53 years.  He leaves a widow, a son, and two daughters.  Lieut-Col Forrest had a distinguished military career, and was, it is believed, either first or second man to enlist in Tasmania.  He remained in France, serving with considerable distinction, until four months before the end of the war, when he returned to Australia as a result of wounds received at Passchendaele.  He was decorated with the Military Cross.  His good work as secretary of the Tasmanian branch of the Returned Soldiers’ League immediately after the war caused him to be appointed general secretary of the league, with headquarters in Melbourne.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Thur 23 Oct 1930 (p.3):  THE LATE LIEUT-COLONEL FORREST.  AN APPRECIATION.  (By One who Served under him)  The unexpected death of Lieut-Col F.E. Forrest, M.C., on Sunday last came as a shock to members of the A.I.F. Originals’ Association.  It was fully expected that the late Lieut-Col Forrest would be present at the reunion on Saturday evening, as he had written some time ago stating that he would be present if his Parliamentay duties did not prevent him from having a few days in Tasmania.  The news of his death cast quite a gloom over many of his old pals who knew him in the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade.

Lieut-Col Forrest was a Staff Sergeant-Major in the Artillery in Tasmania at the outbreak of war, having been stationed at Launceston and Hobart during his term in this State.  He was posted as Battery Sergeant-Major of the 9th Battery, sailing with that unit on the troopship Geelong.  He was very popular with all ranks, and was considered a very efficient and conscientious worker in the interests of his Battery.  On arrival of the 1st Division, A.I.F., at Mena Camp, near Cairo, Egypt, the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, consisting of Brigade Headquarters (under Col. C. Rosenthal), the 7th, 8th, and 9th Batteries, and 3rd B.A.C., were concentrated together for Brigade and Battery training.

Battery Sergeant-Major Forrest was transferred to 3rd Brigade Headquarters as Brigade Warrant-Officer, and the 9th Battery had Sergeant-Major Light posted to it in his place.  When the 3rd Brigade landed on Gallipoli, the Artillery were concentrated in various parts of the right flank, and as a result of casualties among the officers the Adjutant of the 3rd F.A. Brigade was given charge of two guns on Razorback Ridge, thus creating a vacancy which W.O. Forrest filled.  His commission was gazetted, and as Lieut Forrest he carried out the duties of Adjutant with great credit.

After the evacuation of Gallipoli the 1st and 2nd Australian Divisions were concentrated at Tel-el-Kebir, in Egypt, and while there the orders to form two new divisions came through.  The 4th and 5th Divisions were formed here (the 3rd Division being already forming in Australia) and Lieut Forrest received promotion to Staff-Captain of the 4th Australian Division Artillery under Brigadier-General C. Rosenthal.  The new divisions were formed firstly from nuclei of the two existing divisions and Light Horse regiments, the remaining numbers to bring units up to strength being men from base details, convalescent camp, and new reinforcements.  The task ahead of Captain Forrest at that time seemed impossible of performance, and it was due to his great organizing ability and persistence that the 4th Division Artillery became one of the best divisions in the A.I.F.

The writer, at the time of the formation of the 4th Division, was one of those transferred to it from the 9th Battery, and was acting Brigade Q.M.S. of the 24th Howitzer Brigade.  Captain Forrest came to see us, and appreciated our difficulties in a moment, as we had neither horses, harness, nor sufficient men to draw rations and stores.  He managed to “salve” a team of six horses (derelicts from the 1st Division) for us, and sent them along to our lines, and was not far behind them as it happens.  We needed harness and a waggon – Captain Forrest asked me to come with him to ordnance, which I did, and well I remember that hot dusty day when he and I pulled about several tons of old harness and laid pieces out on the sand in their proper order until we had a complete set of waggon harness for a six-horse team.  I think it took us over four hours to find all we wanted, so you can imagine the patience displayed by Captain Forrest in this small matter when he had so many other things to do.  In France later, as Staff Captain of the 4th Division Artillery, his work was of a very high standard, and the division was on a par with any artillery division serving on the Western Front.  His work as Staff Captain was of such a high standard that it was a block to his promotion, but eventually he received his reward, and obtained his majority, being posted to the command of the 39th Battery in his division.  This command he held for some time, when he was evacuated to hospital, later returning to Australia.

After the war he was State Secretary of the R.S. and S.I.L.A. in Hobart, and later Federal Secretary in Melbourne, resigning this position a few years ago.

The sympathy of all A.I.F. Originals in Tasmania is extended to his widow and family, as he was well known to all ranks on the Geelong, and very popular with those who knew him both in the early days of the war, and right through to the end.  His work on behalf of the Diggers after the war is well known, and it is due in a great measure to his efforts in years gone by that we, who survive, enjoy many privileges.


Weekly Times (Melb, Vic), Sat 21 Feb 1931 (p.6):  THE HUMAN INTEREST.  The will of Frederick Edward Forrest, M.L.A., late of Walworth Avenue, Caulfield, who died on October 19, has been lodged for probate.  He left real estate £1630 and personal property £895 to his widow.

The Argus, Wed 21 Jul 1943:  DEATHS.  FORREST – On July 18, at Cootamundra, NSW, Gertrude Ada, loved with the late Lt-Col Frederick Edward Forrest, MC, MLA, (late of Caulfield), loving mother of Lillian (Mrs W.F. McColl), Edward Graham (Toorak), and Peggy (Mrs F.J. O’Connell, 29 Murchion street, East St Kilda).  (Privately interred at Brighton Cemetery on July 20)



War Service Record shows date of birth as 20th April 1877 – another document included with papers shows 9/4/1878 – birth was registered 1877.

His War Diary, transcribed by his Granddaughter, Mary Crow – is available on-line through an Ancestry family tree.