Allan Hall Forbes, MM


Apr 1, 1890

Born at the city of Hamilton, Wentworth County, Ontario


Apr 8, 1908 Married to Nancy Catherine Wood at Hamilton Ontario

I could not find any indication that Nancy had died, nor could I find any evidence of a divorce.  However, when he Attested into the 21st Battalion, he stated that he was single.  In the 1911 Census she is listed as married, but the head of her household.  There are several lodgers at the same address and it would appear that she running a boarding house not far from Hamilton and living with her daughter Leta who was fathered by Allan.

Nov 18, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion at Kingston Ontario 

Ø      Number 59330 (temporary number 1121)

Ø      Next of kin given as L. Forbes (brother Lawrence) of the USA Navy

Ø      Previous occupation given as Sailor

o       Later recorded as Painter

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England

Ø      Assigned to “E” Company as a Bugler

o       This was later reorganized into “C” Company 

On Attestation he gave his birth year as being 1888 and stated that he was single


Apr 1, 1915

Appointed to provisional rank of Lance Cpl without pay


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama at Montreal Quebec



May 15, 1915

Disembarked at Devonport England and proceeded to the West Sandling Camp near Hythe, Kent 

Appointed to rank of Lance Cpl with pay


Jun 5, 1915

Admitted to Moore Barracks Hospital Shorncliffe, diagnosed with Gonorrhea


Jun 7, 1915

Transferred to St Martin’s Plain Hospital at Shorncliffe


Jun 20, 1915

Discharged to duty


Jul 1, 1915

Confirmed in appointment of L/Cpl


Sep 1, 1915

Will made out leaving his estate to his mother, Mrs George Forbes at 194 Locke St N, Hamilton Ontario


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St Seiriol at Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked at Boulogne France and proceeded to St Omer


Jun 16, 1916

Admitted to the No 2 DRS (Divisional Rest Station) at Mont des Cats, diagnosed with Pyrexia (more commonly referred to as Trench Fever) 

The No 2 DRS was located at the No 6 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance)


Jun 22, 1916

Discharged to duty from DRS


Jun 26, 1916

Admitted to No 4 CFA diagnosed with PUO (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin) which is another term for Trench Fever


Jun 28, 1916

Transferred to NM CCS (North Midland Casualty Clearing Station)  

Transferred the same day to No 2 DRS


Jul 5, 1916

Discharged to duty from No 2 DRS


Jul 11, 1916

Severely reprimanded for “Absence without leave while on Duty Band”


Aug 16, 1916

Promoted to rank of Cpl to replace Cpl TE Brady 59090 who had been invalided to England wounded


Sep 17, 1916

Appointed to rank of L/Sgt to replace L/Sgt Godfrey 59374 who had been invalided to England wounded


Oct 31, 1916

Proceeded on the Machine Gun course at Camiers


Nov 15, 1916

At duty from course


Nov 17, 1916

Granted 10 days leave


Nov 27, 1916

At duty from leave


Jan 17, 1917

Appointed to rank of Acting Sgt with pay to replace A/Sgt Whitelaw 60058 who had been admitted to hospital 

This was the date of the Calonne Trench Raid which the Battalion captured over 100 prisoners and caused much damage to the German trenches. 

More can be read about this raid in a paper written by Andrew Godefroy in pdf format here


Feb 1, 1917

Promoted to rank of Sgt to replace Sgt Whitelaw 60058 who had been invalided to England


Mar 12, 1917

Awarded the Military Medal per London Gazette number 29981


This was awarded for his actions during the trench raid held on January 17, 1917

The citation reads

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack on the German Lines.  This NCO had charge of the 1st party to enter the enemy's trench and displayed great skill in handling his men.  He assisted in the capture of several prisoners, and showed great coolness and resource throughout the whole operation.

AFW 3121.


Mar 26, 1917

Reverts to permanent grade of Cpl, but retains appointment of L/Sgt upon leaving the Battalion for the Base Depot


Mar 29, 1917

TOS (Taken On Strength) CBD (Canadian Base Depot) as “TB” (Temporary Base) which is a medical category meaning that he is restricted Base Duty temporarily and not able to be at the front


Jun 6, 1917

Attached to No 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) for duty


Oct 18, 1917

Classified “PB” (Permanent Base) which is a medical category meaning that he is restricted Base Duty and not able to be at the front


Nov 13, 1917

Granted 14 days leave


Nov 28, 1917

At duty from leave


Feb 27, 1918

Proceeded on Escort Duty to Paris


Feb 28, 1918

Returned to duty from Escort Duty


Mar 20, 1918

Reclassified “A” meaning that he is no longer restricted to Base Duty and is now a recuperating soldier and began training for the front


Apr 6, 1918

Left CIBD and proceeded to CCRC (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Centre)


Apr 7, 1918

Admitted to No 23 CCS diagnosed with Tonsillitis


Apr 8, 1918

Transferred via No 3 Ambulance Train and admitted to No 3 Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne


Apr 12, 1918

Transferred to No 10 Convalescent Depot


Apr 14, 1918

Discharged to No 5 Rest Camp


Apr 16, 1918

Discharged from No 10 Convalescent Depot on proceeding to No 2 CIBD


Apr 19, 1918

Proceeded to CCRC


Apr 20, 1918

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in the field 

The Battalion had moved into the Support Trench at Neuville Vitasse


Jun 19, 1918

Admitted to No 4 CFA with thru and thru bullet wound penetrating both lungs and fracturing 2 ribs 

Transferred the same day to the CCS 

He was wounded during a raid on a German trench along the Arras-Bapaume Road


Jun 20, 1918

Transferred to No 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital 

Surgery performed to remove bone fragments from fractured ribs


Jun 25, 1918

Transferred to Base Hospital


Jun 26, 1918

Transferred to No 10 General Hospital at Rouen


Jun 27, 1918

An air raid was carried out on the hospital causing much stress to all the patients, and to Allan Forbes in particular


Jun 29, 1918

Added to the “dangerously ill” list


Jul 7, 1918

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Western Australia


Posted to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) while in hospital


Jul 8, 1918

Admitted to The King George Hospital at Stamford, London


Aug 19, 1918

Transferred to No 16 Canadian General Hospital at Orpington, Kent


Sep 26, 1918

Transferred to the Princess Patricia Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Bexhill


Nov 4, 1918

Discharged to duty


Nov 14, 1918

Posted to 6th Reserve Battalion


Nov 23, 1918

Granted permission to marry


Dec 17, 1918

Married Kate Emily Ponsford at Parish Church, Battle, Sussex 

Next of kin changed to read Mrs Kate Forbes (wife) c/o George Peters, Caldbec Hill, Battle, Sussex


Jan 10, 1919

Posted to EORD and attached to 6th Reserve Battalion


Jan 21, 1919

Ceases to be attached on returning to EORD and detailed to the Depot Company at Seaford


Feb 18, 1919

Posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford


Mar 21, 1919

Placed On Command to CDD (Canadian Discharge Depot) at Buxton pending return to Canada


Apr 15, 1919

Ceases to be On Command and SOS to Canada 

Embarked the RMS Corsican at Liverpool with his wife



Apr 21, 1919

Disembarked at Saint John New Brunswick


Apr 28, 1919

Discharged from the CEF at Saint John New Brunswick 

Ø      War Service Badge Class “A” issued, number 132097

Ø      Proposed residence on discharge – 119 King St W, Kingston Ontario

Ø      Trade listed as Carriage Painter

Ø      Rank on discharge shown as Sgt


Nov 13, 1919

1914-15 Star sent to him at Kingston Ontario


Apr 19, 1921

British War Medal and Victory Medal sent to GPO Kingston Ontario.  It appears that the medals were returned


Sep 19, 1921

Medals were re-sent to 12 ½  King St W, Oshawa Ontario



Was living on Montrave Ave, Oshawa Ontario and employed by General Motors as a painter



Was living at 159 Retson Road S, Oshawa Ontario


May 7, 1946

Died at Oshawa Ontario

Union Cemetery
Oshawa Ontario


sitting Cpl Charlie Smith
standing L-R Sgt Allan Forbes, Sgt Bill Crerar,
Cpl R Runge, all of "C" Coy


From the January 1936 issue of the Communiqué, which was the post war newsletter for the 21st Battalion Association


Above he is holding his baby daughter Shirley in 1920


Above photos were taken in 1934.  On the right he is with his second wife, Kate


Another photo with his wife Kate

Family photos are courtesy of Christine Gordon

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