FORREST, William Henderson

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT: 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Divisional Trench Mortar Group, 4th Trench Mortar Battery, Canadian Field Artillery
RESIDENCE:  Varna – Ontario 
CEMETERY:   Tourgeville Military Cemetery – Tourgeville – Calvados – France I     B     4
PARENTS:    Mr. William and Magdalene Forrest – Varna – Ontario
Occupation: School Teacher
Religion:   Presbyterian

William was born in Varna and would have received his primary education in the immediate Varna area before going to Clinton to receive his secondary education at Clinton District Collegiate Institute. It is our understanding that he then decided he wanted to be a teacher. At this time there was a large shortage of teachers in the education system and County Model Schools were introduced. This meant that an individual who graduated from such a school was only able to teach in the county where the Model School they attended was located. These schools provided apprenticeships reinforced by the evaluations of teachers, principals and superintendents. The courses were short and upon graduation an individual had his Class 3 certificate. In some cases those who graduated were mere children themselves. Upon enlistment William was one such teacher and he taught at Teacher I Brighton and Gladstone School.

Corporal Forrest departed from Canada on the S.S. Olympic and arrived in Liverpool on May 7, 1917. He is taken on strength with the Reserve Brigade - Canadian Field Artillery based at Shorncliffe - Kent that same day. On June 22nd he transferred to the 1st Reserve Brigade then on July 6, 1917 he is taken on strength by the 4th Canadian Trench Mortar Battery. He headed overseas into France that same day. He arrived at the Canadian Base Depot the next day and is immediately attached to the 2nd Divisional Ammunition Depot for duty with the 4th Trench Mortar Battery.                                                                                                                                                                  

Corporal Forrest then left for the field and joined the 4th Trench Mortar Battery on July 16, 1917. He then attended the 1st Army School between September 12-24 and took the 1st Army Trench Mortar course between September 26-October 6.  Upon completing this training he is given the rank of Gunner.

Very early in the month of February 1918 he was sent on a course taking place at Houchin, but the very next day February 2nd he is admitted into a Field Ambulance. Three days later, on February 5th he is admitted into No. 18 General Hospital in Camiers where the doctors there diagnosed him with trench fever. He then was transferred to No. 6 Convalescent Depot located in Etaples on March 11, 1918. FRom there he went into another Convalescent facility in Trouville on March 13, 1918. Following this he is diagnosed with an unknown illness and admitted to No. 72 General Hospital based in Trouville on March 16, 1918.

On March 26th the doctors report William as being dangerously ill with what they have diagnosed as Cerebral Spinal Meningitis. Gunner Forrest died at 11:20 am from the effects of Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis at No. 72 General Hospital which was located at Trouville in France.

William is listed on the Roll of Honour for Ontario Teachers.