Author Topic: 2nd Lt, acting Captain, William Thomas Forshaw  (Read 3552 times)

liverpool annie

  • Guest
2nd Lt, acting Captain, William Thomas Forshaw
« on: February 04, 2009, 03:09:08 AM »

Have you heard these snippets before ? I find the stories about the later life of a lot of brave men are very sad ....  :-\

There was an alleged memorial at Barrow in Furness. It related to Forshaw Street, supposedly named after a VC winner born in the town.

On the 7th August 1915, 2nd Lt, acting Captain, William Thomas Forshaw of the 1/9 Manchesters was given the task of holding a corner of the position known as 'The Vineyard' at Gallipoli. Over the following few days the trenches here were subjected to repeated attacks by Johnnie Turk. Forshaw's citation for the Victoria Cross describes what followed:

Lieutenant Forshaw not only directed his men but personally threw bombs continuously for over 40 hours. When his detachment was relieved, he volunteered to continue directing the defence. Later, when the Turks captured a portion of the trench, he shot three of them and recaptured it. It was due to his fine example and magnificant courage that his very important position was held.

The problem with the 'memorial street' arises from the fact that there was a Forshaw Street in Barrow in the 1870s. It was the location of some heavy duty riots by a crowd of Irish 'Navvies'. Without street maps to make a comparison it is difficult to be certain that this is not 'an urban myth'. Whatever the truth Forshaw Street is no more - it has been replaced by a multi storey car park & shopping precinct.
What is certain, however, is that the brave officer was given a sword and the freedom of Barrow by the Mayor and council in 1916. Some years ago this sword was being used as a prop for dramatic efforts in a local school in the town. Its importance was realised when a dedicatory inscription was noted on the blade. It subsequently came to take pride of place in the Manchester Rgt museum together with Forshaw's medals and a silver tea service presented by North Manchester High School for Boys in Moston where he taught English before the war.

In 1996 a Blue Plaque was erected at Ladysmith Barracks, Ashton under Lyne.

Forshaw did not have a succesful life. After a short post war career with the Indian Army he established two preparatory schools but both went bust. He died at Bray, Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1943 and was buried in an unmarked grave. A headstone was finally erected in the 1990s


  • Guest
Re: 2nd Lt, acting Captain, William Thomas Forshaw
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 08:06:43 PM »
Hi Annie
I was at the museum last summer and managed to take some photo's of the display they had for him.
There was a photo and a note and a silver casket. The casket contains the freedom scroll and he was the third person to be given the freedom of the Borough of Ashton under Lyne.
I also have a photo's of the group of medals including the VC.
Only one problem, while I was happily clicking away I was presented with a paper I had to sign saying the photo's where for personnel use :'(

Just a bit more info.
He later achieved the rank of major. Buried at Touchen End Cemetery, Bray, near Maidenhead in Berkshire. For many years the grave was unmarked but a new stone was erected in 1994 though not on exact site.

I have got this photo though ;D


liverpool annie

  • Guest
Re: 2nd Lt, acting Captain, William Thomas Forshaw
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2009, 08:34:47 PM »

Thanks Neil !

I'm so glad they're keeping his memory alive .... seems he had a hard time at the end !!  :-\

His face looks so familiar to me ... and I don't know why ! ... must have known him in a past life or something !!  ::)

Annie  :)

Offline harribobs

  • Site Monkey
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,175
Re: 2nd Lt, acting Captain, William Thomas Forshaw
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2009, 09:24:18 PM »
Robert has done a very good biography on him in "Volunteer Infantry of Ashton under Lyne"  ;)
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."