FORREST, James Alexander (1862-1941)

Modified on Fri, 12 Aug 2016 19:02 by Con — Categorized as: Biography - All, Biography - Students, Geelong College, Biography of War - World War I

FORREST, James Alexander (1862-1941)

Former Geelong College staff member, James Alexander Forrest, was born at Dumbarton, Scotland on 27 December 1862, the son of John Forrest and Martha nee Menzies. He was Minister of St George’s Presbyterian Church, Geelong and Chaplain of the Geelong College, when he became Chaplain at Seymour camp from May to November 1916.

James Forrest enlisted, at the rank of Captain, in the Chaplains Department on 16 June 1917, aged 52. He subsequently embarked on HMAT A29 Suevic on 21 June 1917. He served in France with the 5th Division troops and then the 13th Australian Field Artillery Brigade before being transferred to England for duty on 4 October 1918. He returned to Australia on duty on Mamari a transport vessel, embarking on 21 December 1918.

Brigadier General Commandant S Braggy, wrote of his service in October 1918, 'No padre has done better work than Mr Forrest and everything he has taken up has been characterised with efficiency, he is loved and deeply respected by the men, I am sorry that congregational conditions in Australia require his return (to Australia). '

James Forrest died in 1941.

His son, Rev John Fairlie Forrest (1901-1971) was educated at Geelong College and served in the Second World War.

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. pp.190-91 (citing Pegasus; National Archives of Australia); National Archives, Attestation Record p21.