Private George Forbes


George Forbes was born on 26 August 1897 at Dunaghy, near Ballymena, County Antrim, the fourth of six children of farmer George Forbes and his wife Lizzie (née Knox). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Moneydollog, Ballyconnelly, County Antrim with his parents and four of his five surviving siblings. By 1915 he was working as assistant chemist for pharmacist J.A. Woodside in Church Street, Ballymena.

Forbes enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 16 and 18 November 1915 (No.1915 – later Corps of Hussars No.71635). His brother John Forbes joined the regiment just days later. George trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France around May 1916. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Forbes remained with the regiment throughout the war. In September 1918 he was admitted to the 16th General Hospital in France suffering from 'suspected dysentery'. On 2 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


George's brother John was killed in action on 22 March 1918 on the second day of the battle of St Quentin while serving with the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers.