Great War veterans service recognised
12 Jan 2018 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) by Jamie Kronborg BEECHWORTHS Burke Museum will benefit from a $5656 State Government grant to Indigo Shire Council to commemorate the war service of a prominent Great War veteran. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) said the Anzac Centenary Grant program funding for the museum was designed to encourage community recognition of service and sacrifice. It is to be used for an exhibition of the Great War (1914-18) images and diaries of Beechworths William Forrest, a 26-year-old signals specialist and former Victorian railways engineering draftsman who was the son of Finch Street residents Balfour and Jeannie Forrest. He left Melbourne for Egypt towards the end of 1915 and was serving in France a year later. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in August 1917 and promoted to lieutenant within four months. British Expeditionary Force Western Front commander Sir Douglas Haig on November 8, 1918 just three days short of the wars formal end mentioned Lt. Forrest for conspicuous service in a despatch but for action which had taken place three months earlier. After the war Lt. Forrest was employed for a short time in signals development by Londons Metropolitan Railway before he returned to Australia. Ms Symes said the funds for the Burke Museum would be used to create a permanent record of the officers service. Burke collections manager Linda Peacock said the museum proposed to develop and mount an exhibition of Lt. Forrests poignant and exceptional reflection on the Great War that captured a unique, and at the same time universal, Australian experience of people, places and coming home. The exhibition will coincide with Armistice Day commemorating the service of an individual representative of many of the country conscripts who captured his experience through the lens and in his diaries, she said. The images reflect the experience of World War I, the poignancy but also the beauty of the early 20th century, (and) the encounters of first travel through the keen eye of William Forrest, from enlistment in 1915 to his return in 1919. Caption Text: LIVING MEMORY: Beechworth-born Great War veteran William Forrest and (left) one of the photos he took during the Great War, showing a young lady outside the famed Selfridges department store in London. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.