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Forbes in the Military


From recorded Scottish history in the13th century until today, members of the House of Forbes have amply demonstrated their military prowess in service to their country. The Forbeses were well represented in many crucial battles throughout Scottish history and achieved recognition for their military leadership skills throughout the world. This tradition continues into the 20th and 21st century as we salute the Forbeses in the Military.


Atholl Laurence Cunyngham Forbes, 21st Lord Forbes, joined the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards in 1905 at the ae of 22. He became the adjutant of the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards and then Regimental Adjutant. He was posted to the staff of Headquarters London District before joining the staff of XIV Corps in France.


James Wallace Forbes, DSO, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Army and served in the 106th Regiment of the pre-war militia. As captain, he transferred to the 15th Battalion in 1908. He is commemorated by Forbes Road in Winnipeg.


Sir Charles Morton Forbes of the British Royal Navy served in the in the First World War as Executive Officer on HMS Queen Elizabeth; Flag Commander on HMS Iron Duke; Flag Commander on HMS Revenge; and Commander of HMS Galatea. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1916. In World War II, Forbes served as Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet. He was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet in 1940 and advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. His portrait is in the Britannia Royal Naval College.


Alexander Moore Forbes of the Australian Army graduated from the Royal Military College (RMC) in 1911 and in 1914 he was appointed as a lieutenant with the 6th Battery, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade. He served in Gallipoli until being evacuated in July 1915. He earned him the Military Cross in 1916. Forbes was promoted to Major in January 1917 and was deployed with the 1st Division Headquarters and the 5th Division Headquarters.


Dame Katherine Jane Trefusis Forbes, DBE, assisted in launching the Emergency Service in 1936, to train women to be prepared in case of war. Forbes was appointed Chief Instructor of the Auxiliary Territorial Service School of Instruction in 1938. Three months before the beginning of the Second World War, she was appointed as the first Director of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force.


Athol Stanhope Forbes was flight commander of the 66 Squadron in the British Royal Air Force. He was awarded the DFC in 1940 and the VM in 1940 for his services with 303 Squadron. He was awarded the OBE in 1944.


Nigel Ivan Forbes, 22nd Lord Forbes, was commissioned In 1938 in the Grenadier Guards of the British Army, serving in the 3rd Battalion in Northwest Europe, became Adjutant of the Training Battalion, and later Adjutant of the 6th Battalion Grenadier Guards.


Sir Jean-Charles "Charly" Forbes , RMWO , MID , CD, was a lieutenant and acting as commander of a mortar platoon in the Canadian Army when he participated in the Normandy landings in June 1944 with the Maisonneuve Regiment by landing at Courseulles-sur-Mer. He participated in the liberation of Holland and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of William. In 1950, he participated in the Korean War with the 2nd battalion of R22 e R1.


David Forbes of the Royal Canadian Air Force served with 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron in 2004. In 2010, he deployed in Canada’s Special Operations Task Force to Kandahar, Afghanistan. LCol Forbes was posted to 1 Wing HQ, Kingston, as the A5 Plans Officer, and then to 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron first as the Operations Officer and later as a Flight Commander.



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