Major-General John Keatly ForsythPrint Page
A brass plaque commemorates Major-General John Keatly Forsyth, was a former member and Trustee of the Church, and a member of the 4th Australian Light Horse during World War One.
He was educated at Fortitude Valley State School and the Normal School, Brisbane, he joined the clerical staff of a sawmill and later a solicitor's office. Enlisting in the Queensland Mounted Infantry as a trooper in November 1885, he served in all non-commissioned ranks and received his commission on 18 July 1892. He reached the rank of captain in the militia before appointment on 1 August 1897 as a lieutenant on the headquarters staff of the permanent Queensland Defence force.
In March 1914 he was promoted lieutenant-colonel and just before the outbreak of World War One was appointed quartermaster general and third member of the Military Board. He joined the Australian Imperial Force on 15 August in the same rank and raised and organized the 1st Light Horse Brigade and the 4th Light Horse Regiment of the 1st Division, A.I.F.
On 27 March 1916 Forsyth, his headquarters and brigade troops, comprising the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions and a machine-gun company, embarked for France. After training in the Bailleul area the brigade had four months action in the Fleurbaix sector where it was detached from the 1st Division and served in the line at Messines with the 7th (British) Division; it then rejoined the 1st Australian Division for the attack on Pozières and subsequent actions in July and August.
After suffering a breakdown in health on the Somme late in August, Forsyth was evacuated to London. Ill health forced his return to Australia in December 1916. He had been mentioned in dispatches and was appointed C.M.G. in 1917.
He retired with the honorary rank of major general on 9 February 1925. On retirement he became secretary and later field superintendent to the National Federation of Victoria and then, after transferring to the National Union, was selected in 1928 as the second candidate in the Victorian National Party's Senate team. He contracted influenza while electioneering at Sea Lake and died of labor pneumonia nine days later on 12 November 1928 at his Auburn home.
At the time of his death 'Dad', as Forsyth was affectionately called by soldiers in the 4th Light Horse, was president of the Light Horse Association and a devout member of the Auburn Methodist Church. He was buried in Boroondara cemetery, Kew, with full military honours.
|Address:||Oxley Road & Hepburn Street, Auburn Uniting Church, Hawthorn, 3122|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -37.824833|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
To the glory of God and in sacred memory of Major General John Keatly Forsyth C.M.G. Permanent Military Forces who died November 1928.
Erected by his comrades of the 4th. Light Horse Regiment Australian Imperial Force
"Endure and Fight"