• Christina Drummond

Corporal Matthew Forrest, ‘A’ Company, 1st Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Corporal Matthew Forrest, ‘A’ Company, 1st Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme.

The eldest of six children, from the age of fifteen he had worked as a gardener until the outbreak of the Great War. His battalion had been stationed at Shorncliffe and joined other units of the 10th brigade, 4th division of the British Expeditionary Force at Southampton, sailing on SS Caledonian on the 22 of August, 1914, for Boulogne.

They saw action at the Battle of Le Cateau and during the retreat from Mons, as well as taking part in the Christmas Truce of 1914. In 1915 they fought in the Second Battle of Ypres, and the following year in the Battle of Albert and the Battle of Le Transloy, which is where Corporal Forrest lost his life. Corporal Forrest has no known grave, and is memorialised on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme; he is named, along with others who didn’t return, on a memorial plaque in the All Saints’ Church in his village. The plaque contains the words, “They died the noblest death a man may die, fighting for God, and Right, and Liberty”.

Matthew, from Leek Wootton in Warwickshire, was 20 years old.

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