Forbes, Harry

Harry Forbes was born April 11, 1918 in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.  Harry grew up on a farm, the oldest of 11 children.  He remembers the 1920s as being a dry decade where farming became increasingly difficult, topped off by the crash and Great Depression.  Harry in fact had to quit school when he was 15 so he could help out the family.  When the war came Harry was already a young man of 21:  he said he knew little of the war, but that somebody had to go…Harry ended up doing his training starting in 1942, and he became a truck driver.  From there he was sent to Halifax, where he boarded the Mauretania and headed overseas.  Harry would be stationed in London for about a year-and-a-half, at Aldershot and later Coventry, and during that time he was attached to the 2nd Division; he also managed to survive Luftwaffe and V-1 attacks.  In December 1944 he crossed the Channel himself, en route to France and the continent.  Harry followed the army as it moved through France, Belgium and Holland, delivering much needed supplies.  Harry became very ill near the end of the war, suffering from exposure, and he ended up spending more than a month in hospital, and that’s where he was when the war ended.  He was assigned to Germany for his final posting, where he guarded German prisoners for a time.  Then it was time to head back to Canada, and Harry boarded the Ile de France and then a cross country train.  He was back in Saskatchewan, and ready to play his role in postwar Canada.  Harry Forbes was interviewed by Scott Masters in July 2022; the interview was conducted over zoom when Harry was 104 years old – we thank the staff at Cypress Lodge for their help in facilitating this.  Harry passed away on September 29, 2022.