Claire Forbes's story about Roy

Claire's husband served in the Australian Imperial Force during World War I.

At age 23, Private Wilfred Roy Forbes enlisted in October 1916. Roy, as he was known, completed basic training in England and joined the 43rd Australian Infantry Battalion in France in November 1917.

Roy served alongside Claire's father, William Hannaford. The 2 men left Australia together, trained together and joined the battalion on the same day.

On 30 March 1918, Roy was seriously wounded in the arm and back by shrapnel. It was William who found Roy and carried him back to a casualty clearing station. Their friendship was strengthened by Claire and Roy's marriage.

Like many servicemen, Roy spoke very little to Claire about the war; these conversations were reserved for time spent with fellow ex-servicemen. He attended the Anzac Day dawn service in Adelaide and participated in the march and the service that followed at the Cross of Sacrifice. A picnic was usually arranged afterwards, and Claire fondly recalls the honour she felt in helping to maintain the tradition by taking over this aspect of the day, providing her own homemade Cornish pasties and sauces.

Claire remembers Roy as an outstanding citizen and an honourable, intelligent man. It is with some emotion she recalls her father's dying words that he felt content in the knowledge that she was with one of the finest men he had ever known.

As a member of Legacy, Claire remains dedicated to the memory of all who have served in Australia's wars.

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Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) ( ), Claire Forbes's story about Roy, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 11 July 2024,
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