Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 - 1919
3097 Private Vivian “Harry” Forster – Bairnsdale Killed in Action 19 July 1916
….. the only one of seven brothers not to come home
Vivian, or Harry as he was known, was the third son of ten children born to John Dann Forster and his wife Jane Elizabeth (nee Grey). John and Jane had married in 1877 and their first child was born in Sale the following year. Of their eight sons – seven enlisted and served in WW1. All the children were born in Sale until about 1895 when the family moved to Bairnsdale and the last two children were born. The family is recorded as living in Hosie Street and at Wy Yung over the next ten years and John’s occupation was as a merchant before some of the family moved to New Zealand. At least Charles, Victor, Harry, Edward and Florence stayed in Australia with all the boys except Charles enlisting. Wilfred, James, Arthur and Walter were all to enlist from New Zealand. Harry was about twelve years old when they moved to Bairnsdale and most likely finished his schooling locally before he became a boundary rider. At the age of 32, on 20 July 1915, he travelled to Melbourne and enlisted with the 59 th  Battalion and sailed the following November. In early February 1916 he was admitted to the No.1 Auxiliary Hospital at Heliopolis with influenza taking a week to recover and was then transferred to the 57 th  Battalion before embarking with his original unit for Marseilles on 18 June 1916. Like so many others he was reported missing on the 19 July and was declared killed in action the following September and presumed buried in no man’s land. Of the seven brothers to enlist Harry was the only one to lose his life and all his brothers returned home.  We have been unable to locate a photograph of Private Harry Forster, if you know of one, please make contact. Our group would appreciate your assistance.