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Francis John Forty OBE

Picture source: Royal Air Force Museum

Francis John Forty OBE

Person  Male  Born 11/2/1900  Died 22/11/1990

Categories: Engineering

City Engineer (B Sc, MICE, FSA) City of London in 1959 and '63.

Andrew Behan has researched this man: Francis John Forty was born on 11 February 1900 in Hull, Yorkshire, the youngest of the four children of James Francis Forty (1861-1937) and Maud Caroline Forty née Foot (1863-1956). His father was a school master at Hull Grammar School. The 1901 census shows him living with his parents and two siblings, James Edward Harold Forty (1891-1965) and Edith Maud Forty (1892-1971), together with a female domestic servant and a nurse at 2 Arlington Street, Hull. An elder sister, Bessie Forty (1897-1899) had died in infancy before he was born. The 1911 census shows them all at the same address apart from the nurse.

He attended Hymers College, Hull, from 1908 to 1917 and then served in the Royal Naval Air Service before transferring as a 2nd Lieutenant to the Royal Air Force, upon its creation on 1 April 1918, until 1919. His Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificate, No.7708, issued on 18 October 1918, shows that his home address had changed to The School House, Leicester Street, Hull. From 1919 to 1923 he attended Glasgow University studying scientific engineering, graduating with a B.Sc. He was an engineering assistant from 1 January 1924 in the Corporation of Hull and from 1 April 1925 he worked for the City of York. On 31 March 1926 he was proposed for Associate Membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers (AMICE) and a ballot was held in his favour on 14 December 1926.

Meanwhile, on 2 October 1926 he married Doris Marcon Francis at St Pancras Parish Church, Camden. The marriage register shows his occupation as a Civil Engineer and his home address as 6 Bootham Terrace, York, whilst his wife's address was shown as 49 Flaxman Terrace, London, W.C.1. They had three children, Frances A. Forty who was born in 1928 and whose birth was registered in Willesden and twins Jane Janette Forty and Jeremy John Forty who were born in 1932 and whose births were registered in Brentford.

From 1927 to 1929 he was the Chief Engineering Assistant at Willesden Urban District Council and from 1929 to 1934 was the Assistant and Deputy Borough Engineer and Surveyor in the Borough of Ealing. In 1934 he became the Borough Engineer and Surveyor of Ealing. Telephone directories from 1935 to 1959 show him listed at 9 Kent Avenue, West Ealing.

On 12 July 1938 he became a full Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (MICE). On 1 August 1938 he was appointed as the Engineer to the Corporation of the City of London and the 1939 England and Wales Register lists him at The Guildhall, City of London, where he is shown at the City Engineer, Corporation of London, with responsibilities within the ARP Control. In the 1952 New Year Honours List he is shown as being created as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) for services described as 'lately a member of the Festival of Britain Council for Architecture, Town Planning and Building Research'.

His wife died, aged 59, at home in Kent Avenue, West Ealing, on 23 June 1958. Telephone directories from 1961 to 1964 show him at two addresses, 69 Queens Gate, London, S.W.7 and Little Oakley, Wilmington, Polegate, Sussex, but from 1965 to 1978 only at the Wilmington address.

In 1965 he married Elizabeth Joyce Totfield in Hailsham, Sussex. He was a liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Painters and Stainers and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA). He died, aged 90 years on 22 November 1990 and his death was registered in the Windsor and Maidenhead District, Berkshire. Probate records show that his last home address was Flat 8 Emanuel House, 18 Rochester Row, London, SW1P 1BS and that his estate totalled £54,096.

Andrew also found this 1918 photo, in the Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates Album No.22 that is in the care of the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon.

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