G. Topham Forrest
Person Male Born 22/4/1872 Died 31/3/1945
Architect active in 1937. We have found his name associated with the design / laying out of: the Becontree estate in 1920 and the Downham Estate in Lewisham in 1923.
Our colleague, Andrew Behan, has researched this man and reports that despite the plaque on Chelsea Bridge clearly showing his name as "C. Topham Forrest F.R.I.B.A.", his correct name was George Topham Forrest and that he has a whole Wikipedia page outlining his life and career. Yet another example of plaque providers not paying enough attention to the details on their plaques. The website scottisharchitects.org.uk also gives basic biographical details.
He was born on 22 April 1872 in Aberdeen, Scotland, the son of George Sutherland Forest (1842-1900) and Jane Forrest née Duncan (b.1845). In the 1881 census he is shown as living at 175 Skene Street West, Old Machar, Aberdeen, with his parents and a female general domestic servant. His father's occupation was recorded as a 'teacher elementary school master'.
On 14 July 1900 he married Nina Mildred Boustead Stone (1877-1915) in the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Wakefield, Yorkshire, where the marriage register shows him as an architect living at Quebec Street, Wakefield and that she was residing in Northgate, Wakefield. The 1901 census confirms him as an architect living at 1 Cyprus Street, Wakefield, with his wife and a female domestic servant.
They had one child, Adrienne Mary Forrest (1908-1911) whose birth was registered in the 1st quarter of 1908 in the Newcastle registration district. The 1911 census shows him as an architect employed by the Northumberland County Education Committee residing at 4 The Grove, Gosforth, Newcastle on Tyne, with his wife, their daughter, a cook and a nurse. Their daughter's death was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1911 in the Castle Ward, Northumberland, registration district. His wife died on 21 February 1915 at home at 'Temples', Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex and when he was granted administration of her estate on 5 July 1915 her effects totalled £221-1s-9d.
On 12 April 1916 he married Florence Isabel Sutton (1888-1927) at Westwood, Warwickshire and their son Angus George Sutherland Forrest (1917-2000) was born on 7 October 1917. Telephone directories and electoral registers from 1923 show him listed at 8 Montpelier Road, Ealing. According to probate records they were still residing there when his wife died at 10 & 11 Grange Park, Ealing on 9 May 1927 and when he was granted administration of her estate on 30 June 1928 her effects totalled £72-12s-3d.
On 16 April 1928 he applied to be admitted to the Freedom of the City of London by redemption in the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers, giving his occupation as a superintending architect at the London County Council.
Various ship manifests show him and his son travelling first class abroad using the Nippon Kaisah Line: SS Haruna Maru departing London for Naples, Italy on 26 January 1929; SS Atsuta Maru arriving in London from Marseilles, France on 19 February 1929; SS Terukuni Maru departing London for Gibraltar on 8 April 1932 and on the SS Katori Maru arriving in London from Gibraltar on 25 April 1932. On the first two journeys he gave their address as The County Hall, Westminster, whilst on the last two he gave Calder Lodge, Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire as their residence. Telephone directories list him at this Maidenhead address from 1931 to 1936.
The 1939 England and Wales Register shows him as a retired architect living at Hill Close, Axbridge, Somerset. He died, aged 72 years, on 31 March 1945 at Airds Hotel, Port Appin, Argyllshire, and probate records give his home address ar Hill Close, Brent Knoll, Somerset. When administration of his estate was granted to his son on 18 June 1946 his effects totalled £125-15s-10d.