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In honour of our soldiers: John Reginald Forsyth

By Samuel Cheng

Published 11:21 PST, Fri November 10, 2023

In a series of Richmond’s ‘poppy’ street signs in memory of our fallen soldiers, we share the story of Forsyth Crescent.

John Reginald Forsyth was born in Richmond on Feb. 15, 1920. He was the third son out of the eight children born to Duncan and Annie Forsyth. The family resided at what was then 492 Steveston Highway. John Forsyth as a young adult, was an active member of the Richmond community before his enlistment in World War II.

Having been a Richmond resident for the majority of his life, Forsyth attended English School, Bridgeport School, before finally graduating from Richmond High School. While in school, he was a big fan of music and was involved in organizing a school band and played the French horn.

Outside of school, Forsyth used to work for the Vancouver Sun as a newspaper delivery boy as well as doing custom tractor work before he ultimately signed up to be enlisted.

Sept. 2, 1940 marked the commencement of Forsyth’s enlistment. He initially joined the Irish Fusiliers before being transferred to the 9th Armored Tank regiment. Forsyth was sent overseas alongside his regiment in November 1941. 

Three years later, Forsyth had to retire from his current regiment and was transferred to the 14th Calgary Tank regiment due to his illnesses. It was during this time that he died from the wounds he suffered in action on July 26, 1944. It is worth mentioning that two of Forsyth’s older brothers, George and Douglas, both served in the Canadian Army stationed in Italy at the time.

On Feb. 4, 1946, the Richmond City Council decided to adopt the name of “Forsyth” to be used as naming one of the roads in Richmond to commemorate the fallen soldier that had served our country.

The name was initially misspelled with the letter “e” added to the end of the name. However, the mistake was corrected in December 1988, revising the name to the correct one without the “e”.

Today, Forsyth Crescent can be found to the north of No. 1 Road and Westminster Hwy.

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