Basic Biographical Details

Name: George Topham Forrest
Born: 1872
Died: 31 March 1945
Bio Notes: George Topham Forrest was born in 1872 and educated at Aberdeen Grammar School. He was articled to Brown and Watt in 1890, taking classes at Robert Gordon's College. On completion of his apprenticeship in 1894 he moved to London to the office of John Macvicar Anderson as improver, which enabled him to take classes at King's College and attend the Architectural Association studios. His subsequent career was entirely in local government, firstly in Leeds City Engineer's Office, where he was chief assistant from 1898 to 1899 and was mainly occupied with superintending improvements to working-class housing, and then at West Riding County Architect's Department, where he was principal assistant under J Vickers Edwards from 1899 to 1905, initially occupied with asylum work but being given full charge of county education work in 1903. In 1905 he obtained an appointment Education Architect to Northumberland County Council, for which he was one of 150 applicants. He was still there when he was admitted LRIBA on 27 February 1911, his proposers being George Watt of Aberdeen and Henry Clement Charlewood and Andrew Kerr Tasker of Newcastle.

In 1914 he was appointed Essex County Architect, undertaking further work on schools, asylums, police stations and county buildings. He was elected FRIBA in early 1919, his proposers being Arthur Beresford Pite, Brook Taylor Kitchin and Harry George Crothall. In that year he succeeded W E Riley as architect to London County Council and remained there until retiring in 1935. There he was responsible for many large estates of council housing including White Hart Lane (from 192) Becontree (also 1921) amd the new Lambeth Bridge (1932) with Sir Reginald Blomfield.

He wrote a number of papers on county council work, and on school design in particular, which were read before several societies and published in the professional journals.

Forrest retired to Scotland in about 1943 and died at Port Appin on 31 March 1945.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 44, The Grove, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandPrivate1911 *  
Item 2 of 4The Moothall, Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandBusiness1911 *  
Item 3 of 4Middlefield, Hatfield Parnel, Essex, EnglandPrivate1918 *  
Item 4 of 4County Offices, Chelmsford, Essex, EnglandBusiness1919 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 6Brown & Watt18901894Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6John Macvicar Anderson18941898Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Leeds City Engineer's Department18981899Chief Assistant 
Item 4 of 6West Riding County Architect's Department18991905Chief AssistantUnder J Vickers Edwards; in charge of education work from 1903
Item 5 of 6Northumberland County Council Education Architect's Department19051914Chief ArchitectEducation Architect
Item 6 of 6Essex County Architect's Department1914After 1919Chief Architect 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Robert Robertson1919After 1930Chief Assistantin LCC Architects Department - Chief Assistant Architect


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Henry Clement Charlewood27 February 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 6Harry George CrothallEarly 1919for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Brook Taylor KitchinEarly 1919for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Arthur Beresford PiteEarly 1919for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Andrew Kerr Tasker27 February 1911for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 6George Watt27 February 1911for Licentiateship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4Thomas Francis Armstrong5 March 1934For Licentiateship
Item 2 of 4George Morrison Hay5 December 1927for Fellowship
Item 3 of 4Robert RobertsonMid 1930for Fellowship
Item 4 of 4Reginald Buchanan UrquhartLate 1931for Licentiateship


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder13 April 1945  Obituary
Item 2 of 2Scotsman11 June 1945  Obituary p3

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional information from Graham Potts
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v10 no571 (microfilm reel 32); F no1644 (microfilm reel 14)