Jonathon Forbes

Medals awarded

  • The Order of St. John
  • India General Service Medal 1936-39
    Clasp: North West Frontier 1936-7
    Clasp: North West Frontier 1937-39
  • 1939-45 Star
  • Burma Star 1941-45
  • Defence Medal 1939-45
  • War Medal 1939-45
    MID oak leaf
  • General Service Medal 1918-62
    Clasp: Malaya
    MID oak leaf
  • United Nations Korea Medal 1950-53
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953

Born in 1914, Jonathan Mason Forbes is a key figure in the museum’s history.  His military career was very impressive too.

Forbes started his military career in 1932 as a Territorial Army officer. Commissioned into the Green Howards in 1936 he went to India the following year and was involved in operations on the North West Frontier in Waziristan until 1939, when he was seconded to the Royal West African Frontier Force, serving in Nigeria.

After teaching at Camberley Staff College he was dispatched to Burma in 1944 to join the West African Expeditionary Force, serving with the 81st West Africa Division – the unit being supplied entirely from the air.

After a period serving in the War Office, Major Forbes was back with the Green Howards in 1948, joining the 1st Battalion in Egypt and then serving in Malaya as Company Commander. In 1950 he was sent to Tokyo to act as liaison officer for the British troops at General MacArthur’s headquarters fighting in Korea.

Returning to England, he was made Commander of his old Battalion, the 4th Green Howards and later served at the headquarters of the West Africa Command in Ghana.

He became Regimental Secretary to the Green Howards in 1960 and was instrumental in establishing the museum in its current location in the centre of the market place in Richmond, North Yorkshire. Throughout his service career, Colonel Forbes was described as “straight, loyal, courteous – and capable of impish humour at the slightest opportunity.”