Lonely death of Private Dave Forshaw

How sad, how very sad.
Years ago the Army was 'home' to so many really good guys like this man. I remember in 1969 one leaving after his 22 years (including Korea and Malaya). He had nowhere to go and our CO at the time fixed him up with a job and accommodation in a large pub/hotel in Dorking (not a million miles from Esher). On his days off he used to visit the regiment, a hundred miles from Dorking, and drink with his old mates.
When we moved back to BAOR six months later he was very sad and a week or so after our move he died.
He could barely read or write, although he did pass ACEIII somehow. We had a Saturday morning off in 1967 when the last man in the regiment passed ACEIII. I'm not sure why I'm writing this but this distressing story has brought back the memory of super soldier and all round bloody good bloke.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
FARMBOY said:
My thoughts are with Private Forshaws family, we must learn for this and watch our mates. The TA needs to get a grip and find a way of addressing post tour mental health in a way which doesn't force people to enter the mental health system and therefore become a soldier with "issues." I'm very keen to hear more about TrIM, it sounds like an excellent way of tackling "The elephant in the room" so to speak.

We must take responsibilty for each others welfare.

Intersting and thoughtful post Farmboy - I know you and I have traded thoughts on this previously.

A tragic tale indeed. I agree with your ideas on post tour mental health. I think this is where the Regimental Family needs to step up to the mark. We need to look after our own.
 

fusilier50

War Hero
"Para Dave" was a member of my platoon on Telic 8.

I was with him the day we were ambushed by ied and i saw his vehicle blown apart. i couldnt believe anyone would have walked away from that explosion and was amazed when i saw Dave taking up a fire position. when he realised there were other survivors he went back for them at the risk of his own life. Although there were injuries none were life threatening. Dave himself didnt get a scratch even though he was the driver and the explosion took off the front of the vehicle.

I actually gave him a dressing down for returning to the burning vehicle to retrieve his red beret. i was expecting it to go up or be targeted again by insurgents.

Dave told me he didnt want to return home. He felt valued out there and felt what we were doing was important.

Many of us in the platoon kept in touch on our return but he hid his feelings from us. it was a shock to say the least to hear he had taken his own life. I cant think of anyone more unlikely to do something like that.

He was extremely professional and able soldier. Although he had attempted P Company once already and failed due to injury he hadnt given up and was at heart always a Para.

I attended his funeral along with 23 other members of the platoon he served with on Telic 8. I was one of many who laughed when the vicar put the wrong music on. I think it was Dave's last little joke for us who cared about him.

I dont think anyone was at fault for Dave taking his own life. I heard his letter to his family and friends and he said his problems were not due to his military service. In fact the army gave him meaning and his mobilisation made him truly alive and happy for perhaps the first time in his life.

Many of us struggle to come to terms with life back home after a tour. To go from that kind of environment where you could be killed at any moment to the mundane existence of home is difficult and for some of us impossible.

Hopefully our TA units will be more on the alert for the many warning signs that were screaming out for attention in his case. If anyone had been looking

God Bless You Para Dave. Rest in Peace
 
fozzy said:
FARMBOY said:
My thoughts are with Private Forshaws family, we must learn for this and watch our mates. The TA needs to get a grip and find a way of addressing post tour mental health in a way which doesn't force people to enter the mental health system and therefore become a soldier with "issues." I'm very keen to hear more about TrIM, it sounds like an excellent way of tackling "The elephant in the room" so to speak.

We must take responsibilty for each others welfare.

Intersting and thoughtful post Farmboy - I know you and I have traded thoughts on this previously.

A tragic tale indeed. I agree with your ideas on post tour mental health. I think this is where the Regimental Family needs to step up to the mark. We need to look after our own.
You are right Fozzy mate, the TA should be getting involved in this TrIM programme and getting bods on courses now.

I believe for a TA person the fundamental issue that needs to be addressed is not "the horror" I had some issues with that at the time but they were quickly dealt with by the humour councelling machine that is the backbone and safety valve of any unit.

My issues were to do with home/UK/future once demobilised. I had no idea of how much I had changed, no idea at all. In many ways the tour seemed like a perfect world and I can totally relate to how Pvt Forshaw felt on his return. The emphasis on treatment, I believe, should centre less on the visceral horror and fear experienced on tour and more on how a TA soldier moves back into civilian life, how you find value in mundane life again. It took me a long while to find that meaning and it cost me a great deal in terms of career and a wedding that never happened. If I was younger I would have joined the regulars on returning home but that was not an option for me.

The TA is not tackling the issue of returning soldiers (who might as well have been living on another planet for the last six months) and how they are reintroduced to society. I think many of our problems do not stem from the tour but from experiencing the nonsense of the civilian world we return to. I and others have found our way through but there must be many who are falling through the cracks.

The solution must come from the top.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
woopert said:
[polemic] This thread is turning into a grief-tourist's day out at a train crash.

A number of "RIP Fella" posts does not a thread make, but when I see "I never knew you but I wish I had"; "RIP Brave Soldier/Brave Lad"; "England's Glory"; "The tears were hard to stop" I can't help thinking that the kind of sick sentimentality that had the pie-scoffing brigade from shoving flowers infront of Kensington Palace when St Di's halo was replaced by a bent steering wheel are back to haunt us again.

Another priceless gem is that line from Stephanie in the above post: "you'll never be forgotton" it strikes me that coming from a bird who has never met the deceased as the ultimate irony. Not least because come tomorrow it'll be "Pte Forshaw" who?

And this:



Just what the fuck was the poster thinking? It's either a 24-post pie-scoffing, sycophantic civvy fat bird with a taste for bad art/poetry and a desire to get spit-roasted in the guardroom or someone who has been lobotomised with the "common sense and perspective" bit of the brain cortorized to fukc. Get a grip people!

But the ultimate "what the Fuck moment was this:

medman82 said:
3 days ago I was prevented from taking my own life by my wife, I have been seeing a NHS psychologist for 2 years.

The original post stated that INSTEAD OF MAKING OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY he wanted to make himself happy. How many other PTSD sufferers think the same thought ??? I know I do....

My condolences to those left picking up the pieces.

A sad loss of another good life but I wish him well on the other side and hope his peace is restful

medders
Discuss the relative merits or otherwise of post-tour support for the TA by all means, but if you really are that close to topping yourself then go and get help. If it's just the attention of 30,000 anonymous posters on the internet you crave then blow your brains out on YouTube, ARRSE isn't the place for that.

[/polemic]
Good post Woops. There are obviously issues which some of the lads have flagged up here and it's shameful that enough isn't being done to help those who are genuinely in need of support. I certainly agree with your comments re Medman82. I just can't believe that he tried to upstage this lad's death. Talk about 'Tommy 2-sheds'.
 
RIP - I wish that there had been support for him. I too was on Telic 8 and no matter how much we asked for more support, it lacked from those in the TA when they got back home.... I hope it improves, I shall try and help the work along.

But for now, my thoughts and wishes are with him, in a place were all good soldiers go..... RIP... to the family, you have lost a great man... be knowing that he is they type England needs - robust, loyal and above all a brave man.
 
RIP, I very much hope that his name is placed on the wall, where he can at least in some way be, once again, in the family that he so loved.
 
Many of us struggle to come to terms with life back home after a tour. To go from that kind of environment where you could be killed at any moment to the mundane existence of home is difficult and for some of us impossible.
A very good point,though why should the Army (Reg and TA as i dont think their is or should be a difference nowadays) still not have anything in place. I mean something concrete with substance, not on the spur of the moment.

Gets me, most of the most senior Officers who could do something,served in Ulster or the Falklands etc, and are quite aware of what happened post-tour. Its not like they havent had decades to get something into place.
 
I was with Dave all the way through Optag and through the Basra tour, even bunked next to him in Optag, he was a great lad, didnt know him before then, from opposite ends of the country, and he helped me through a lot of personal family shit,when I was seriously considering quitting, he was a thouroghly good bloke, and when I heard of his death it knocked me for 6, I hadnt heard from him for quite a while, and I never expected this to happen, and how the MOD treat him with regards to last wishes was a disgrace(whats new,they **** everyone over). Anyway I hope he's in a better place, and I cant imagine the pain his family still feels but I hope it gets better for them, they should be proud of him, he helped me when others could have but did nothing

RIP mate

youre mate Tony
 

CountryGal

LE
Book Reviewer
Reading that brought tears to my eyes, what a waste of a man who served when ask, but was forgotton as wasnt suited.
 
I served in Iraq with Dave, he was a really nice guy, a good laugh and gentlemen. I think we all have our demons and and suicide to some is not only an option but to some a very attractive one. I myself see this and can only hope that big Dave is at peace and no longer a slave to his demons. R.I.P brother.
 

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