Kenneth Lloyd Forbes
Remembered by Debbie Forbes (daughter)
My father Kenneth Lloyd Forbes was born on 29th July 1927 in Sav-la-Mar Jamaica. In 1943, the UK were advertising for young Jamaicans to join the RAF. It was an opportunity to change lives.
In 1944 my dad and 300 other recruits were sent to England aboard the SS Cuba via Virginia, USA. I recall Dad saying that during the voyage, he suffered a lot with sea sickness as they had to sleep in hammocks. His other memory of that crossing was that they ate a lot of tinned corned beef.
Dad took the opportunity to train with the RAF to become a Qualified Plumbing and Heating Engineer. He passed all his exams with flying colours.
Unlike some of the other servicemen who went back to Jamaica before returning on the Windrush, when dad was demobbed in 1947 he decided to rent a place in London along with a couple friends from the RAF. As much as my Grandad would have loved to have seen his son return, he warned my Dad that it was better to stay in the UK as there was little work to come home to in Jamaica.
A year later, Dad met my mum Winnie who came from the East End of London. He had fond memories of Filey and we often went back years later as a family on holiday.
Mum and Dad finally settled in the Brixton area. Dad worked as a plumber and also learned to play the drums as he had a great love of music. He played in bands and gigged all over London between 1950s to 1970s, meeting and making friends of many musicians around that era.
Dad was finally able to visit his mother in Sav-la-Mar in 1973. The reunion was particularly amazing as when he had last seen his mother he was just a boy. Likewise, it was a wonderful moment for Mum and I to meet my grandmother, although sadly my grandfather had passed in 1965. Dad had always spoken about his father with fond memories.
Dad valued his time in the military and he was a member of the ex-servicemen’s club all his life, attending their meetings and functions in Clapham, South London. He maintained his friendship with his RAF friends and kept in touch with many of those he came over from Jamaica with right up until his passing in 1986.
Kenneth's service number was 713332.