Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1950 & 59

Charles Eric Forsyth (1885 - 1951)

Eric Forsyth was a gold medal winner at the 1908 Olympic Games held in London, in the sport of water polo. In the final he scored 3 goals in the 9 – 2 win over Belgium.

He was born on 10th January 1885 in Withington, Manchester. His father was James Forsyth (born 1845 in Alton, Staffordshire) who was a Buyer of Cotton Goods. His mother was Mary Helen (nee Northgraves) Forsyth (born 1851 in Hull,Yorkshire). They were married at the Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist, Salford on 1st August 1874. Eric's siblings were Reginald James (born 1879 in Higher Broughton, Salford), Gwendoline Mary (born 1881 in Broughton, Salford), Cyril Alexander (born 1883 in Burnage, Manchester), Hilda Mary (born 1887 in Burnage), Agnes Mary (born 1889 in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester), Constance Mary Helen (born 1894 in Eccles, Lancashire) and Harold George (born 1896 in Broughton, Salford).

In 1891, the family lived in Boardman Street, Eccles, where Eric was 6-years-old. In 1901, the family's address was 26, Crescent, Salford, where Eric was aged 16 and an Insurance Company Clerk.

Eric was an excellent swimmer and water polo player. He became a member of Hyde Seal Swimming Club and then Salford Swimming Club. In 1903 Eric came second in the ASA championship's 220 yards race. In 1904 he won the ASA 220 yards title at Burslem, and took the 500 yards title and 880 yards title at Hornsey later that year. Also in 1904, Eric captured the 500 metres World Championship title in Paris. In 1906 he was selected for all four freestyle events at the Intercalated Olympics in Athens, but was unable to start in any of them. (These games, were to be held in Athens every four years, between the official Olympic Games, but the Olympic Committee decided against continuing them. They had a limited number of events, although the 1906 games proved very successful, but the medal winners are now not recognised).

Eric Forsyth's water polo career started in the Manchester League second division team Leaf Street, before joining Hyde Seal, and then Salford. He played for Lancashire, and in 1903 made his England debut, playing and captaining on many occasions. At the 1908 Olympic Games in London, he scored 3 goals in Great Britain's 9 – 2 win over Belgium in the final, being awarded a coveted gold medal.

In 1911, the family lived at 10, Bank Place, Salford, where 26-year-old Eric was a Municipal Clerk for Salford Council. In 1914, Eric volunteered for service in the 1st City, 16th Service Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. The 1917, Service Records show that Eric, now aged 32, was in the Training Reserve Regiment, 69th Battalion. The 1921 Census at 10 Bank Place shows Eric as a 36-year-old Insurance Clerk for Phoenix Assurance Co Ltd. Also in the house were his widowed mother and siblings Cyril, Hilda, Agnes, Constance and Harold. The 1939 Register shows Eric at 42, Albert Road, Manchester with siblings Hilda and Constance. He was still single.

Charles Eric Forsyth died at Crumpsall Hospital, Manchester on 24th February 1951 aged 66. He was buried at plot AA10/RC/812 in Weaste Cemetery on 28th February.