Lt. Col. George Forty OBE FMA

The Museum is sad to report the death of a former Museum Director.

27th May 2016

Lt. Col. George Forty served as Museum Director, than known as Curator, for twelve years from 1981. 

Lieutenant Colonel George Forty, OBE, FMA, was a well-known military author specialising in Armoured warfare. He was born on 10 Sep 1927 in London, and was educated at Ashville College, Harrogate and The Queen's College Oxford University. 

He joined the Army in 1945, was commissioned from the RMA Sandhurst in July 1948 - the first intake to pass out after the war. He joined 1st Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and thereafter served for 32 years, seeing active service first in Korea, where he was wounded during the Hook battle in May 1953, whilst commanding a troop of Centurion tanks in support of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment. 

Later, he commanded an armoured reconnaissance squadron on operations in Aden, the Persian Gulf and Borneo. He attended the Staff College in 1959 and his staff appointments have included GSO 2 at the Army Air Corps Centre, GSO 2 (Author) and commander (GSO I) of the RAC Tactical School. His last appointment was as GSOI of the RAC Gunnery School. In total he served with 1 RTR (twice), 2 RTR (twice), 4 RTR (twice), 7 RTR (once) and 42 RTR (TA) (once), also at the RAC Signals, Tactical and Gunnery Schools. 

George and Anne fortyHe left the Army in 1971 to pursue a writing career and in 1981 was appointed Director of the Tank Museum. During the next twelve years with the inspirational help of his wife Anne, who worked alongside him, he tripled the size of the museum, modernised it and turned it into one of the foremost military museums in Europe. Shortly after retiring from the museum in 1993, he was made a fellow of the Museums Association (FMA) and was awarded with an OBE in the 1994 New Year's Honours List. 

As an author he wrote over 70 books which sold worldwide and were translated into many languages including German, French and Japanese. This included the History of the Royal Tank regiment. He also was the editor of the RTR Tank Magazine for many years.  

Lt Col Forty was a gentle and happy family man who is always spoken of with affection and respect by all those that he served or worked with. He leaves behind his wife Anne and four sons Simon, Jonathan, Adam and Jason, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.