H. Paulsen Forster

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H. Paulsen Forster (b. Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, **/**/1880 – d. Doornfontein, Johannesburg, 28/06/1943) was an amateur actor.


Harold Paulsen Forster was the youngest of ten children of Mary and William Forster of Middlesbrough in Yorkshire. He appears in the English censuses of 1881 and 1891, but by 1901 he is no longer there, possibly because by that time he was already in South Africa. In fact, in the South African Archives there is a record of the conduct and service of a (Harves) Paulsen Forster in the South African constabulary dated 1901 and a trooper named as H.P. Forster was recruited and served in the Natal Mounted Rifles in 1902. In 1922, H. Paulsen Forster had a small part in the film The Vulture’s Prey, based on the novel by H. De Vere Stacpoole and directed by Dick Cruikshanks and William Bowden. Prior to that he played the part of Gratiano in the Shakespeare Tercentenary amateur production of The Merchant of Venice at the Palladium Theatre in Johannesburg on 24 April 1916. The play was produced by Ralph Kimpton and featured C.V. Becker as Shylock. It looks as though that may have been the sum total of his acting career. He also appears on the voters’ list for Johannesburg North for 1927, 1929 and 1931. He died in 1943, leaving his widow Ethel Beatrice Forster (née Terry), whom he had married in 1914. They had a daughter in 1919 and a son in 1924, both of whom survived him. His death certificate indicates that he was on the accountant’s staff of the VFP, the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company. (FO)


S.A. Pictorial, 29 April 1922

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