Picture of the author David J. Forsyth

David J. Forsyth


I am a Canadian author whose ancestors emigrated from the British Isles in the early 20th century. My values and perspectives were shaped by the descendants of Irish weavers, Scottish crofters and English labourers. I began my career as a commercial artist and copy writer, and didn’t complete my first manuscript until after I retired.

My first work is a nostalgic memoir of near-forgotten times and values; of ice-boxes, tire swings and draught horses. A second non-fiction narrative recounts my sailing adventures while cruising the North Atlantic coasts and inland waterways of Canada and the United States. My third published work is a selection of poetry written over more than six decades.

A life-long passion for genealogical research, and a desire to preserve the fragile histories of ordinary people, inspired me to spend four years researching and writing the story of a London war-bride and the soldier with whom she fell in love.

My first literary fiction, a collection of six short stories will become available in 2022.

A picture of the book cover of Shadows and Reflections

Shadows and Reflections


Shadows and Reflections, is a collection of short stories dealing with both physical and emotional struggles. Protagonists are confronted with a haunting memory, an archaeological enigma and the painful loss of a loved one. A cruel twist of justice, an emergency at sea and suicidal thoughts lurk within the pages of this book.

Each of the stories in this, my first incursion into the genre of literary fiction, are unique and independent, and conclude with a twist of unanticipated insight.

Pour yourself a coffee; a scotch if you prefer. Sit back in your favourite chair and let Shadows and Reflections entertain you, while the rest of the world searches for ways to relieve its stress.

A picture of the book cover of Alice and the Machine Gunner

Alice and the Machine Gunner


Alice and the Machine Gunner is a conscientious blend of fact and speculation; a multi-generational account of the Geherty family based on verifiable truths acquired during years of painstaking research. Apparitions of the past are restored to life through information gleaned from civil, parish, military and personal records as well as the testimonies of the late Alice Geherty and her husband. The resulting narrative depicts the lives of five generations of the Geherty clan focusing on that of the London-born war bride who, in 1919, emigrated to Canada with little hope of ever seeing her mum and dad again.

Alice and the Machine Gunner is an incredible story of war, love and self-exile, meticulously researched to honour tens of thousands of European women who married Canadian soldiers during two world wars.

A picture of the book cover of Footnotes



Footnotes, a collection of poems written over more than sixty years, deals primarily with loss, mortality and the passage of time. Each of the fifty-one works are supplemented by candid comments addressing their inspiration, their hidden meanings, and the emotions associated with their creation.

Poetry is the voice of the heart. It doesn’t have to be pompous, inaccessible and enigmatic, but it should say something significant, tell a story, or at least entertain the reader. In any case, a poet must be sincere or the magic will be lost.

Though readers are unlikely to adore every poem they encounter, those who persist in turning pages are likely to be profoundly moved on occasion.

A picture of the book cover of Too Cold For Mermaids

Too Cold for Mermaids


Too Cold for Mermaids is a non-fiction narrative featuring Georgian Bay’s rocky islands, the locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the settlements of the Labrador coast and the bridges of the Intra-Coastal Waterway.

The narrative, based on recollections, journal entries, ship’s logs and correspondence, reconstructs years of cruising aboard various sailboats. Sleep deprivation, opaque fog and a forty-knot gale were among the challenges I faced. A close encounter with an eighteen-storey iceberg, and the view from a fifty-two-foot masthead, were some of my rewards.

Experience the adventure of sailing the inland waterways and Atlantic coasts of the US and Canada through this intimate first-person account.

A picture of the book cover of Dafydd



Dafydd is a memoir of the somewhat forgotten values and technologies of rural Canada in the 1950s. It was written in response to my granddaughter’s question; “What was it like when you were little a boy, Grandpa?” Intimate details of post-war life on an Ontario farm, and memories of visits to the nearby city of Hamilton, are recalled through the eyes of a naive farm boy.

My vivid recollections, chronologically arranged into ninety-one anecdotes, offer mature readers an opportunity to revisit sun-drenched summers, bare-foot adventures, ice boxes, and fifteen-cent Saturday matineés. Those of subsequent generations are invited to peer into the pages of Dafydd to discover the world that their parents and grandparents experienced.

Dafydd, pronounced dah-vith, is the Brythonic Celtic version of the name David. The title was chosen to represent the ancient roots of my ancestors.

I wish to thank all those who have written to me about my books as well as those who have taken the time to review them for the benefit of others. Your generous comments are sincerely appreciated.

DAFYDD – Ralph Hofland: “My son gave me your book for fathers’ day. I just wanted to tell you that I was born in 1952 and can relate to many things you talk about. I immigrated from Europe in ’52 and basically, we were very poor, although I never thought so. I too had the hand-me-downs and was the last to use the bath-water ... I could go on and on. Thank you for tweaking my memories, and keep on writing. My favourite quote [is] ‘I suppose each of us will ultimately share Aunt Alice’s fate; our existence indistinctly lingering as a childhood memory in the brain of an ageing man or woman.’ I can relate to this as I’ll be sixty-five in two days.”

TOO COLD FOR MERMAIDS – Bruce Conron: “I attended the author’s seminar at the 2018 Toronto Boat Show and was so impressed that I bought the book then and there. Besides writing a very entertaining account of his sailing experience, Forsyth’s intention is ‘to provide inspiration to those dreamers who haven’t yet taken that first step’ to embrace the cruising life and, more importantly, to sail beyond the horizon of one’s home waters. ... I would recommend this book to anyone contemplating cruising from Lake Ontario into those salt waters for the first time. You will profit by his hard-earned experience so well recounted here, making that dream a reality.”

ALICE AND THE MACHINE GUNNER - Dennis Hill: “David has taken historical facts and family lore pertaining to his grandparents’ respective families dating back to the early nineteenth century, and created a lovely narrative of their lives ... [He] has created a very readable, factual account of the lives and times of his grandparents. I personally learned a great deal about the hardships of war and life ... I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the social history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was a real history witnessed by real people.”

SHADOWS AND REFLECTIONS – Alan Bishop. D. Phil.: “I read your ‘Tinners Arms’ story a week or so ago and was deeply impressed by it - beautifully written and composed, and the emotions at the centre of your story, love and loss, [were] very movingly conveyed. Structurally too, very effective – especially the unexpected sudden transition away from the intensifying new relationship with Kerra,. to the older one lost to death. Will he truly find closure, and in the new love the intensity and fulfilment he yearns for? The geographical movement underlying the protagonist’s emotional journey adds a powerful impetus, as does the tension between his past and the open possibility of second love.”

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