GOODMAN William Edwin

Known information

William Edwin Goodman was born in Whissendine in the summer of 1896, the son of Garner and Ada Goodman. According to the 1901 census the family were living at 15 Ashwell Road, but by 1911 William had moved to help his aunt and uncle run their post office in Kings Lynn in Norfolk. On 9 May 1912, the 15 year old William emigrated with his family to Sydney in Australia where his father worked as a carpenter and joiner. He joined up on 11 January 1916 with Australian records showing he was working as a labourer. It looks as if he might have exaggerated his age because the papers state he was 21. William went to France with the Australian Imperial Force, embarking on HMAT Barambah on 23 June 1916. He fought with the 35th Battalion AIF and on 24 May 1918 he was wounded by shell fire at Villers-Bretteneux, northern France, and died three days later at the 47th Casualty Clearing Station at Crouy. William is buried in Crouy British Cemetery, grave II.E.1. His headstone gives his age as 21. William is not remembered on any war memorial in Rutland but is on the war memorial in Mosman Methodist Church, Sydney. His father Garner also fought with the Australians in the First World War, joining up aged 42, three months after his son. He survived.  In a handwritten letter that his surviving family still have, one of the officers he served with wrote "Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in your great loss.  His comrades here join with me in extending their sincere sympathy.  We all mourn the loss of one of the grandest and best of comrades.  A brave and gallant soldier."

With thanks to William Goodman's great great nephew David Phillips for the photo of William with a colleague and the handwritten letter. Extra details come from a website dedicated to the wartime experiences of people from Mosman, Sydney, New South Wales.

Do you know something about William Edwin that hasn't been mentioned?
You can add any new information and images as a contribution at the bottom of this page.
  • W E Goodwin and pal
  • William's letter
  • Crouy British Cemetery JS1
  • Crouy British Cemetery JS2
  • W E Goodwin JS3
  • W E Goodwin JS2
  • W E Goodwin JS1

User contributions

An extract from the Sydney Morning Herald, 22 June 1918
By John Stokes on Friday 17th April '15 at 6:12am
A Rutlander, living in Belgium
A copy of his enlistment paper, sourced from the ANZAC website
By John Stokes on Friday 17th April '15 at 6:13am
A Rutlander, living in Belgium
By John Stokes on Friday 17th April '15 at 7:03am
A Rutlander, living in Belgium
2 images Record supporting his inclusion on the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Source: from
By John Stokes on Friday 17th April '15 at 8:16pm
A Rutlander, living in Belgium
3 images Some pictures of Mr Goodman’s headstone, taken 19 April 2015.
By John Stokes on Monday 20th April '15 at 8:37pm
A Rutlander, living in Belgium
Despite not being on Whissendine's war memorial, Edwin is recorded on a hand written memorial which was hung on the wall of the Whissendine Methodist Church until it closed. It commemorated former members of the Sunday School who went to war, 5 of whom didn't return. It was originally' presented by Mr and Mrs W Rodgers in memory of their beloved son Joseph Edward Rodgers'. Besides Rogers and Goodman it also remembers Ernest William Snary, plus Clifford Gordon Knight and Herbert Arnold Maddison, the last two do not appear on Whissendine's War Memorial. Joseph Rodgers was already a soldier but the other four were all recorded as aged 3 or 4 years old on the 1901 census return for Whissendine.
By gm40 on Sunday 9th August '20 at 7:55pm

Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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