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Those who Served
Frederick John Goldsmith . Army
My father, Frederick John Goldsmith, was in Stalag 8B all the war years. He was captured at Dunkirk, spent all the years working in the forests cutting wood. He has since passed away and had suffered all his life with depression due to his time in the camp. I have some photos and records plus his ID tags: Federick John Goldsmith british No 1506983, Stalag 8B No 10410.
I also have a POW present sent to Alf Conliff, also at the camp, from Les. This is a lighter made out of a wartime 22mm shell. Other people in the camp, nicknamed Lol, Charlie2, Reddy, Burgess Bottles, Dago, Charlie 1, Nobby, Haggis Dapper and Jahann, I have as a sketch called '50 The Riffs'. Other things of interest is a photo of Stalag E3, and an E3 Reunion Committee book, classified copy by George Russel and Sammy Wickenden. After the war they all met up for a reunion, and had some fun in London. They challenged the camp scrounger to steal the old New Scotland yard sign and take it to the Daily Mirror building for proof. This they did.
Ord. Seaman Joseph Harold Goldstraw . Royal Navy HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)
Edward J. Golebiewski . United States Marine Corps
Franjo Josip Golez . Yugoslavian Army from Yugoslavia)
My father was in Belgrade during bombing on April 6th 1941. He was taken by the Germans to Stalag 2c and then Stalag 2a. He was in contact with many English, Polish and French POW's. He was released on 1942 and returned back home to Yugoslavia.
2nd Lt. Stanley Gomberg . United States Air Force from Philadelphia, PA)
Stanley Gomberg flew as a navigator and was stationed in Italy.
Petty Officer Wren Pauline Mary Gompers . Womens Royal Naval Service HMS Condor (d.27th Jul 1945)
FltSgt Arthur Manley "Buster" Goodall . Royal Canadian Airforce 626 Squadron from Chauvin, Alberta Canada)
(d.14th Jan 1944)
Arthur M. Goodall is my great uncle. He served in WWII in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a bomb aimer and was killed on January 14 1944, when the Lancaster was shot down at Halderstadt, Germany. Five other crew members also lost their lives, and I believe there was one crew member who survived.
Jean Margaret Goodall . Land Army
My grandmother Mrs Jean Margaret Phillips, nee Goodall served in the land army as a young girl and has fond recollections of her time serving. She has told me of a time when she climbed on the wheel of a cart horse and slipped and fell, getting her leg caught in the wheel, she was saved by a "charming" german soldier who she states saved her from losing her leg! We are very proud of the work she did and have applied for her commemorative badge on her behalf.
John Victor Goodall . Royal Navy HMS Fidelity
Cpl. T. Goodall . Army The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
John Leonard Goode . Royal Air Force 192 Squadron from Tooting, South London)
I wish that I had known about this site a few years ago when my dad, John Goode, was still alive. He would have loved to chat. He contacted his 192 squadron pilot Archie Gilmour in Australia and we had communicated with Geoff Start when he was researching his uncle's (192 squadron crew) family tree. Geoff has most of the information that I had available; Log Book, memories that he'd written down and a few photos. I think there was even a picture of his Halifax bomber before they painted out the 'Virgins Prayer' Cockrel.
Sgt. Kenneth Frank Goode . Royal Air Force 100 Squadron (d.18th Aug 1943)
Sgt Kenneth Goode was my great uncle and I'm looking for information about his time in the RAF, eg. his age on joining or his age when he was killed, his mission, details of his flight etc. I am collating information about the Goode family and am having trouble locating Kenneth Goode on any of the genealogy sites.
The crew took off in Lancaster ED647, HW-T at 21.24 on the 17th of August 1943 from Grimsby on a mission to Peenemunde. The aircraft crashed in the target area.
The crew were:
Sgt Cassell was buried locally on the 30th of August 1943, but he, with five of his comrades are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Sgt Francis is buried in Poland at Malbork Commonwealth War Cemetery.
- F/O H.I.Spiers RNZAF
- Sgt C.W.Torbett
- P/O J.Weaver
- Sgt K.F.Goode
- Sgt S.J.Cassell
- Sgt O.M.Atkins
- Sgt J.Francis
F/Sgt. Colin G. Goodfellow . Royal Air Force 107 Squadon (d.12th Jul 1941)
Flight Sergeant Colin G Goodfellow was originally from Ellesmere in Shropshire. I understand that he was sadly killed during a sortie over Ijmuiden in Holland whilst serving with 107 Squadron flying Blenheims on 12 July 1941. The family has always understood that no body was found although there may be a memorial.
On behalf of his family I am looking for any further information, which would be gratefuly recieved and help to ensure his sacrifice and those of his colleagues are never forgotten.
Cpl. Elenar Goodfellow MID. Women's Auxillary Air Force
My late grandmother, Corporal Elenar Goodfellow was stationed at RAF Thornaby from 1939 until 1945, we believe. I have a certificate which states she was Mentioned in Dipatches for distinguished service, whilst serving in the Women's Auxillary Air Force. The certificate is dated 14th June 1945. I have tried to locate this in the London Gazette archives, but can find no evidence.
I remember her talking of making parachutes, working in the fabric workshop. She also mentioned earning extra rations for packing some chemicals which turned her skin and urine yellow!
I would be grateful for any information or ideas where I can search further.
T/Sgt Leslie Coulton Goodhead . RAF 1473 Flight 11 FTS 109 Squadron 77 Squadron
My father served with 77 Squadron from 24/10/42 to 13/1/44, when he was discharged unfit for further service.
He joined the RFC as a boy, serving from 25/9/1917 to 26/4/19, training as a fitter. He re-enlisted 3/5/1921 to 1/2/1927 becoming an engine fitter and serving in Egypt and Aden. He was in E class reserve and was recalled to service 25/8/1939. He served in France 27/4/1940 to 17/6/1940, when he was able to get a ship to the UK from Brest.
Prior to 77 Sqdn. he served at 11 FTS, 109 Sqdn., Leuchars, and 1473 Flight.
He died in 1967. I have his service papers and a number of photographs from the 1920s of various subjects, plane crashes, Aden countryside, sports teams, etc.
L/Cpl. John Goodier . British Army 7th Armoured Division from Northwich)
James Edward Gooding . Royal Navy HMS Nelson
I believe my dad served on board HMS Nelson. If anyone knew James Edward Gooding do get in touch.
James Edward Gooding . Royal Navy
My Grandad was called James Edward Gooding and served in the Royal Navy in WW2.
P/O Leonard Goodkey . RCAF 626 Squadron
Sgt. William Edward Goodman . Royal Air Force 7 Squadron from Maidstone)
I am the daughter of William 'Bill' Goodman who served in the RAF during the Second World War. He was returning with the crew from a mission to Emden when their plane, a Stirling, was shot down in the Friesland area and they made their way to Ferwerd.
In my father's own words: "Our intention was to approach the Friesian Islands about 13000 feet, but those atmospherics took our ‘lift’ away and we could get no more than 10000 feet. Even at that height we could be seen in silhouette from almost any direction, which was a potential hazard, and all crew members were asked to keep a very sharp look-out.
We were suddenly shaken by the impact of cannon shells striking into the starboard (right) wing which burst into flame. The shells had damaged the throttle and other controls to both starboard engines and the starboard aileron as well as the bomb doors on that side. Because those two engines could not be controlled by the throttles and lack of aileron control caused the plane to fly on a long circular track, which would bring us down in the middle of the North Sea, but Buck worked up a huge sweat with the exertion of holding some sort of course which would bring us over the Fresian Islands and, hopefully the Dutch coast before the plane exploded. We made it and he gave the order to abandon.
My ‘chute opened and I was drifting more or less serenely to earth, wondering how many had managed to get out when I was startled out of my thoughts by an aircraft which seemed as if had narrowly missed me. It was twin engined, a Messerschmitt 110 night fighter as I remember. I saw the flaming comet which ‘J - Johnnie’ had become curving round on its final course and I wondered how many had managed to escape, Buck especially in view of the way he had captained us and ensured our safety for so long. Suddenly the aircraft exploded into a fireball hurtling through the sky and towards earth. I looked downwards and saw I was falling towards water near the coast. It is so difficult to estimate height yet to fall when above water, and all of a sudden I felt my feet and legs fall into the water. I realised it was just a film of water over mud, thick, foul smelling mud which came up the length of my thighs. It was so thick it was impossible to wade through it, and the only way I could get to firm land was to stiffen my body, fall forwards and literally crawl out of it. An important prerequisite of successful evasion was to hide the parachute and harness, but I was unable to pull them along behind me, so I prayed they would sink into the mud and not be found.
I expected to see signs of block-houses, barbed wire entanglements - even patrolling sentries. But there was no sign of anything, which I could hardly believe. To get over the dyke I crawled on hands and knees, all the while watching out and listening for any sign of defence. On the other side I saw a number of drainage ditches with access paths alongside them, stretching inland at right angles to the dyke. Again I could not see any defences, but still could not believe it. I continued to crawl alongside one of the ditches and heard a sound ahead of me. I dropped into the ditch alongside the path, stopping every now and then and hardly daring to breathe, until I was abreast of a sound of careful movement. Suddenly a voice, in a hoarse whisper said ‘Is that you, Bill?’ It was a huge shock, but it turned out to be John Travis and Mac who had come looking for me in the hope my study of the maps could help to establish just where we were.
Unfortunately we had come off course with first, evasion tactics, then the attempt to get onto a course for home. These, together with the curve we had taken had destroyed my awareness of the final position, and it was too dark to consult the map. What knowledge I did have was enough for me to indicate in which direction we should walk. We stuck to the ditch side paths until we saw a large black motor car on a road ahead. We all dropped swiftly into the ditch until the car was out of sight. That it was large and black made us think it must have been an official car, probably the hated Gestapo, the secret police.
Morning was now with us, and it was becoming very light and indicating a beautiful summers’ day. For the time being we kept to those paths until we came to a house. In Holland at that time the house and barn was under one roof, and livestock was brought in during the winter, which became very cold with most of the waterways being frozen. Our continued hammering on the outside door eventually brought the farmer and his wife out. They were not able to speak English while we did not know their language either, but we were able, by sign language, to let them know we were RAF men who had been shot down. They were obviously unable to help us, but gave us bread and cheese and a drink before we left.
Now we were committed to using roads and we were surprised to see a man in uniform coming towards us. We judged him to be a postal worker, even on a Sunday, so we smartened ourselves up and fell into step. As we passed we gave him the typical salute of the Nazi Party and marched on, not looking back. We came round a curve to the right and saw a small square on our right, leading to a church. It was a fair assumption that the vicar’s education included English. There were about a dozen houses in the square, but the largest and nearest to the church must have been his. He answered the door and, yes, he had some knowledge of English. We explained our predicament and asked for his assistance. He asked whether we were Catholics, but none of us were. He said he was unable to help us, but advised us to give ourselves up for our own safety.
We continued into what we came to realise was a small town. Here my judgement of our position brought home to me that this was one of the stations of a railway, and we should wait for a slow goods train, preferably during the night, and ride the rods like American hoboes to bring us towards Amsterdam. The curving road next revealed a large building; obviously the Town Hall or similar. I led our little group along one side of the building where we came across a gap in the railings, with steps going down into the basement. A youth of my own age was leaning on the railings and we marched past, giving the Nazi salute and ‘Guten morgen’. He nodded ‘Good morning.’ That road led to the railway, but on the way passed a school with what looked like the head teacher’s house (it was too fine to be the caretaker’s). We must find an English speaker here. The head answered the door, followed by his wife and two daughters, all of whom spoke good English. They discussed our position, but had no knowledge where we might find help. I was reminded of a hint we had been given by the evader. He suggested getting in with a young lady as a couple were much less likely to be stopped by German police than a single person. My mind swung to this when I saw the elder daughter who, together with her mother and younger sister were in tears that they could not help.
Our next priority was to find a place to hide. The land was flat and there were no coppices in which we could hide. We already knew it was no use trying to hide in a barn, so we lay down in a hollow that was hidden from the road. After a little while we noticed a woman at a bedroom window. She was too interested for our liking. We were not far from the railway, but that would not have been a good place to be. It was now full daylight and people could be seen. We were quite desperate by now, when it occurred the youth at the Town Hall had actually said ‘Good morning’!
We almost ran back and he was still there, grinning, as he nodded us to follow him into the basement. He was the Mayor’s son and his father was just about the last still in post who was an Allies sympathiser, the others having been deposed by the Nazis and imprisoned. His father, Mr Esselink and the Chief of Police had gone to view our crashed aircraft, but should soon be back. The son brewed up [some tea] for us when we saw a large black car pull up outside the Town Hall. We thought it was the car seen earlier and the two men who alighted from it were Gestapo. The son introduced us and we were welcomed most warmly. Chief Smidt soon set about making known contacts, and the intention was to pass us on to another sympathiser. He made several sorties into town, coming back with suitable clothes and rations. We began to kit ourselves out for the journey, always bearing in mind the need to keep some of our uniforms so we should not be classed as spies if caught, and executed.
Chief Smidt arrived back from one of his sorties with a white face and terribly worried. He had been tipped off that one of the pro-Nazi persons in the town had told the Germans we were in the Town Hall and they were on the way to arrest us. The situation was fraught with danger for the good people of Ferwerd, where we were, so he had no option but to detain us. I suggested we assault him, take his revolver and run away. He said he could not allow that, as there might be reprisals against his town. We agreed that was likely, but the war would not go on much longer, thinking of the Thousand Bomber raids, so hurried up to conceal any help Smidt had tried to give us, and leaving them with all the currency from our escape kits. The German Army lorry pulled up outside the Town Hall and were led down into the basement by a huge officer holding what I have described as the largest hand held howitzer ever seen. Smidt, who had pulled out his revolver when he saw the Germans arrive put it back and ‘handed over his prisoners.’ He was able to say he had interrogated us and supplied him with our names, ranks and numbers. I think he was a good policeman to have rounded up the ‘arrest’ as he had done at no risk to the local populace.
Years later I learnt that he had remained as Chief throughout the war and was a respected man who tipped off the Resistance and stopped the Germans from finding out too much. Mr. Esselink was imprisoned during the war as a sympathiser, and resumed as Mayor after the war. His son was executed by the Germans after he had been arrested actually taking evaders ‘down the line’ and home to fly another day.
Thus ended our few hours of freedom before we ended up as Prisoners of War."
My father returned to the area in the late 1990s and contacted the family of the people who helped them... they also returned his flying helmet which they'd kept for all those years - which was amazing.
Sgt. William Edward Goodman . Royal Air Force 7 Squadron from 50 St Philip's Avenue, Maidstone, Kent)
My dad, William Goodman, known as ‘Bill’ joined up on 8 Aug 1940 at the age of 18. He was eventually sent to join 7 Squadron in Oakington on Short Stirlings. He completed 24 sorties and was shot down on his 25th on 7 June 1942 near Blija, Holland. After being processed at the Dulag Luft he was sent to Stalag Luft III and spent a year there. From here he was moved to Heydekrug and then Thorn and Fallingbostel, after which he did a great deal of walking!
The crew, when he was shot down, were: F/O Tayler (Captain), Sgt. Henigman (2nd Pilot RCAF), P/O Earngey (Navigator RAAF), Sgt. Goodman (Front gunner), Sgt. Arnold (Rear gunner), Sgt. MacNamara (engineer), F/O Spry (mid-upper). The plane (W.7471 ‘J’ ) took off at 23-59 on 6th June from Oakington on a sortie to Emden and the records state: ‘Missing. Nothing heard after take-off’.
Whilst at Stalag Luft III he wasn’t one of the escapers, although he helped with maps as this was something that he was most interested in doing. He looked forward to the end of the war, though, and decided to take exams in Book-keeping with a view to getting a job after the war was over. However, he eventually became a police officer with Manchester City Police and remained so until his retirement. He kept in touch with some of his aircrew and POW pals through organisations such as the ex-POW organisation and RAFA.
He left my sister and me a superb manuscript of his memoirs of his whole life and it is those chapters on his WWII experiences that I have now had made into a book: ‘Of Stirlings and Stalags: an air-gunner’s tale’ by WE ‘Bill’ Goodman. He mentions so many of his fellow airmen and POWs that I’m sure it could prove to be useful for those who are wondering what their forbears lives were like during that period of our collective history.
Pte. William Henry Goodrich . British Army Durham Light Infantry from Tilbury, Essex)
My father, William Goodrich almost never spoke about his experiences, and now that he has been dead some 18 years, I wish I had pushed for more information. He spoke at length,for him, about cabbage soup. He also suffered from severe frost bite on his ears but I never minded that as a small girl, I thought he was a pixie! I also remember visiting his friend, who was an officer. This man I referred to as Uncle Sid, he lived in or near Sheffield with his wife, Aunt Daisy, and a son Jeffrey(or Geoffrey). Dad had been 'batman' to Sid at some point, later in the war.
I would really like to know about Dad's army service but I'm finding it very difficult. My husband is now taking me to Durham to see if we can find more information.
Dennis Raymond Goodwin . Royal Air Force 462 Squadron from Birmingham)
My father Dennis Goodwin, served as an Air Gunner in 462 Squadron from December 1942 until August 1943. His total flying time was 60.5 hours in daytime and 189.45 hours at night. He flew in Halifax aeroplanes mostly (from what I can tell from his log book) and the pilot was usually Flight Sergent Spencer. From October 43 to November 44 he was with the 1675 Heavy Conversion Unit and from December 1944 until May 1945 he was with 86 Squadron. He died about five years ago and never spoke of the war much at all. Apparently twice, if not three times, his crew went out without him and never returned which left Dad with a strong feeling of guilt.
Private John Ernest Goodwin . Army Lincolnshire Regiment (d.6th October 1944)
During the second World War the Allied and German soldiers, who were killed in Goirle, Noord Brabant, the Netherlands and in the neighbourhood, were buried at the Roman Catholic cemetery from the parish St. Jan in Goirle.
After the war the remains of the German soldiers were reburied in Ysselsteijn (near Venray) and most of the allied soldiers were reburied in Bergen op Zoom (War Cemetery and Canadian War Cemetery) and in Leopoldsburg (Belgium, War Cemetery).
At this moment there are 27 Allied graves in Goirle. Every year we commemorate the victims of World War II, both soldiers and civilians. We know their names, but who were the persons behind the names? What were their lives before they died? Where did they come from? How did they die? Under what circumstances?
It is my intention to give the victims a face, to write and keep the story behind the gravestones because we always will remember the soldier who died for our liberty. We can forget names, but not faces. I will try to write down all their stories for the next generation so they will know who was commemorated.
Maybe someone can help me with Private John Ernest Goodwin, Lincolnshire Regiment 4803844, who died on the 6th October 1944, age 26.
Send me a letter or an e-mail with additional information, a photograph or a copy of any personal document, which I can use for The Memory Book or a website. Thank you in advance for your help.
Sgt. Thomas George Goodwin . Royal Air Force 106 Squadron from Stepney, London)
(d.7th Sep 1943 )
Tommy was an uncle, my father's much loved brother whom I never met as I was born in 1951. My late father was serving in Egypt and the Middle East when he heard the news, so we know little of his service history. I have traced two Thomas Goodwins, one was with 106 squadron which operated Lancasters and I understand Tommy was a tail gunner in a Lancaster. The other Thomas Goodwin was with 78 squadron who I understand operated Halifax Bombers, hence I think he was in 106 squadron . I understand he was lost over the Black Forest, shot down on his way home
Alfred William Goose . Army 2nd, 7th & 50th Btn Royal Norfolk Regiment
My dad came out of France on 16-june-1940(I have a telegram). While serving in France my dad went to Rouen, Paris, Le-Mans and St Marloi. I am unable to find St Marloi on a French map. Is there anyone that may have info as to the route they took ?
Fus. John Gorbutt . British Army 2nd btn Royal Irish Fusiliers from Swinefleet, Goole, Yorkshire)
I joined RAF June 8th 1944, transferred to Army August 1944. Trained in Ireland, different Infantry units. I was sent to the UK and Wales 8th Manchesters from Malta, transferred to Irish Fusiliers, Swansea and to the Middle East. I was with the last troops in Alexandria, went to Fayid then to Palestine-Jerusalem-Tel-E-Viv-Amman Trans-Jordan -and demobbed. Trained in Signals, also Despatch rider in Palestine.
Chief Baker D. Gordon . Naval Auxiliary Personnel HMS Forfar
Gordon was one of the crew members of the Montrose who remained with the ship under the T124X agreement when she was called for service in 1939. He was listed amongst the survivors when the ship was sunk.
Sgt. Douglas B. Gordon . RAF air gunner. 460 Sqd. from Fochabers, Morayshire, Scotland)
(d.30th May 1943)
LAC. George Gordon . Royal Air Force 258 Squadron from York)
George Gordon was my father. He served in the RAF from 1940 to 1946, being stationed at various times in Sumatra, Java and India.
I know that he and other ground crew had a narrow escape when the Japanese occupied Java. My mother sent a letter of enquiry about his safety to the RAF Records Office in April 1942. The letter she received back said that no information was currently available due to the uncertainty of the situation. It also added that if she heard from him it would be very helpful if they could let them know where he and his fellow men were!
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