George William Goodall


Private 136018, 34th Battalion Machine Gun Corps

Died 1st November 1918 aged 19

Buried Kezelberg Military Cemetery, Belgium

Son of Josiah and Annie Louisa Goodall

Lived 69, Battye Street, Heckmondwike

George was the son of Josiah and his wife Annie, formerly Brierley. His two older brothers, Hearl and Fred also served on the Western Front. He enlisted in the Machine Gun Corps on 11th May 1917, he trained at Rugeley and Clipstones before embarking for France in April 1918. Before enlisting he worked for Messrs. A Hardwick and Sons as a Currier and was a member of the congregation at St Saviours Church.

George died of shell wounds at a hospital clearing hospital in France, during the Hundred Days Offensive. This was not a battle but a rapid series of Allied victories against which the Germans had no reply and lasted until the Armistice was declared on the 11th November. The Machine Gun Corps was formed during the early part of the war and saw action in all theatres of The Great War. In the latter part of the conflict the men of the corps frequently served well in advance of the front line - the casualty rate was high earning it the nickname the Suicide Club.

Whilst the population of Heckmondwike, along with the rest of the country, was celebrating the Armistice the local paper, the Cleckheaton Advertiser & Spenborough Times, reported the following "Another Heckmondwike family who had the period of rejoicing overshadowed by an irrepairable loss is that of Mr and Mrs Josiah Goodall of Battye Street, who on Monday morning received a telegram stating that their son, Private George Goodall, died at a clearing hospital in France on the 1st of November from shell wounds in the left shoulder. Previous to this Mr and Mrs Goodall had received a letter, dated October 31st, from the chaplain who wrote:- ' Your boy, in our M.G. Battalion has asked me to drop a line. He came through the dressing station wounded this morning. It is I think in his left shoulder, painful, and of course he was feeling rather done up. But he was full of pluck and good spirits; and he has gone straight away to the clearing station and so on to hospital. He is a fine boy and I value him specially as being one of our communicants. I shall be very pleased indeed if you can send me news of him as time goes on for we shall be out of touch with him till he comes back.' ..."

He is buried at Kezelberg Military Cemetery, Belgium which is very close to the French border. The inscription on his headstone reads "TO MEMORY EVERY DEAR". A photograph, taken by The War Graves Photographic Project, of his headstone can be viewed by following this link.

George's brothers both survived the war.{PL/RC-059}

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