Private Edward Percy Graham GODDARD

Labour Corps
(Formerly: Lincolnshire Regiment)
(Formerly: Durham Light Infantry)
48th Company
(Fmly: 9th Battalion, Lincs. Regt.)
(Fmly: Durham Light Infantry)
Service Number:
(Fmly: 46245, Lincs. Regt.)
(Fmly: 66856 Durham Light Infantry)
Date of Death:
19 August 1917 - Died (of wounds)
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Number:
I. A. 18.

Personal History:
Edward was born in the March quarter 1883 (christened 15 February 1883), the son of George Brown (Music Seller/Dealer) and Emma (née Vickers) Goddard at (probably) Hamilton Villa, Fairfield, Buxton (1881 Census RG 11/3454). He had 7 older brothers and sisters, Georgina, Lydia Anne (see Footnote below), George Reginald, John Herbert Beamont, Frederick Charles, Henry Ernest and William N., and three younger, Walter, Florence and Dorothy.

In 1891 (Census RG 12/2778) the family were at 5 Dale Terrace, Buxton. Ten years later (1901 Census RG 13/3269) Edward's mother had died and the family had moved to 62 South Avenue. Buxton. Edward was working as a "Musician", as was his elder brother George. (There is still a "Goddard's Music Shop" at 45 High Street, Buxton today [2014])

On 27 June 1905 Edward married Florence Belward at St John's Church, Buxton and they initially lived at 4 Ashton Terrace, Windsor Road, Fairfield, Buxton. In 1911 (Census RG 14/21235) they were living with their two children, Emma Gwendoline (b. January 1906) and Dora (b. February 1910), at 72 Nunsfield Road, Fairfield, Buxton, and working as a "Shop Assistant". In 1917 Edward's Service Papers show his home address as '59 Spring Gardens, Buxton'.

Military History:
According to the SDGW database Edward enlisted in Buxton. His Medal Index Card gives no indication when he entered the War, usually indicating it was after 31st December 1915, as he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star. However, by comparing his Service Number with others in the Durham Light Infantry an enlistment date of about the December 1915 is logical, being mobilised in the middle of February 1917 to his unit.

The Medal Roll, which he does not appear on, due to him being other than the Lincolnshire's, tells us that he was posted to the 9th Labour Company as were a large batch of men, some of whom were ex-Durham Light Infantry members. Service Number 46245 was issued as a Lincolnshire number toward the end of March to mid-April 1917.

His Labour Corps number relates to the 9th Infantry Labour Company, Lincolnshire Regiment, which became the 48th Labour Company in 1917. (i.e. Numbers between 28201 - 28800) The 9th (Reserve) Lincolnshire Battalion became the 11th Reserve Battalion on 1st September, 1916 and was mainly based in the UK, based for a time at Brockton Camp, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. On the same date it converted into 82nd Training Reserve Battalion in 19th Reserve Brigade at Newcastle.

It is not possible to determine the circumstances where and when Edward received he wounds from which he died. Indeed no date can be established for when he was posted to France. Certainly, just four months after joining the Lincolnshire Regiment, and into the Labour Corps, he died of wounds received in action at the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Stations, which was established in Outtersteene in August 1917, during the Third Battle of Ypres. The most likely engagement for him to be wounded was The Battle of Langemarck, 16th - 18th August 1917.

He is buried in the Communal Cemetery at Outtersteene, close to where he died. along with two other members of the 9th Battalion Labour Corps, who died on the 18th. The "Register of Soldier's Effects" shows that in November 1917 his wife, Florence, received £3 8s 3d, with another £3 three years later. This total of £6 8s 3d [£6.41] is equivalent to about £353 today (2018).

· Lydia Anne married John Thomas Cresswell in Buxton in 1895. Their son, Guardsman 35564 Henry Ettling CRESSWELL, Grenadier Guards,
  died of Tuberculosis, in Buxton, on the 9th October 1920, aged 18.

· I am grateful to contributors on the Great War Forum for help with tracing
  Edward's complex Service History.
· .... and to "Fazakerley", via the GWF, for the information on the sale of the Plaque
· .... and to Joan Wilson for the photo of his grave at Outtersteene
· UK Army Register of Soldiers' Effects - 1901 - 1929

Link to CWGC Record
Outtersteene Communal Cemetery
Edward's original Burial Cross and Memorial Plaque were sold at Auction online in Canada by eMedals. [October 2019]