Lance Sergeant Frederick GOODWIN

Grenadier Guards
2nd Battalion
Service Number:
Date of Death:
26 September 1916 - Died of wounds
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Number:
I. G. 10
Queen's South Africa Medal
King's South Africa Medal

Personal History:
Frederick was born at Burbage, Buxton in the December quarter 1879, the son of William and Ann Goodwin of Carr Hole, Burbage. He had an older brother, John, two younger brothers, Edwin and Ernest, and a younger sister, Clare. (1891 Census RG 12/2779) A younger brother, Reginald, was born in 1892. In the December quarter 1897, Frederick's father, William, died.

In 1901 Frederick was in South Africa, fighting in the Boer War and his widowed mother, Ann, was living at the same address with John, Clara, Ernest and Reginald. (Census RG 13/3271)

In the September quarter 1903 Frederick married Georgina Brindley and by the 1911 Census (RG 14/21239) they had had four children, Elsie, Clara, Ronald and Ernest. Frederick was employed as a "Quarryman Rock Man" and the family were living at 5 Grin Row, Buxton. They later had two more children, Ena and Robina, in 1914 and 1915, so that when Fred was killed he left behind a wife and six children.

Military History:
According to 'The Buxton Advertiser' (7th October 1916) Fred had served in the South African (Boer) War and was "the proud holder" of both the Queen's and King's South Africa Medals (see above) along with six bars, Driefontein, Belmont, Modder River, Diamond Hill, Johannesburg and Belfast.

The same 'Advertiser', reporting his death, tells us that he rejoined his old regiment in October 1914 (confirmed by his Service Number) on reading of the "atrocities carried out in Belgium during the first few weeks of the War". He was reported as saying that he: "... could not stay at home and hear of those things being done without giving a helping hand". His Service Papers have been lost (no doubt destroyed by enemy bombing in World War 2), but his Medal Index Card confirms that he entered France on 12th November 1914.

He joined as a Private, but was soon promoted to Acting (Lance) Sergeant. Fred came home for a short period of leave in November 1915 (Buxton Advertiser, 15th November) after taking part in the Battle of Loos and also in the Battle to take Hohenzollern Redoubt. (October 13 - 15th 1915). During that leave he spoke "in high praise" of the English and French Artillery during the Battle of Loos, and told the story of a Prussian Guardsman who came into their trench to surrender.

Fred died of wounds during one of the many Battles of the Somme, in his case the Battle of Morval, 25th - 28th September, 1916. The village of Lesboeufs was attacked by the Guards Division on 15th September 1916 and captured by them on the 25th. (At the time of the Armistice, what is now the Guards Cemetery at Lesboeufs consisted of only 40 graves (now Plot I), mainly those of officers and men of the 2nd Grenadier Guards who died on 25 September 1916, but it was very greatly increased when graves were brought in from the battlefields and small cemeteries round Lesboeufs.

It is quite likely that Fred was wounded either on the 25th or in the few days earlier although family tradition suggests that he was wounded on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. In September 1916, the 34th and 2/2nd London Casualty Clearing Stations were established at a point, known to the troops as Grove Town, to deal with casualties from the Somme battlefields. It is equally likely that, suffering from wounds, Fred was brought to Meaulte, where he died and was buried in the Cemetery there.


· Fred's medals and Memorial Plaque were auctioned in August 2009

· The Buxton Advertiser, 13 November 1915, 7 & 14 October 1916
· I am grateful to Steve Clarkson for the photo of Fred's grave
· "Loos 1915: The Northern Battle and Hohenzollern Redoubt" (Battleground Europe) -
   Andrew Rawson, ISBN-10: 9780850529036

Link to CWGC Record
Fred Goodwin's grave
L/Sgt. Fred Goodwin
Boer War Medals
A Map of the Somme Battlefield
Frederick Goodwin's Medals and Death Plaque
- auctioned in 2009