Lance Corporal Herbert GOODWIN

Sherwood Foresters
(Notts and Derby Regiment)
12th (Pioneer) Battalion
Service Number:
Date of Death:
10 August 1917 - Killed in Action
Cemetery / Memorial:
Memorial Reference:
Panel 39 and 41

Personal History:

Herbert was born in the March quarter 1897, the son of Edward (Engine Driver) and Barbara (née Hampson) Goodwin, later of 34 Lime Terrace, Burbage, Buxton, Derbyshire (Although the CWGC names his mother as 'Annie').

In 1901 (Census RG 13/3271) and 1911 (Census RG 14/21239) the family lived at 11 Grin Low, Buxton. Herbert had four older sisters, Elizabeth, Bertha, Barbara and Florrie, an older brother, Ernest, and two younger brothers, Wilfred and George Edward.

Military History:
Herbert's Service papers have not survived the ravages of Second World War bombing, nor does his Medal Index Card give any indication of when he entered the War, although 29th August 1915 seems likely. Also, the 'famous' Wipers Times was a 12th Battalion publication.

The Battalion was originally formed on 1st October 1914 at Derby, which is where Herbert enlisted. It formed as part of K3 and attached as Army Troops to 24th Division as a Pioneer unit, then moved to Shoreham. In April 1915 it converted into Pioneer Battalion for same Division and on 29th August 1915 landed in France.

The 'famous' Wipers Times was also a 12th Battalion publication. The Wipers Times was a trench magazine that was published by soldiers fighting on the front lines of the First World War. In early 1916, the 12th Battalion was stationed in the front line at Ypres, Belgium and came across a printing press abandoned by a Belgian who had, in the words of the editor, "stood not on the order of his going, but gone." A sergeant who had been a printer in peacetime salvaged it and printed a sample page. The paper itself was named after Tommy slang for Ypres itself.

During the Battle of the Somme in 1916 the 24th Division took part in the Battle of Delville Wood and the Battle of Guillemont. In 1917 they were engaged in the Battles of Vimy Ridge, a phase of the Arras offensive; the Battle of Messines, the Battle of Pilckem Ridge and the Battle of Langemarck.

Herbert was killed in action on 19th August 1917, between the Battles of Pilckem Ridge and Langemark. He has no known grave and is commemorated on The Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres. The Battalion History records that the month of August 1917 was ".. a cold, wet month with rain falling almost every day, however, there were days with bright sunshine when it became quite warm, those days gave the water a chance to drain away". Indeed the British attacks were halted temporarily on the 2nd to allow the land to dry.

"For the whole of August the battalion remained at Sherwood Park Camp being engaged on work on Valley Cottages, Canal Bank, Green Jacket Ride, Metropolitan Left trenches and Canada Street and Hedge Street Tunnels, Once again the Battalion suffered casualties with one officer and 7 Other Ranks wounded on the 1st August, by enemy shell fire and one accidentally wounded on the 2", although how this happened is not recorded.

Two men were killed on the 5th and 7 wounded by shell fire, these men being part of a party of 120 other ranks working on repairing the Voormezeele to Larch Wood railway. Those killed were 14657 Pte J.A. Bullas and 268515 Pte J.W. Franklin, both are buried in Voormezeele Enclosure No 1 & 2.

The 9th and 10th of August were sad days with 266010 Pte J. Roworth being killed, 8 wounded and one missing on the 9th, and 13 killed on the 10th those killed being :- 18258 Pte R. Dames, 63030 Pte H. Faulkes, 69030 L/Cpl H. Goodwin, 15893 Pte A Hardwick Buried Voormezeeles No 1 & 2, 20584 Pte M. Hill, 71899 Pte S. Hinchcliffe, 50274 Pte F. Jackson, 20406 Pte R. Lowe, 18821 Pte T. Pendleton, 14747 Pte B. Powell, 19235 Pte F.W. Reed, 17178 Pte R. Watts buried Tyne Cott Cemetery, 32752 Pte J.T. Wright, one man was killed on the 13th namely 18242 Pte EJ. Williams."

As stated in the Battalion History only two of Herbert's comrades who died with him have a burial place. The remainder are commemorated alongside him on the Menin Gate Memorial, as Ypres.

· I am grateful to Judy Rieck for the photo of Herbert's name on the Memorial
· I am grateful to Martin McNeela for the notes from "12th (Pioneer) Battalion Sherwood Foresters 1914-18"  by C Housley and J Leivars
  (ISBN-10: 0952964880)

Link to CWGC Record
Pt Goodwin's name on the Menin Gate Memorial
Dedication of the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres