Private William GOODWIN

Border Regiment
2nd Battalion
(Formerly: Kings Own Yorkshire Light
Infantry and East Yorks Regiment)
Service Number:
(Formerly: 30645 K.O.Y.L.I.)
(Formerly: 91304 East Yorks Regt.
(Formerly: 46323 K.O.Y.L.I.)
Date of Death:
7 January 1918 - Died
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Reference:
IV. A. 5.

Personal History:
William was born in the September quarter 1898, the son of Samuel Edward and Harriett Elizabeth (née Bailey) Goodwin. The 1901 Census (RG13/3269) shows that Samuel was employed as both a 'Tailor' and 'Club Steward', so the family were living at "The Constitutional Club", Concert Place, Buxton. William had three older siblings, Jane, Samuel and Harriett, and one younger, Lilian Alice.

Ten years later (1911 Census RG 14/21240) the family was considerably larger, with younger children, Ruth, Frederick George, John, Rose and Violet being added, and were living at Back Concert Place, where father, Samuel, was running a Tailor's shop. William was at School but also a "Part Time Grocer Errand Boy". Later they moved to Clough Street, Buxton, according to the CWGC records.

Military History:
William originally enlisted into the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (K.O.Y.L.I.) in Buxton. His Medal Index Card gives no date for when he entered the War, which would suggest that it was after 1915, as he was not eligible for The 1914-15 Star Medal. Also, his Service Records have not survived. What his also shown on his MIC is that he transferred to the East Yorkshire, then back again to the K.O.Y.L.I., before ending up in the Border Regiment. William's Service Number suggests that this final posting to the Border Regiment took place about May 1916.

William died in Italy and in reporting his death 'The Buxton Advertiser', 19th January 1918, stated that he had died ".. in a Military Hospital". Commonwealth forces were at the Italian front November 1917 to the end of the War. On the 4th December 1917 the XIth and XIVth British Corps relieved the Italians on the Montello sector of the Piave front, with the French on their left. The troops in the area where William died were not involved in any large operations, but they carried out continuous patrol work across the River Piave.

'The Buxton Advertiser' also reported that William: " ... had been ordered to France in November (1917) and thence to Italy." From this it is safe to assume that his time spent with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and East Yorks Regiment did not see service abroad.

His last Battalion, 2nd Border Regiment, was attached to 20th Brigade, 7th Division, and as he went to France in November 1917 it was likely as a reinforcement after The Second Battle of Passchendaele, 26th October - 10th November 1917. After then the 7th Division was one of five British Divisions selected to be moved to Italy. Many diaries at this time, by men who had witnessed slaughter in the floods of Passchendaele, talk of the move and Italy as being "like another world".

The original destination for the 7th Division was into the mountainous area of the Brenta, but eventually it was moved instead to the line along the River Piave, taking up positions in late January 1918.

William died on the 7th January 1918, and is buried in Giavera Cemetery, Italy. Men who died in defending the Piave from December 1917 to March 1918, and those who fell on the west of the river during the Passage of the Piave, are buried in this cemetery. Not being designated as "died of wounds" usually suggests that he succumbed to illness or disease.

· There are two men named "Pt. William GOODWIN" commemorated on Buxton Memorials - both of The Border Regiment.
   In addition to the Private 129209 William Goodwin shown on this page, 25 year old Private 19112 William GOODWIN, 1st Battalion,
   died of wounds received in Gallipoli on the 26th August 1915

Only ONE name appears on the Town Memorial on The Slopes (probably Private 19112 as his brother is also there); BOTH are commemorated on the Burbage Memorials; Private 19112 on the St John's Church Memorial, and ONE William is named on the St Mary's Church Memorial (Probably Private 129209 [this page] as his parents lived in Clough Street, part of St Mary's Parish).

· I am grateful to The British War Graves for the photo of William's Grave
· 'The Buxton Advertiser' 19 January 1918

Link to CWGC Record
Pt William Goodwin's grave
Pt William Goodwin