Tag Archives: Godfrey Davenport Goodman

On this day 20th November 1916

20.11.1916 GAPENNES: Lt.-Col. GD GOODMAN CMG, VD, proceeded to Command 52nd Infantry Brigade and to be Temporary BRIGADIER GENERAL.Goodman 1911

20.11.1916 GAPENNES: Major E HALL took over Com,hand of the Battalion.Hall 1911

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

20-21: Battalion training continued. 

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

36th Trench Duty 25th – 30th October 1916

25.10.1916 BELLACOURT: Lt Col. GD GOODMAN CMG returned from Divisional School. Relieved 5th BATTN in RIGHT SECTOR.

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

4am: Early in the morning we stopped the enemy working in front of Blaireville Wood by Lewis gun fire.

7.30am: 6th & 8th Battalions relieved the 5th & 7th in the front line. The 5th returning to BAILLEUVAL.

10.15pm: In order to cooperate in a raid carried out  by 137th Infantry Brigade on our right, a bombardment of the German BLOCKHOUSE was continued for 30 minutes. Our left group RA, one 2″ trench mortar & a stokes mortar, which was brought into action in the RAVINE cooperated. The enemy retaliated with several batteries of 77 & 4.2 howitzers & several trench mortars on both our sectors. Some damage being done to trenches.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

On this day 11th October 1916

Hall E11.10.1916 BAILLEULVAL: Major E Hall rejoined Battalion from sick leave.

Goodman 1916

11.10.1916 BASSEUX: Lieut Colonel GD GOODMAN CMG to temporary Command of 139th Brigade.

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

11th: Situation normal. We fired about twenty rifle grenades into the enemy’s front line during the night from Cavendish Sap.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

On this day 30th September 1916

Goodman 191630.9.1916 BELLACOURT: Lt Col GD GOODMAN CMG resumes Command of the Battalion.

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

30th: Operation ordered & carried out.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

Raid by the 1/5th and 1/7th Battalions

A party of the 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, consisting of 2/Lieut PATTINSON with 2 Signallers and a covering party laid a telephone wire to within 20 yards of the Sap at X.1.d.55.50 at 8pm.

X.a.d.55.50The Officer [PATTINSON] and a party of 19 other ranks went out again with a 36′ ammonal tube at 9.30pm and placed in in the enemy’s wire. Finding by the light of a German flare that the tube was not in the right place, 2/Lieut PATTINSON withdrew it and again inserted it, during which time the enemy were sniping and throwing grenades.

The tube was exploded successfully and the party attacked the Sap but were bombed at once by a party of five Germans in the Sap – 2/Lieut PATTINSON and 2 men being slightly wounded. The party then bombed the Sap for 10 or 15 minutes – three of our bombs being seen to explode by three Germans who had got up to fire and were not seen again.

R.34.c.55.60A party of the 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, consisting of 2/Lieut BROWNE and 16 other ranks exploded a 36′ tube at the left side of the Sap at R.34.c.55.60 and rushed forward. They were at once met by grenade thrown by a party of the enemy at the bottom of the Sap, and after throwing 25 grenades back the party returned to our lines.


A party of the 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, consisting of 2/Lieut BARNES and 18 other ranks exploded a tube at R.34.b.34.77 and on going forward found it difficult to find their way, the Officer and 2 men being separated from the rest of the party. After proceeding for 30 yards the Officer ordered his party to withdraw and they reached our lines without casualties. None of the party could find a trench at this point except one man who fell into a trench about chest high and there is considerable doubt whether a Sap exists at this point.

On this day 18th September 1916

18.9.1916 BAILLEULVAL: CAPT R SAXBY took over Command of the Battalion during the absence of LIEUT COLONEL G.D. GOODMAN C.M.G. on short leave.Saxby 1909-15

Captain Reginald Saxby

18.9.1916: 2/Lt WB DAVIES died in Hospital.

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

Septr 18: Opening address by Commandant. Lecture on discipline by Major Fuller GSO2.

[Lieutenant Josiah Taylor]

18th: Enemy fired a few Trench Mortars bombs into into our left sector. A very wet day.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

William Bryan Davies

2/Lt William Bryan Davies died in Hospital on 17th September; he had only joined the Battalion two months earlier on the 18th August. Although there is no mention in the War Diary or Battalion History as to why he was in Hospital, the 1/6th Officer’s Role sadly states “suicide”.


Davies WB granveWilliam was 35 years old and the son of Thomas and Mary Davies of Welshpool in Montgomeryshire. He is now buried in AVESNES-LE-COMTE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, which was near the VI Corps Headquarters and the site of several Casualty Clearing Stations. There is no medal index card for William, suggesting that his medals were not claimed by his grieving parents.

William was Idwal Davies' older brother.

On these days 22nd – 23rd June 1916

22/23.6.1916 TRENCHES: Bn began to dig advanced trench in Brigade front (total length with all CTs about 1300 yards). 7th Battn furnished covering party reserve diggers. Bn wired head of saps & CTs.trench digging 22 June 191622 June 1916 trench digging timesWar Diary [WO/95/2694]

June 20-24: Very busy men employed laying cable all day & digging trenches for them at night. Battn also busy digging trenches.

[Lieutenant Josiah Taylor]

22nd: Battns still working at above work. The front line was advanced tonight (see copy Operations Order 62 attached) about 150 yards. This work was undertaken by the 6th Battn SF. A covering party of 5 Offciers & 132 other ranks under Lt Colonel Goodman CMG Cmdg 6th Battn SF.

The orders were carried out very well. There was a little confusion on the right flank owing to a good deal of Machine Gun fire, in consequence the work on the night was not so far forward when the order to withdraw was given, as on the left.

By that time a trench varying from 5′ to 2 1/2′ had been dug on a frontage of 700 yards with 3 CTs averaging 140 yards each.

We had only one killed & 4 wounded out of some 800 men. engaged on the work – the work is to be completed tonight.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

The man killed was 2211 Lance Sergeant George Naden from Dove Holes
2211 Naden

On this day 15th June 1916

15.6.1916 LONDON GAZETTE: Mentioned in dispatches by C-in-C for Gallantry & Distinguished Conduct in the field:-

  • Lt Col. Godfrey Davenport Goodman
  • Capt Cyril Benton JohnsonJohnson CD MID
  • 158 C.S.M William Goddard and later to win the Military Medal on 19th February  1917 (posthumously).158 Goodard MIC
  • 456 C.S.M Henry Holland and later to win the Distinguished Conduct Medal in July 1917.456 Holland MIC
  • 2388 Segt Thomas Hunter and later to win the Military Medal on 11th November 1916.2388 Hunter MM 1916 2
  • 1464 Sergt Wilfred Bernard Longson and later to win the Military Medal on 11th November 1916.Longson Military Medal 1916
  • 1644 Drummer James Chatterton and later to win the Military Medal on 11th November 1916.

But why were these Officers and Men “Mentioned in Dispatches”?

LG 15 June 1916Haig 30 June 1916names June 1916

The London Gazette from 15th June 1916 records the individuals Mentioned in Dispatches by General Haig on the 30th April 1916 and lists men from all four Territorial Battalions

Here is the evidence:-

  • The service records for Cyril Johnson, Henry Holland, William Goddard and James Chatterton all record that the men were Mentioned in Dispatches on the 30th April 1916, which is consistent with the London Gazette.
  • James Chatterton was wounded on the 12th March 1916 and was transferred to Hospital in England on the 17th March 1916. He did not return to France until the 16th July with the 15th Reinforcement.
  • James Chatterton, Wilfrid Longson and Thomas Hunter had their Military Medal announced in the London Gazette on 11th November 1916.London Gazette November 1916
  • William Goddard had his Military Medal announced in the in the London Gazette on 19th February 1917 because it was awarded posthumously.MM Postumosly 1917

Despite the fact that “British Gallantry Awards: The Sherwood Foresters” records that these NCOs and men received their awards for gallantry during the attack at Gommecourt on the 1st July 1916, this seems unlikely when all the evidence is reviewed, in particular the service records of 1644 Drummer James Chatterton who was not even present on that day.

It would therefore seem likely these individual acts of gallantry and distinguished conduct occurred whilst the 1/6th Battalion were holding the front line trenches in front of Vimy Ridge.

Chatterton’s wounding suggest that his act of gallantry occurred between 10th and 12th March 1916 during the first trench duty and specifically when the Germans exploded a mine under the French trenches on the right of the 139th Brigade.

On this day 3rd June 1916

3rd June 1916: LONDON GAZETTE Lt.-Col. GD GOODMAN appointed C.M.G.

Sgt M J Unwin (2230) awarded MILITARY MEDAL.2230 Unwin MM

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

June 3rd: Relief by 138th Infantry Brigade commenced (see copy Operations Order No 59 attached). The 138th Brigade Machine Gun Company relived our Company this evening and the 138th Light Trench Mortar Batteries also relieved ours. Relief was completed without incident by 11.30 p.m. A short bombardment of the enemies front line was carried out at 12 midnight. There was no retaliation.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]


On this day 30th May 1916

30.5.1916 FONQUEVILLERS: 150 men under CAPTS R SAXBY & J TOLSON dug advanced trench 250 yards linking up with 37th Divn on left. 50 men under CAPT EB JOHNSON wired.

30.5.1916 LONDON GAZETTE: The following is an extract from the London Gazette d/- 30th May 16.

  • Major (Temp Lt Col) G.D. GOODMAN to be Lieut. Col.
  • Captain (Temp Major) A.J. HOPKINS to be Major (May 22nd)
  • Lieutenant (Temp Capt) B. DARBYSHIRE to be Captain (Oct 16th)
  • Lieutenant (Temp Capt) C.B. JOHNSON to be Captain (May 22nd)
  • 2/Lieutenant (Temp Capt) J. TOLSON to be Lieutenant (Temp Capt Oct 16th)
  • 2/Lieutenant (Temp Capt) H.H. JACKSON to be Lieutenant (Temp Capt May 22nd)Officer 30 May 1916

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

30th: 6th Battn Sherwood Foresters joined up advanced trench from right of 36th Division up to a sap North of NORTH FORTIN – distance of some 250 yards.

The trench was also wired – the Battalion received a complimentary telegram from G.O.C. Division for their work.30 May 1916 Telegram

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

On this day 12th May 1916

No record in the War Diary [WO/95/2694]

May 12: 3.45 pm proceeded down the line – 4 of us. Left Glossop and Simpson behind.

[Lieutenant Josiah Taylor]

Brig General C. T. Shipley returned from leave and assumed Command of the Brigade vice Lt Col. Goodman who proceeded on leave the same afternoon.

Each Battn had practically all available men engaged in digging at night, on clearing out Communication Trenches – 900 other ranks, on burying cable 800 other ranks.

8th Battn transport moved from GUADIEMPRE to HUMBERCAMP.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

608 Pte Henry Greaves, a coal miner from Eckington and an original Volunteer and Pre-War Territorial with “F” Company returned to England pending discharge on Termination of Engagement.608 greaves