Thomas George Stanley Godwin

Memorial: Thornbury - St Mary's Church

Regiment: Kings Liverpool Regiment

Medals: British War Medal, Next of Kin Memorial Plaque 1914 - 1921, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Private 94094

Parents: Frederick J and Kate Godwin

Home address: Crossways, Thornbury, Bristol

Date of birth: 1898

Place of birth: Tuffley, Gloucester

Date of death: 04/10/1918

Buried/Commemorated at: Mont Huon Military Cemetery (Ref. VIII. H. 1A.), Le Tréport; Thornbury United Reformed Church Memorial Tablet

Age: 19

Further information:

Bronze Tablet and Wooden Memorial Board

Thomas George Stanley Godwin was born in Tuffley, Gloucestershire, possibly in late December 1898; his birth was registered in the March quarter of 1899. At the time of the 1901 census his father Frederick Godwin, from Buckover, Thornbury, was a labourer at a brickworks in Tuffley. Two year old Thomas had an older brother and sister and a baby sister aged 4 months. At the time of the 1911 census his mother and siblings were still living in Tuffley, while his father was boarding in Glamorgan, occupied as a clayworker at a brickworks. Thomas was recorded at Crossways, Thornbury, with his uncle and aunt, Thomas and Hannah Godwin. The census described 12 year old Thomas as their nephew. Mr Thomas Godwin gave his occupation as delver, or labourer, in a stone quarry. It is known that he worked at Tytherington Quarry for many years. Thomas and Hannah never had any children of their own. It would seem that at some point young Thomas had come to live permanently with his uncle and aunt. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records him as being their foster son. Thomas attended Thornbury Council School until 1912

Thomas served with the 4th Battalion, King’s (Liverpool Regiment). During 1918 the Battalion took part in the Battle of Messines and a number of other actions. As part of the operations now known as the 100 Days Offensive, the Allies attacked the Hindenburg line, trying to force the Germans out of their strong defensive position. The 4th Battalion saw action at the Battle of the Épehy, on the 18th September, and then at the Battle of the St Quentin Canal. The latter, beginning on 29th Sept 1918, was a pivotal battle of the war, involving British, Australian and American forces in a concerted attack which resulted in the first full breach of the Hindenburg Line, in the face of heavy German resistance

The 4th Battalion diary reads, ‘29th Sept 1918: Battalion attacked Villers Guislain at 3.30am in conjunction with 2nd Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on the right. Strong fight put up by enemy. Prisoners taken by Battalion: 3 officers, 107 ordinary rank. Casualties 2 Lts and 19 ordinary rank killed; 255 ordinary rank wounded, 9 ordinary rank missing. 30th Sept 1918: Fine – Patrols out during night. Enemy evacuated Villers Guislain – Line pushed forward but Battalion remained in position in reserve.’ They were to remain in reserve until 5th October

It is possible that Thomas Godwin was injured in this battle. He Died of Wounds on 4th October

Le Tréport, north east of Dieppe, was an important hospital centre during the war. As the original military cemetery at Le Tréport filled, it became necessary to use the new site at Mont Huon

Thomas is remembered on the family headstone in Thornbury Cemetery, where his age is given as 20. The War Graves Commission’s record gives his age at death as 19. He would have been about two months short of his 20th birthday

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Thornbury Roots Website. Thornbury and District Museum Research Group. Forces War Records and the CWGC