FLIGHT SUB-LIEUTENANT GODFREY JOHN WHITEHOUSE GOODWIN
ROYAL NAVAL AIR SERVICE
12TH MARCH 1918 AGE 19
BURIED: DUNKIRK TOWN CEMETERY, FRANCE
Godfrey Goodwin joined the Royal Navy just before he became 18 in August 1916. He served initially as a naval rating on torpedo patrol boats until October 1917 when he began pilot training in the Royal Naval Air Service. After three days leave he went to France on 1 March 1918 and died 'whilst flying' eleven days later.
A friend wrote to tell his parents that he'd heard that,
"Godfrey was landing from his fourth or fifth raid on enemy territory on the morning of the 12th inst, when his engine choked, igniting or exploding the petrol tank. And you may take it that he had not a sporting chance of escaping death."
His commanding officer said of him that,
"He was a steady painstaking officer, quick at learning the art of flying, brave and confident in himself, and with his machine he made rapid progress in his course, getting through in under five months. Your son chose the most dangerous branch of the service, and it is wonderful to see these young men eager to serve their Country and so willing to make the supreme sacrifice. My sympathy is but a poor comfort in your irreparable loss."
Godfrey Goodwin, born in Kings Norton, Birmingham on 1 August 1898, was the eldest child of John Goodwin, a commercial traveller in soap, and his wife, Mary Whitehouse. His father chose his inscription from some lines Cleopatra speaks towards the end of Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra, as she contemplates following Anthony and killing herself:
"and then, what's brave, what's noble
Let's do it after the high Roman fashion,
And make death proud to take us."
Much of this information for this article has been taken from the Nottinghamshire County Council 'Roll of Honour' site.