PRIVATE ALFRED GOODLAD
YORK AND LANCASTER REGIMENT
1ST JULY 1916 AGE 23
BURIED: RAILWAY HOLLOW CEMETERY, HEBUTERNE, FRANCE
Some parents were so magnanimous, so generous in their response to the death of their sons. Alfred Goodlad was his parents only child yet his inscription, quoting from a letter he had written to them on 22 March 1916, says "The French are a grand nation worth fighting for".
Goodlad, an accountant's clerk, served with the 12th Battalion the York and Lancaster Regiment, the Sheffield Pals, which in March 1916 had only just landed in France after a brief spell in Egypt, their first foreign deployment. On 1 July 1916 the regiment attacked the heavily fortified village of Serre. Within minutes the soldiers had come up against uncut barbed wire and heavy machine gun fire causing 513 casualties, killed, wounded and missing, of whom 246 died that day. As someone said of another Pals battalion, "We were two years in the making and ten minutes in the destroying".