Charles Henry Goodchild

Date of birth: April 1887
Place of birth: Grundisburgh, Suffolk
Regiment: Suffolk
Battalion: 2nd
Rank / Service No: Private, 6594
Died: 29th June 1915, aged 28 years
Buried: Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France (Plot VIII, Row B, Grave 53)


This is a slightly complicated family story, in that the father of Charles (and his brother) is unknown.


Charles was borne by Ellen Goodchild, who was born in Tuddenham, Suffolk in 1863. She had already given birth to William, in 1880, in Ipswich.

Ellen married Henry Walter Cousins in Woodbridge in 1890. There is always the possibility that Henry was the father of one or both boys, but that is conjecture.


Henry was born in Ipswich in 1866 and he died in that city in 1940. The 1911 Census states that Henry and Ellen had no children !

At the time of Charles’ death, the couple were living at 31 Ranelagh Road, Ipswich.


Charles married Laura Ashley (!) in Maidenhead in 1914, and they had a daughter. There must be a very good chance that Charles never met his offspring.


Dorothy Laura   b. 4th quarter 1914 Maidenhead   d. 1993 Bournemouth   Married Leslie T. Meaden in the New Forest in 1935.


Laura was born in Eton in 1892 and she passed away in Winchester in 1978.

This is the only tie-up with Hampshire for the family, although records show that Charles lived at 47 Ashtree Road, Bitterne Park at some time.


At the 1911 Census, Charles was with his battalion at the Mustapha Pacha Barracks in Alexandria.

On 4 August 1914, the battalion was stationed at the Curragh in Ireland and was part of the 14th Brigade in the 5th Division.


The battalion landed at Le Havre in mid August and was in action the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat.

They then went straight into the Battle of Le Cateau, where the battalion lost over 700 men.


Not surprisingly, the battalion was then moved out of front line duties.

On 25 October 1914, the battalion was transferred to the 8th Brigade in the 3rd Division.


The Division moved up to the Ypres Salient in early 1915 and took over the trenches opposite the Messines Ridge, and at St. Eloi and The Bluff.


They moved to the Menin Road sector at Hooge and Bellewaarde and fought actions there on 16 June

This is when Charles suffered wounding; the division lost 5,600 men in two “actions” around Bellewaarde in June and September 1915.


Until June 1918, the dead from the hospitals at Boulogne itself were buried in the Cimitiere de L’Est, the Commonwealth graves forming a long narrow strip along the right-hand edge of the cemetery.


It now contains 5,577 Commonwealth WW1 burials; the new cemetery at Terlincthun took over from it in July 1918.


Charles’ headstone reads: “Though lost to sight still to memory dear.”



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 3rd August 2016


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