Corporal JAMES Godbold

Date of birth: 7th March 1888
Place of birth: 53 Windsor Road, Ipswich
Regiment: King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Battalion: 9th
Rank / Service No: Rifleman, A/202341
Died: 17th October 1917, aged 29 years
Commemorated: Tyne Cot Memorial


James was the fifth of 7 siblings born to James and Emma Godbold (nee Thacker), who married in Mutford, Suffolk in 1874.

It is worth mentioning the strange first name that James has; as can be seen from the other children, the parents obviously liked army ranks !!


Both parents were born in Stowmarket in 1854; James died in Mutford in 1900 and Emma passed away in Ipswich in 1935.


It has to be said that there is no direct evidence that James lived in Southampton, although official records say he enlisted in Winchester and lived in Southampton.



Alice Emma   b. 1880 Stowmarket   d. 1958 Isle of Wight   Married William Frederick Barnard in Shoreditch in 1906.

Sergeant   b. 7 April 1881 Stowmarket   d. 1959 Norwich   Married Maggie Smith in Norwich in 1909.

Esther Eliza   b. 1883 Stowmarket   d. ??   Married Isaac J. Skipper in Ipswich in 1916. Married Archibald C. Goymer in Ipswich in 1921.

Lilian May   b. 1886 Stowmarket   d. ??   Married either Alfred Pryke (1915) or Fred Smith (1920).

Corporal James

Edward Major   b. 1890 Ipswich   d. 1965 Folkestone   Married Evangeline D. Fowler in Ashford, Kent in 1921.

Frank Stanley   b. 1893 Ipswich   d. 1893 Ipswich


The 9th Rifle Corps was formed at Winchester in August 1914 and came under the orders of the 42nd Brigade in the 14th (Light) Division.


The division arrived at Boulogne on 20 May 1915 and were almost immediately in action at Hooge, near Ypres.

They became the first troops to be attacked by flamethrower, a device that would go on and create havoc.


The first half of 1916 was spent around Beaurains, near Arras, without the division seeing much fighting.

This all changed in the August, where the 9th found themselves at Delville Wood on the Somme.


Between 21st and 26th August, the battalion lost 121 men.


It must be assumed that James lost his life during trench warfare around the Somme.


A Memorial to the 14th (Light) Division stands at Hill 60 near Zillebeke, to commemorate battles fought at Ypres, the Somme and Arras.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 3rd August 2016


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