Francis Willie Goodwin

Informatie over geboorte

Colwall, Herefordshire, Engeland, Verenigd Koninkrijk

Algemene Informatie


Informatie legerdienst

Australian Imperial Force
Service nummer:
Dienstneming datum:
Dienstneming plaats:
Broadmeadows, Victoria, Australia, Australië
 —  Australian Infantry, 8th Bn.  (Laatst gekende eenheid)

Informatie over overlijden

Datum van overlijden:
Plaats van overlijden:
Pill Box Cemetery, België
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Hooge Crater Cemetery
Plot: XV
Rij: D
Graf: 5

Onderscheidingen en medailles 5

1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Mentioned in Despatches
Honourable mentioning
Military Cross and Bar
Victory Medal

Points of interest 2

#1 Geboorteplaats
#2 Dienstneming plaats

Mijn verhaal

Francis Willie Goodwin was born in 1886 in Colwall, Herefordshire, England. In 1913 he immigrated to Australia, where he started working as a farmer. When the war broke out, Francis enlisted for the Australian Imperial Force in late August 1914. He was attached to the Australian Infantry 8th battalion, part of the 2nd Australian Brigade, of the 1st Australian Division. By August 1916 he had been promoted to 2nd Lieutenant for courageous actions at Pozieres. He had personally brought back valuable information from a patrol, just in time to check a German counterattack. He then supervised the supply of ammunition, rations and water to his company and went without sleep for three days and nights. A little later he was awarded the Military Cross and Bar for his actions on 18 and 19 August 1917, when he rescued several wounded men from no man’s land after a failed attack at Pozieres. By October 1917 Francis Willie Goodwin was a fully-fledged Lieutenant. In the meanwhile the 1st Australian Division had been brought to Flanders where it was to participate in the Third Battle of Ypres. After the 4th and 5th Australian Divisions had captured Polygon Wood on 26-28 September 1917, the next stage of the offensive was to capture the high ground south of Passchendaele aka the Broodseinde Ridge.

On the 4th of October 1917 the 1st Division advanced to the south of the village of Zonnebeke in what would become known as the Battle of Broodseinde. The Division attacked at 6 a.m. with the 1st Australian Brigade on the right and the 2nd Brigade on the left of the divisional front. Half an hour before the attack would take place the Australian jump off positions were heavily shelled by the German artillery, as the Germans were also planning an attack on the same day. Notwithstanding the heavy shellfire the 8th Battalion held their ground. At 6 a.m. the men finally advanced behind a creeping barrage. The German Infantry in front of them left their positions almost at the same time. However while the Australians broke free from the German barrage on their frontline, the Allied barrage caught the German Infantrymen in no man’s land. The results were devastating. Many Germans were killed by the barrage and those that had survived were disorientated and didn’t put up much of a fight. The advance continued. Both Romulus and Remus Wood proved difficult to advance through, as the terrain was marshy and the Woods were heavily wired. The attack was diverted round the flanks. Though the German attack had failed the surprised defenders of the 5th Prussian Guards (Grenadiers) took up their positions in various pill-boxes and fortified shell holes. Whenever they encountered opposition from such strongholds, these were outflanked and then charged.

The 8th Battalion reached the first objective aka the Red Line, just east of Romulus and Remus Wood at 6.30 a.m. While consolidating the line the 8th Battalion came under fire from 77 mm guns on the Broodseinde - Beselare Road, just east of the Red Line. These were captured by a platoon of the Battalion. After the Red Line had been consolidated by 7.30 a.m. the attack was taken over by the 6th and 7th Battalions. They eventually captured the second objective aka the Blue Line at Celtic Wood.

The attack had been a success, but casualties were high. The 8th Battalion suffered 201 casualties, including 56 men killed in action. One of the men who were killed in action was Lieutenant Francis Willie Goodwin. He was mortally wounded during the advance and was evacuated to a nearby dressing station, at Pill Box Cemetery, where he died of his wounds. He was buried in the field at Pill Box Cemetery. After the war his remains were exhumed and interred in Hooge Crater Cemetery.

Bestanden 5

Bronnen 8

"Cobbers in Khaki: The History of the 8th Battalion, 1914-1918", Austin R., McCrae, Slouch Hat Productions, 2004, pg. 163-169.
Gebruikte bronnen
"Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Uniform, 2018, pg. 110-113.
Gebruikte bronnen
Verdere verwijzing
Australian War Memorial
Gebruikte bronnen
Gebruikte bronnen
National Archives of Australia
Gebruikte bronnen
The Long, Long Trail
Gebruikte bronnen
War Diary Australian Infantry 8th Bn.
Gebruikte bronnen