The GOODSON family – Private GOODSON, Sidney Robert (1897-1918)

Sidney Robert Goodson was the eldest of the two children of Robert Goodson (1861-1922) and Eve Jane Mills (1858-1943) who married in 1886.  Robert and Eve moved to Leicester from their native Nottingham between 1886 and 1890, when their daughter Eva Mary (1890-1977) was born, though she was baptised at St Mary de Castro in February 1890.  From 1890 to at least 1896 they lived at 26 Gerrard Street.  Between 1897 and 1900 they lived at 6 New Park Street (near Braunstone Gate) and this is where Sidney Robert was born, in 1897.  He was baptised at St Mary de Castro on Boxing Day in 1897.  Eva attended King Richard’s Road School, graduating from the infants’ department in 1896, so it is quite likely that Sidney also attended.  From 1901-1908 the Goodsons lived at 9 Norman Street, moving later in 1908 down the road to number 13 Norman Street where Sidney spent the remainder of his childhood.  Sometimes the family had a boarder living with them.  Robert Goodson worked as a bookbinder and later on daughter Eva worked as an elementary school teacher.

Nothing is known about Sidney’s early work experiences and not much is known about Sidney’s military experience during the war.  He enlisted at Leicester and first served as a private in the Cheshire Regiment 291962, then transferring to the 1/4th Kings Shropshire Light Infantry no 28289.  He took part in the fighting around Messines in April 1918.  The days immediately preceding Sidney’s death were spent in reorganisation and training.  At 7am on 10th May 1918 his battalion travelled by light railway to the front line at Dickebusch, relieving the 9th Royal Welsh Fusiliers.  Sidney was one of nine members of C Company who were killed during the relief, in the early hours of 11th May 1918.  He left effects of £14 13s 7d which was sent to his mother in September.  A War Gratuity of £7 10s was paid to Eve in August 1919.  He is commemorated at Tyne Cot memorial to the missing of Ypres, suggesting that his death was caused by a direct hit on his trench by a German shell.

On the 31st May 1918 the Leicester Mercury reported “GOODSON – Killed in action, in a place not stated, on May 10 or 11, Private Sidney Robert Goodson, age 20, KSLI, dearly loved and only son of Mr and Mrs R Goodson, 13 Norman-street.”

Robert and Eve continued to live at 13 Norman Street, where Robert died in June 1922.  Eve stayed on for a while but between 1925 and 1928 moved elsewhere, possibly to live with her daughter Eva who by this time lived at 281 Hinckley Road.  Eva Mary was confirmed at St Martin’s in 1920.  Eve died in Leicester in 1943 and Eva in 1977, unmarried.

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