The GOODRICH family – Sergeant GOODRICH, Harry (1874-1947) Private GOODRICH, Albert Edward (1876-1965) and Battery Quarter Master Sergeant GOODRICH, Arthur William (1881-1967)

Henry Goodrich (1844-1893) and Sarah Ann Blankley Lister (c1841-1918) married at Christ Church, Leicester in October 1871. They had three sons – Harry (1874-1947), Albert Edward (1876-1965) and Arthur William (1881-1967) and three daughters, Caroline Jane (1876-1959), Gertrude (1879-1961) and Eliza Lister (1882-1965). At the time of their marriage Henry was a Corporal in 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment, living in barracks at Portsmouth.  Soon after he returned to civilian life and settled with his family in Leicester.  From circa 1876 to 1879 Henry was a grocer and beer seller with his own premises at 51 Gresham Street, moving to at 23 Checketts Road and obtaining a beer license in October 1879.  He remained a shopkeeper there for at least a couple of years, but the business appears to have failed and so by at least 1891 and probably as early as 1889 Henry was working as a shoe finisher.  Having been born in Leicester, Henry may have worked in the shoe trade before becoming a soldier.  From at least 1891 the Goodrich family lived at 8 Chandos Street.  However, Henry died in 1893.  All of Henry’s sons joined the army – Harry in 1893 and Albert Edward in 1895.  Arthur William remained with his mother, living together at 19 Curzon Street until his marriage.

Although she had not married at St Martin’s or had her children baptised there, Sarah was a member of the St Martin’s congregation in 1909.

Arthur William Goodrich was born in Leicester in 1881.  In 1901 aged 19 he was working as an engine cleaner on the railway and living alone with his mother at 19 Curzon Street.  He moved to 124 Upper Conduit Street shortly before marrying domestic servant Mary Jephson (1880-1970) at St Peter’s on 17th July 1909.  Their daughter Gertrude Elizabeth (1910-1917) was born in 1910 and baptised at St Peter’s on 26th May 1912.  Arthur continued working for the railway and lived at 124 Upper Conduit Street for the rest of his life.  By 1909 he was a loco fireman for the Midland Railway.  During the war he served as Battery Quarter Master Sergeant in the 7th Brigade Royal Field Artillery (no 910775), enlisting on 11th May 1915.  He served throughout the war but was invalided out of the army on 1st July 1919 and was awarded the Silver War Badge.  He suffered sickness which precluded him from future service.  Sadly Gertrude died at Leicester Royal Infirmary in August 1917, aged seven.  She was buried at Welford Road Cemetery.  It is possible that Gertrude died whilst Arthur was away on active service.

Mary and Arthur do not appear to have had any more children together after Gertrude, but they were joined at Upper Conduit Street by Arthur’s mother after the war and until her death.  Arthur died in Leicester in 1967, Mary in 1970.

Albert Edward Goodrich was born on 25th March 1876 and baptised at St Peter’s, Belgrave, on 12th July 1883 along with sisters Eliza and Caroline.  After finishing school he began working as a tailor’s cutter and then, like his older brother, enlisted into the 1st Leicestershire Regiment, in 1895.  He served in South Africa 1899-1900 and then settled back in Leicester, where he married Annie Green (c1877-1954) at St Leonard’s on Christmas Eve, 1903.  Both gave their address as 6 Harrison Street.  Albert and Annie had four surviving children – Lawrence Edward (1903-1965), Horace Edward (1905-1993), Albert Leonard (1908-1990), Gladys Annie (1910-1995) all born in Leicester and living at 150 Surrey Street in 1911.  Albert returned to his civilian job as a tailor’s cutter.

When the new 11th (Midland Pioneers) battalion was raised in 1915 Albert joined, enlisting on 18th November 1915 aged 38.  He was then in “A1” health.  Albert landed in France on 26th March 1916, serving there until March 1919 with a 15 day break in 1918.  He and his comrades carried out road building and trench construction, often under fire, and was part of the Advance in Flanders.  He was a good soldier who committed no recorded offences during his service.  During active service he contracted bad teeth meaning that he needed dentures, which were themselves in poor condition upon leaving the army.

After demobilising in 1919 Albert returned to 150 Surrey Street and to work as a tailor’s cutter.  In time their daughter Gladys’s husband moved in and they both remained with Albert and Annie until Albert’s death in 1965, Annie having died eleven years previously.  Son Horace also married and moved in next door with his new wife, remaining until after the death of his parents.  Albert died in October 1965 aged 85 and was buried at Welford Road Cemetery.

1stBatLeicsReg_FullHarry Goodrich was born in Leicester on 30th September 1874.  He began his career as an apprentice in the shoe trade, serving for four years under Mr Rawson before becoming a shoe clicker, but in 1893 joined the 3rd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, aged 19 with a height of just 5’3”.  In 1910 he served with the 1st Battalion.  By the time Harry ended the first term of his engagement in May 1913, he had achieved a good level of education and served in South Africa and India.  He was a good soldier, never drunk on duty and reprimanded only once for drunkenness in barracks, in 1897, and was decorated with both a host of medals and several tattoos.  In 1913 Harry was given a reference which described him as “honest, sober, industrious, intelligent and always a good disciplinarian…..will make a good clerk.”  By October 1915 Harry was a warrant officer.  Between 1906 and 1915 he served at home, for example he was based at Aldershot in 1911.

1st Bttn Leicestershire Regiment in 1910 – the Officers and Men who were with the battalion during the siege of Ladysmith. Taken at Talavera Barracks, Aldershot. Harry is 3rd from the right, 3rd row.

Harry married Ada Mary Bristow (1873-1955) in Ealing in 1909.  Ada was born in Lincolnshire and was a housemaid in Leicester in 1891 – perhaps Ada and Harry had been sweethearts for a long time.  They had three children – Lilian Evelyn (1910-1996) who was born in Aldershot and twin boys Eric Montague (1913-1981) and Leonard Roland (1913-1936) who were born in Leicester on 17th April and baptised at St Thomas’s Wigston on 25th May 1913.  Father Harry’s address at that time was Glen Parva Barracks.

In November 1915, aged 41, Harry joined the 11th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment (Midland Pioneers) and shortly afterwards, in March 1916, set sail from Southampton for France, where he served until October 1919.  He was eventually demobilised for the last time in March 1919 with the rank of acting Regimental Sergeant Major.  He returned to Leicester Road, Oadby and then moved to 71 St Saviours Road East, Leicester.  Despite many years of active service Harry claimed no disability or ill health.

After the war Harry set up as a tobacconist – in 1922 still at 71 St Saviour’s Road, moving in around 1931 to number 329 St Saviour’s Road.  After the death of his son Leonard in 1936 Harry retired and moved to 111 Scraptoft Lane, where he died on 3rd July 1947 aged 72.  Harry and Leonard are buried together at Welford Road Cemetery.  Ada lived on until 1955 and was not buried at Welford Road, though she is commemorated on their gravestone which reads:

Goodrich 4In Loving Memory of/Our dear son/Leonard Roland Goodrich/Who died March 26th 1936 in his 23rd year/At rest/Also Harry Goodrich father of the above/Who died July 3rd 1947, aged 77/Ever in our thoughts/also Ada Mary Goodrich/Beloved wife of Harry/and mother of Leonard/Died Jan 10th 1953 aged 81 years/Always in our thoughts/Reunited


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