Thursday, 22 May 2014

THE SOMME - PART 2

Four more men from the parish were killed as the bitter fighting carried on. The first was 19-year-old Lieutenant William Godfrey.



(17) 2nd Lieutenant William John GODFREY 1st Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders).

 William John Godfrey was the youngest son of Colonel Albert Hamilton Godfrey, J.P. and of Florence Margaret Bowring of Brooke House, Ash.
He was educated at Rugby from 1910 until 1914.  From The Royal Military College at Sandhurst, he was gazetted to the Black Watch in August, 1915, and went to the front in France in April, 1916..
He went through all the fighting in the Battle of the Somme during July and August.  But his luck ran out in early September, in an attack on High Wood, whilst he was in temporary command of his company, which rushed the German trenches, taking over fifty prisoners.
Finding he had no communication on his left, he undertook the task of finding out what had happened.  In so doing, he was shot through the head, and the Lance-Corporal who accompanied him was wounded and taken prisoner.  He was posted as missing, and later reported as having been killed in action on 3rd September 1916, aged 19.