17185 Sjt John William GOODWIN 1/4th York and Lancaster Regiment.
Killed in Action 13th October 1918.
John William GOODWIN was born in Sheffield in 1894 and can be found in the census records to be living at Boden Street, Sheffield. At the age of 20yrs he chose to enlist into the army at Sheffield and at this time he was a cabinet case maker.
John joined the army at Sheffield, his enlistment date is shown as 17th November 1914. He was given service number 17185. On the 9th December 1914 he was promoted to Lance Corporal with the 11th Batt York and Lancaster Regiment and subsequently promoted to Lance Sergeant on 13th May 1915. On 1st September 1916 he transferred to 9th Batt York and Lancaster Regiment as a Sergeant.
It is not clear when John joined the 1/4th Batt York and Lancaster Regiment but what is without doubt is that he was killed in action fighting with the 1/4th Batt on 13th October 1918.
On this date the 1/4th York and Lancaster Regiment were to take part in the attack on the village of HASPRES near Cambrai. The 1/4th Batt were to lead the attack with the intention of mopping up the village of HASPRES and dominate the high ground near the village supported in the advance by 1/5th York and Lancaster Regiment on the right flank, 1/5th Seaforth Highlanders on the left flank with 1/4th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in reserve.
At 0645hrs on the 13th October 1918 advanced elements set off into the ground between their positions North of Cambrai and at 0845hrs the 1/4th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment began their advance towards their objective. As they crested high ground they were met by heavy machine gun fire from ahead and the flanks. Our own artillery barrage commenced at 0900hrs concentrating on the village of HASPRES. This left an area of around 1 mile of open ground for our troops to cross whilst being subjected to heavy machine gun fire supported by enemy artillery. This resulted in the loss of all company officers and the battalion had to give up the attack having taken heavy losses.
The strength of the enemy had not been anticipated and no provision or attempt was made to draw our artillery back onto the enemy positions.
The battalion suffered :-
Officers killed x 2, wounded x 2 and missing x 12.
Ordinary ranks killed x 43, wounded x 201 and missing x 72.
John was one of those who’s body was never found and he is remembered with honour on the VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL near Haucourt and Cambrai.