23/766 Sergeant Francis Goodwin   aka Francis John Goodwin - New Zealand Rifle Brigade

Born on 12th September 1893 in Wellington the eldest son of Emily Hannah (nee Morgan) and John Francis Goodwin, known as Frank he had younger brother Stanley Thomas and younger sister Theresa Matilda Goodwin.[i]

John Francis Goodwin was an attendant of the Porirua Mental Hospital being first recorded in Wises Directory as an
Asylum Warden in 1896/97.[ii]

Frank and his sibling were all enrolled at Porirua School, Frank being the first in 1899[iii]. Frank’s father is listed as
working at the Porirua Mental Hospital up to 1910. The family then moved north to Auckland between 1910 and 1915
as John Francis Goodwin is listed as a Head Warden for the Auckland Asylum in 1915 and was living in Water View, Avondale, Auckland and this was the address his son Frank gave when he enlisted in the NZEF[iv].

Frank is listed as a single man, living with his parents and working as an ‘operator’ for Mr Flynn, Auckland.
23/766 Rifleman Goodwin entered Military Camp on 28th April 1915 as part of C Company, 1st Battalion,
New Zealand Rifle Brigade (NZRB) and following basic training left New Zealand with the unit on 9th October 1915.

23/766 Rifleman Goodwin arrived in Suez on 14th November 1915, the 1st Battalion, NZRB was attached to the
Western Frontier Force that engaged the Senussi (religious sect) who had invaded Egypt from Libya[v]. Following the
defeat of the Senussi the 1st Battalion, NZRB joined the 2nd, 3rd and 4th battalions, NZRB in Egypt where, following reorganization of the battalions, left Alexandria on 7th April 1916 for France.

The NZRB as part of the NZ Division was assigned to a ‘quiet sector’
of the Western Front to gain experience in trench warfare. The first major engagement for the NZ Division was the third phase of the Battle of the Somme.

NZ Troops move up towards the Somme

On 15th September 1916, C Company, 1st Battalion, NZRB was the in the third wave of the attack with the plan was to leap frog
the first two waves as they meet their objectives. Rifleman Goodwin was among the casualties on the first day of the
battle. Suffering gunshot wounds he was evacuated to the rear and admitted to the St John’s Ambulance Hospital,
Estaples where he remained for a week before being transferred to the No 6 Convalescent Hospital. Rifleman Goodwin rejoined the 1st Battalion on 11th October 1916.

Rifleman Goodwin remained in France and had times in hospital with mumps and boils. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in October 1917 as the NZRB reorganized after the Battle of Passchendaele. In January 1918 he was promoted
to Corporal and then in April 1918 to Sergeant Goodwin.

During August 1918 the New Zealand Division had defeated German Forces in the Battle of Baupame and was pushing towards the Hindenburg Line. The Germans were in strong positions in and around the village of Harvincourt and to weaken their position an attack was launched to capture Trescault Spur.
The New Zealand Rifle Brigade was part of an assault launched on
9th September 1918 with C Company, 1st Battalion, NZRB one of the
first elements in the line. On 12th September 1918 a second push
onward up Trescault Spur was launched. C Company, 1st Battalion was
again in the front of the assault[vi]. It was during this assault that
Sergeant Goodwin was wounded a second time with gunshot wounds
to the chest.  

German Prisenors carry NZ wounded to the rear September 1918

Sergeant Goodwin was evacuated by the NZ Field Ambulance to the
56th Casualty Clearing Station and by 3th September 1918 was admitted
to the 11th Stationary Hospital where he was stabilised. On 24th September 1918 Sergeant Goodwin was evacuated, by hospital ship to England and on 25th September 1918 admitted to the No 1 NZ General Hospital, Brockenhurst, England.

Sergeant Goodwin remained in hospital until December 1918 when he was shipped back to New Zealand leaving England on 24th December 1919. In New Zealand Sergeant Goodwin had ongoing treatment and was granted leave till
23rd March 1919 when he was discharged ‘of being no longer physically fit on account of wounds received (GSW chest).’

Frank returned to live with his parents and is listed as a labourer[vii] in the electoral rolls.

Frank married Sybil Rita Spencer Waite in 1937 and the couple set up house in Ponsonby, Auckland.[viii] The couple had one child, under 16,[ix]when Frank attempted to enlist in the WW2 Home Guard but he was considered as permanently unfit, the results of the wounds he had received in WW1.

Frank died in Ponsonby on 29th March 1957.

F Goodwin is listed on the Porirua Roll of Honour – these also served.

New Zealand Rifle Brigade (Earl of Liverpool’s Own) – Wikipedia
The Official History of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade 1914 – 1919: NZETC
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
Paperspast Online
Porirua School Jubilee 1873 - 1923

NZ troops on the road to the Somme August 1916: Imperial War Museum
German Prisoners carry NZ wounded to the rear September 1918: RSA Collection - Alexander Turnbull  
Belgium September 1918 - 

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] Porirua, 1896/97, Wises Directory Wellington Area
[iii] Porirua School classes
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Records: 23/766 Sergeant Frank Goodwin
[v] The Official History of the NZRB – Chapter II
[vi] The Official History of the NZRB – Chapter  XVI
[vii] NZ Electoral Rolls
[viii] NZ BDM
[ix] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Records: 23/766 Sergeant Frank Goodwin

NZ War Art - Belgium 1918