Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Godfrey Family

Sunday 21st November 1915: A Caddington family now living in Luton has contributed no less than five sons and one son-in-law to the Army – a considerable change from bricklaying, the trade in which their father Alfred Godfrey and most of the brothers were engaged before the war. A sixth brother also tried to enlist but was rejected. The brothers are:
  • Sapper Alfred Godfrey, aged 32. Alfred served in the army for some years before the war. He was a member of the Leighton Buzzard Police Force before he was recalled to his regiment as a reservist in August 1914. About five months ago he was invalided home suffering from rheumatism, but is now back in barracks waiting to return to the Front.
  • Sapper Percy Godfrey, aged 31. Before the war Percy worked for builder Mr J. Frost. He is married with four children who live with his wife in Butlin Road, Luton. He was an old Volunteer and joined the East Anglian Royal Engineers in January. He was sent to the Dardanelles from where he was hospitalised with poisoned hands and arms. He is now getting on well.
  • Jack Godfrey, aged 29. Jack tried to join the East Anglian Royal Engineers, but was rejected on physical grounds.[1]
  • Sapper Oscar Godfrey, aged 28. Oscar is in the Royal Engineers, having joined up in September 1914.
  • Private Harry Godfrey, aged 24. Harry joined the Royal Army Medical Corps last August and is now serving in the Dardenelles. His wife and children live in Chapel Street, Luton.
  • Lance-Corporal Archie Godfrey, aged 23. Archie served before the war in the 3rd Bedfords and was called up as a reservist. He was transferred to the 1st Bedfords and sent to the Front. He was reported missing after the Battle of Ypres and nothing his since been heard of him. According to the War Office report he is missing “believed to be killed”.[2]
Sapper Percy Morris, son-in-law of the Godfreys, is also serving with the East Anglian Royal Engineers. His wife and family live in Hastings Street and he too follows the family trade of bricklaying. Sadly Mr and Mrs. Godfrey have also lost two nephews to the war: Private Horace Mardle of Caddington of the 1/5th Bedfords, who died at Gallipoli on 16th August; and Joseph Pashley of Nottingham who was killed in France in March serving with the Coldstream Guards.

Source: Luton Times, 19th November 1915

[1] It seems John [“Jack”] Godfrey was later successful in joining the East Anglian Royal Engineers. He died on 24th July 1916 and is buried at Caddington.

[2] Archie was killed on 9th November 1914. His death is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial.

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