Rank: Gunner
Number: 706911
Unit: A Battery, 231st Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 11 August 1917
Age: 24
Cemetery: Fosse No. 10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-en-Gohelle, Pas de Calais, France

Walter Goodier and Mary Johnson had married in the early 1880s at St Paul’s Church, Portwood. By 1901, when the national census was taken, they were living in “two up, two down” accommodation at 334 Hempshaw Lane, Heavily. It was not just the couple living in these four rooms, but also their seven children – ranging from 19 year old Arthur to 3 year old Eliza. Walter worked as a planker in one of the local hatworks until he died in 1904.

Jacob’s service number indicates that his original unit was the 211th Brigade of the Field Artillery. Originally named the 2nd East Lancashire Brigade it was a prewar Territorial unit. Jacob’s original number, 2761, is an early one suggesting that if he wasn’t a Territorial soldier before the War, then he joined soon after. The Brigade was disbanded in February 1917 and this will be when Jacob joined the 231st Brigade.

To the north, the Third Battle of Ypres was in its second week but for the troops around the French mining town of Lens, 11 August 1917 was a relatively quiet time with no major attacks under way. However, even in the quiet times, men were never very far from danger, as recorded in the Brigade’s War Diary, “A” Battery “had very bad luck in the afternoon, a shell falling amongst a party just as they were getting into the signal dug-out. Gunners Wood and Goodier being killed and Sergeant Sidley, Gunner Gager and Gunner Perry being wounded and admitted to hospital. Three other ranks were wounded and remained at duty.”

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