James Morton GOODWIN
Rank: Private
Number: 84688
Unit: 4th Cavalry Field Ambulance ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
Date of Death: 5 April 1918
Age: 29
Cemetery: St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France

Nothing is known of James’ early life, except that Army records published after the War, indicate he had been born in Stockport but was living in Chester at the time that he enlisted. The latter information may be an error as all of his other connections, including his place of enlistment, still appear to be Stockport. In 1914, he married Margaret Shandley in a civil ceremony registered in the town and, after the War, she was living at 6 Caroline Street, Edgeley.

The Army Field Ambulance was much more than an emergency transport in the sense we would know today. It operated a Main Dressing Station only a little way behind the front line and, also, provided the stretcher bearers who would carry a man from his unit’s aid post to the Dressing Station. They would then be responsible for the transport of men from the Dressing Stations to field hospitals some miles behind the lines. As such, the men were almost always close to the front line and worked well within range of the German artillery and many became casualties.

It is not known when James received his fatal wounds, but he would have travelled the same route, being taken to the field hospital (a casualty clearing station) where his condition would have been stabilised. He would then have been further evacuated to the full hospital facilities at Rouen, where he failed to recover.

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