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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

william Godwin


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Good Morning.

On behalf of a friend could someone please help where she could search for any info on ,William Godwin.

He joined the Wiltshire Regiment,4 November 1902,( he was 16+ but,he stated his age as 18+ ).

He was in the Machine Gun Corps,retired as a Company Sergeant Major.

My friend said William was born c1896.



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Hi,this will be your lad.

6125 Pte William Godwin 2nd Wiltshire Regiment & 21541 Acting C.S.M 140th M.G.C.

he has 17 pages of pension records on Ancestry.

all the best Gary.

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  • 10 months later...


Sorry to resurrect such an old post but does your friend have a photo of CSM William Godwin?

I'm trying to identify some MGC men in a group photo. One of the men is a company sergeant major. I wonder if your friend has a photo of William which has been handed down through the family which I might compare to the man in my photo. A long shot I know but...

You can see a copy of my photo here http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=185325


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  • 3 months later...

21541 CSM William Godwin DCM, MM, 57th Bn MSC was my grandfather.

He was born in 1885 and lived until he was 88 years old.

His commendation in the London Gazette 3 September 1919 stated

"for 22 months the conduct of this warrent officer was exemplary. He was cool under shell fire. In the attack on Schaap Baillie on 26th October 1917 he did excellent work controlloing ammunition supply under heavy fire. In the attack on the Drocourt Queant line on 2nd September 1918 he did valuable work arranging ammunition supply and also when his commanding officer was badly wounded, he not only saved him by his prompt assistance but also his excellent reports enabled the officer commanding comapny to get touch with the situation and arrange for the successful carrying out of the operation"

My grandfather as with many others spoke little of his experiences. He was the Standard Bearer for the Wootten Bassett Royal British Legion for many years. I would be grateful for any information about him


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  • 2 weeks later...

@ Rich posting 4th Oct 2012

I followed your link to the photo

Having been unable to see any likeness to my grandfather in this picture I asked my father [william's son] to see if he could see him.....we have concluded he is not on this photo.


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What a privilege reading your grandfather's service record ! Not only did he manage to serve 18 years from 1902 to 1920 and escape physically unscathed (MOs comment on medical at discharge:"splendid physically and healthy in every way") but his record did too,considering all those papers which were lost in a 1940 bombing,and those saved that were damaged by fire and water,and yet his pages are untainted ! You really must read them yourself on Ancestry UK. If you don't have access to that at home you could likely get to see it on a Library PC near you or take the free Ancestry trial !

He is easily found,another plus ! Enter William Godwin 6125 Wiltshire born 1885 Oaksey Wiltshire and there you have 17 pages.

The papers give general details of his service and some salient points.You mention he won the MM in 1916,and the DCM in 1918,and served at a few overseas bases including St Helena where he received the campaign medal for South Africa in 1903 (yes,I'm surprised too).

Without going into further detail too much he landed in France on 6 Oct 1914 with 2 Wiltshires and came home on 16 Sep 1916. Transferred to MGC on 5 Dec 1916 and returned to France on 11 Feb 1917 and stayed for the remainder of the war and came home on 19 Jan 1919. From these dates you could also get to read the War Diaries of the two units. 2 Wiltshire Diary is free online at the website The Wardrobe and 170 MG Company is in the Discovery Catalogue at Kew under WO95/2979/9 for the period Feb 1917 to Feb 1918 and that should be downloadable too (cost 3.36 though).There is also a bit more of a Diary somewhere covering the remainder of his time overseas.


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Sotonmate thanks for all that I am beginning to build a picture. I knew he had fought in the Boer War but you have given me some directions to follow. Someone else has said about him having 17 pages of pension records.......am just waiting for payday to pursue!!!many thanks Lou

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