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Army Chaplain?


Steve Turner
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This is an image of my wife's Grandfather Wilfred Goodwin. We know very little about his service in WW1. As this picture shows he appears to be in army uniform but the cap badge is not the one I have seen in other images of Army Chaplains. We know he became a member of the clergy but we are not sure from when? We believe he was born in 1890 and so would have been 24 in 1914, though when the photo was taken is not known. The location appears to be in England. Also confusing is that the images of Chaplains I have seen have them wearing a different cap badge and tunic. Any information to explain what is going on here and what the cap badge is would be helpful as his time in uniform is very much a mystery at the moment. Thank you.

Goodwin Wilfred in uniform.jpg

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Certainly doesn’t look like an Army Chaplains badge, which was a Maltese Cross, or Star of David. Chaplains also tended to be commissioned. 

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48 minutes ago, Steve Turner said:

Wilfred Goodwin.

Steve,

Where did he come from ?

Charlie

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Could it be the cross of St Cuthbert which was (and maybe still is) the badge of Northumbrian Universities OTC?

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33 minutes ago, sapperwho said:

Could it be the cross of St Cuthbert which was (and maybe still is) the badge of Northumbrian Universities OTC?

Yes I agree, I think you’ve cracked it.  Black background images courtesy of Mike Y at the British and Commonwealth Badge Forum.  At that time it was Durham University OTC.  I think he’s wearing the cloth titles stitched onto his shoulder strap.

B6460BDA-A382-48CB-9903-EE8EEB1383B2.jpeg

AEAE40E4-A2BC-41D2-A61B-C61EC02C53B7.jpeg

A9A605AD-4EA0-4C6E-B6C2-75260FECE89C.jpeg

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43C6870C-F29F-4379-A178-95AAFB2C255A.jpeg

3C7E764D-47BC-4444-8CA6-ED0FD06900DA.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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7 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

Yes I agree, I think you’ve cracked it.  Image courtesy of Mike Y at the British and Commonwealth Badge Forum.

Would that be Durham University OTC in 1914-18 ?

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Just now, charlie962 said:

Would that be Durham University OTC in 1914-18 ?

Yes Charlie, I was still editing. 

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Which makes me ask if the man is Alfred rather than Wilfred (Uncle Fred?) because there is an Alfred Reginald Goodwin who was temp Chaplain to the Forces, ex Hatfield College, Durham University.

Charlie

edit MIC courtesy Ancestry:

30850_A000620-02351.jpg.0a99e12ad18bec604605ba262b203c8a.jpg

Edited by charlie962
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The 1939 Register has a W L.B. Goodwin, a married man, born 24th August 1890, who was recorded as the Vicar of Cheadle Hulme. He was the first person in the household at 27 Church Street, Cheadle Hulme.

Because of the way the Register was completed you cannot be certain about the relationship to the other people in the household, but I suspect the second person, a married woman called Lily Goodwin, born 8th July 1896 and carrying out unpaid domestic duties, was his wife.

The third, fourth and fifth persons in the household are likely to be their children. As the oldest was born 1920, giving the conditions under which the Government partially released the document, I can only assume those three were dead before 1993.  As it’s a public forum I won’t put their details here.

The sixth person is a live in domestic servant, and the seventh, a piano teacher, was probably a lodger.

Going back to the birth records, the most likely match was an Wilfred Lee B. Goodwin whose birth was registered with the civil authorities in the West Ham District of Essex in the July to September quarter, (Q3), of 1890.

The death of a Wilfred Lee B. Goodwin born 24th August 1890 was recorded in the Cockermouth District of Cumberland in Q2 1969. The 1969 Probate Calendar records that the reverend Wilfred Lee Breckles Goodwin, of The Haven, Portinscale, Keswick, Cumberland, clerk in Holy Orders, died 4th May 1969. https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/Calendar?surname=Goodwin&yearOfDeath=1969&page=5#calendar

I’m having trouble getting on to the main genealogy sites at the moment, so will reboot and try again a bit later.

Hope that helps,
Peter

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5 minutes ago, PRC said:

W L.B. Goodwin, a married man, born 24th August 1890,

AR Godwin was born 1881 Dudley, I think, so your man a better fit.

1 hour ago, Steve Turner said:

We believe he was born in 1890

we need better info from op

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1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

Steve,

Where did he come from ?

Charlie

He was born and lived in London for his early years but went to university as he could not have been ordained otherwise. We know his first role took him to Newcastle but the time he spent between being raised London and his first role Newcastle if unclear to us.

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4 minutes ago, Steve Turner said:

He was born and lived in London for his early years but went to university as he could not have been ordained otherwise.

WLB Goodwin Qualified in London but was in Newcastle 1914.

WLB Goodwin Degree conferred Durham University (L Th ) in December 1914

Edited by charlie962
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2 minutes ago, Steve Turner said:

He was born and lived in London for his early years but went to university as he could not have been ordained otherwise. We know his first role took him to Newcastle but the time he spent between being raised London and his first role Newcastle if unclear to us.

Well if that’s definitely him in the photo, then you now know he was at Durham University presumably reading theology.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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27 minutes ago, PRC said:

The 1939 Register has a W L.B. Goodwin, a married man, born 24th August 1890, who was recorded as the Vicar of Cheadle Hulme. He was the first person in the household at 27 Church Street, Cheadle Hulme.

Because of the way the Register was completed you cannot be certain about the relationship to the other people in the household, but I suspect the second person, a married woman called Lily Goodwin, born 8th July 1896 and carrying out unpaid domestic duties, was his wife.

The third, fourth and fifth persons in the household are likely to be their children. As the oldest was born 1920, giving the conditions under which the Government partially released the document, I can only assume those three were dead before 1993.  As it’s a public forum I won’t put their details here.

The sixth person is a live in domestic servant, and the seventh, a piano teacher, was probably a lodger.

Going back to the birth records, the most likely match was an Wilfred Lee B. Goodwin whose birth was registered with the civil authorities in the West Ham District of Essex in the July to September quarter, (Q3), of 1890.

The death of a Wilfred Lee B. Goodwin born 24th August 1890 was recorded in the Cockermouth District of Cumberland in Q2 1969. The 1969 Probate Calendar records that the reverend Wilfred Lee Breckles Goodwin, of The Haven, Portinscale, Keswick, Cumberland, clerk in Holy Orders, died 4th May 1969. https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/Calendar?surname=Goodwin&yearOfDeath=1969&page=5#calendar

I’m having trouble getting on to the main genealogy sites at the moment, so will reboot and try again a bit later.

Hope that helps,
Peter

Yes, This all fits with the story we have. Thanks to all for all the contributions so far.

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9 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

WLB Goodwin Qualified in London but was in Newcastle 1914.

WLB Goodwin Degree conferred Durham University (L Th ) in December 1914

That's very good new information. Thank you.

 

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1 minute ago, Steve Turner said:

good new information

You will find a lot of clippings for WLBG on FindmyPast newspapers although you have to filter out where he was merely officiating at a ceremony.

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20 minutes ago, Steve Turner said:

That's very good new information. Thank you.

 

The reason he is dressed differently from a Chaplain is twofold, first his insignia is that of his officer training corps (OTC), in this case that at Durham University (you can see one of their shooting teams in a photo I posted above) rather than that of the Army Chaplains Department. Secondly, as a cadet (a trainee potential officer), he was dressed in the ordinary Tommy’s pattern of uniform, rather than the finer quality and different pattern uniform of a fully ordained and commissioned army chaplain (always known in the army as ‘padres’). 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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9 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

WLBG's ordination (courtesy FindmyPast)

1169325283_GWFGoodwinWLBRevDurham.JPG.5376dabec1f6f563a7109f26e2dea78f.JPG

That's another bit of amazing information we never had. Well done all.

5 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

You will find a lot of clippings for WLBG on FindmyPast newspapers although you have to filter out where he was merely officiating at a ceremony.

Thanks for the tip Charlie.

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22 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

The reason he is dressed differently from a Chaplain is twofold, first his insignia is that of his officer training corps (OTC), in this case that at Durham University (you can see one of their shooting teams in a photo I posted above) rather than that of the Army Chaplains Department. Secondly, as a cadet (a trainee potential officer), he was dressed in the ordinary Tommy’s pattern of uniform, rather than the finer quality and different pattern uniform of a fully ordained and commissioned army chaplain (always known in the army as ‘padres’). 

Yes, I realised something was not right re uniform and your photos really help to show how he would have fitted in with that group of people. Thanks again for all your help.

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On the 1911 Census of England and Wales a 20 year old Wilfred Lee Breckles Goodwin, born Leyton, Essex , was recorded as a live in Junior Assistant Master in Secondary Education at Aylwin College, Arnside, Westmorland, England, which appears to be a small boarding school. Very little about it on the internet, so possibly too small to have it's own cadet force.

There are newspaper reports of him officiating at various things in the Newcastle area in 1914, 1915 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1919 - and there could well be more if I play around with the search criteria.

His marriage to Lily Anderson was recorded in the Croydon District of Surrey in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1918. His occupation on the marriage certificate should give some idea of whether he was serving then with the armed forces.

There is no obvious Medal Index Card or Officer records for him in the National Archive catalogue. I'm struggling to find anything in the London Gazette to show that he was commissioned, but that is not the easiest source to search. The British Red Cross don't appear to have anything for him or his wife from the Great War period.

At the moment seems like a real shortage of timeslots in which he could possible have served in the armed forces, even if it was only in this country.

Cheers,
Peter

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9 minutes ago, PRC said:

On the 1911 Census of England and Wales a 20 year old Wilfred Lee Breckles Goodwin, born Leyton, Essex , was recorded as a live in Junior Assistant Master in Secondary Education at Aylwin College, Arnside, Westmorland, England, which appears to be a small boarding school. Very little about it on the internet, so possibly too small to have it's own cadet force.

There are newspaper reports of him officiating at various things in the Newcastle area in 1914, 1915 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1919 - and there could well be more if I play around with the search criteria.

His marriage to Lily Anderson was recorded in the Croydon District of Surrey in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1918. His occupation on the marriage certificate should give some idea of whether he was serving then with the armed forces.

There is no obvious Medal Index Card or Officer records for him in the National Archive catalogue. I'm struggling to find anything in the London Gazette to show that he was commissioned, but that is not the easiest source to search. The British Red Cross don't appear to have anything for him or his wife from the Great War period.

At the moment seems like a real shortage of timeslots in which he could possible have served in the armed forces, even if it was only in this country.

Cheers,
Peter

Hi Peter. We have not heard any family stories about him serving in WWI and the information supplied by other forum contributors seems to be saying that he was ordained in June 1914 and graduating in Nov of '14 and combined with the absence of any sort of service record seems to suggest he remained here as a member of the clergy. It was the military uniform that was confusing the family's "known history" but that has been explained by Durham University OTC but this time in uniform would have ended (I would have thought) when his time at Durham University ended. Thank you for the additional information.. Much appreciated.

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1 hour ago, Steve Turner said:

Hi Peter. We have not heard any family stories about him serving in WWI and the information supplied by other forum contributors seems to be saying that he was ordained in June 1914 and graduating in Nov of '14 and combined with the absence of any sort of service record seems to suggest he remained here as a member of the clergy. It was the military uniform that was confusing the family's "known history" but that has been explained by Durham University OTC but this time in uniform would have ended (I would have thought) when his time at Durham University ended. Thank you for the additional information.. Much appreciated.

Peter has pretty much come up with what I anticipated when musing through the basic background information that you had outlined and, for what it’s worth, I believe that the conclusion you have reached is a sound one. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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His entry in the 1932 edition of Crockfords Clerical Directory (courtesy of ancestry)

I read this that he was curate at St Silas, Byker, Newcastle 1914-1918

545984293_Screenshot2021-10-25at15_06_40.png.8103af154b3dd73f53e805e37dc8297c.png

Edited by travers61
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