Evans, Goodman

Goodman Evans was born in Dyserth in 1885. His mother, Mary Ann, was the eldest child of Edward and Letitia Edwards. His father was Robert Evans. Goodman chose to serve in the forces under the name of ‘Edwards’ which suggests that he may have been brought up by his grandparents.

According to the 1881 census the family was living in upper Dyserth. Seventeen year old Mary Ann had two brothers and two sisters; Robert (15), John (13), Margaret (7) and Elizabeth (4). Like their mother all were born in Dyserth and were Welsh speaking.

By 1891 the Edwards’ had moved to Weaver’s Lane. The father, having previously worked in the lead mines, was now an agricultural labourer. On the night of the census there were just four people in the house; Edward and Letitia, daughter Margaret and their 5 year old grandson, Goodman.

Ten years later Edward and Letitia were living in a house called Royal Oak in lower Dyserth. Mary Ann and Goodman were there too on the night of the census. Fifteen year old Goodman was employed as a platelayer on the railway. His grandfather was still working – now in the limestone quarry. There was no retirement pension in 1901!

By 1911 Goodman had moved to England and was living in Tranmere, Birkenhead. He was lodging with a young Irish family – Joseph and Mary Jane Fitzsimmons and their children Bridget and Joseph. Joseph senior worked in the shipyard as did their other boarder Phillip McKinna – also Irish. Goodman was employed in the soap factory. This was possibly Lever Brothers in Port Sunlight.

We know that at some point Goodman enlisted in Wrexham under the name of Edwards. The account of his death in the Denbighshire Free Press suggests this took place in 1904. As a reservist he was called up on mobilisation and served as a private (Guardsman) with the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards.

When war broke out in August 1914 the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards was based in Chelsea with the 4th (Guards) Brigade, 2nd Division. On the 15th of August 1914 they proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre. By the end of 1914 they had seen action in The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne and, in October and November, the First Battle of Ypres.

There were huge losses during the first Battle of Ypres. All but four officers and one hundred and forty men of the 2nd Battalion fell in action. Goodman Edwards was one of them. He was twenty nine years old when he died on the 10th of November having served his country overseas for just 2 months.


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