Arthur Harold Goddard, known as Harold, was born in Cow Honeybourne, Worcestershire, in 1899. Harold’s father, George, worked as a farm labourer and the family moved from village to village as George moved from farm to farm in search of work. By 1911, the family had settled in Broadway and Harold found work as a labourer in the employ of Mr H. Roberts at nearby Buckland.
Aged 18, Harold enlisted in Worcester in August 1917 and he joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Harold was posted to the Western Front on 3rd April 1918 joining his battalion just before they took part in the Battle of Estaires. From the 12th April 1918 the battalion was involved in the Battle of Hazebrouck which lasted four days and it was on the first day of the battle that Harold was reported as missing in action. It was later reported by letter to his parents that Harold had been killed in action on either 12th or 14th April and that he had been buried between Estaires and Le Grand Pacault. It was later confirmed that Harold had been killed in action on the 14th and Harold is commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium, which is about 15 miles away from where he was originally reported to have been buried.
Harold’s older brother, Frederick, served with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Frederick served with the 1st Battalion and was posted to the Western Front from where he wrote frequent letters home from ‘somewhere in France’ recounting his experiences of being in the trenches including surviving a gas attack on 24th May 1915. Frederick was wounded in the shin by an explosive bullet whilst on listening patrol on the Western Front on 31st October 1915. After months of hospital treatment, Frederick eventually lost his leg and he was honourably discharged with the Silver War Badge on 16th December 1916. Frederick re-enlisted with the Army Pay Corps in September 1918 and served in Nottingham until he was transferred to the Army Reserve on 9th March 1919.
Harold is one of 48 commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial. Further information about Harold, Frederick and their fellow men from Broadway commemorated on the memorial can be found in ‘Broadway Remembers’ (a not-for-profit publication published to coincide with the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by the Imperial War Museum. Proceeds to the Poppy Appeal).