Friday, 13 June 2014

Remembering WWI: My Grandfather Hugh Goff

I see the Imperial War Museum is creating Lives of the First World War which is an interactive platform, a permanent memorial to the 8 million men and women from Britain and across the Commonwealth who served in uniform or worked on the home front during the war. I signed up so I could add some photographs of my Grandfather. To be honest I'm finding it a bit clunky and hard to use because it wants me to sign up to websites and link in to stuff just so as I can enter information I already have.

So I thought I'd post my own information anyway and maybe struggle with the Lives of the First World War afterwards.

Here is Hugh Stuart Trevor Goff, always known as Tommy, aged about 8. Tommy was born 21 August 1885 in Hampshire, but brought up in Pau, in South West France because my Great Grandmother didn't like England. Despite being brought up in France Tommy never ate garlic. How did that happen do you suppose?

Tommy joined up as a Private - he was already 29 so probably too old to be called up at the start of the war but like so many people he joined up anyway. He had left school at 14 to go to Dartmouth, following in his brother Reggie's footsteps, but the Navy turned him down. Family history says the Navy thought Tommy wasn't healthy enough for them. And instead of returning to school Tommy went to work in a garage. Lucky for him really; because he knew about engines he went into the Royal Army Service Corps and probably had a slightly less horrible war than many. Although as he never talked about the war it's hard to know.

Tommy was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 3rd March 1915.
This document is framed and won't fit in my scanner so I had to photograph it instead.

Taken after the Second Battle of Ypres. So I suppose late May or early June 1915

Tommy was mentioned in despatches three times. This certificate dated April  1916 was signed by Winston Churchill. Tommy was promoted to Temporary Captain in 1916.

Here is Tommy in the centre, in September 1916. You can see his RASC cap badge. 
From top left and working clockwise the others are identified only as H, S, L, S, A, C and P. 
The photograph has been cut down with scissors.  

This photograph was taken in 1916. For some reason Tommy was put in charge of the band.
As far as I know he had no musical talent whatever. He's the one in the middle behind the drum. 

Tommy saved very few photographs of the war so this must have been important to him. 
This is St Omer in 1917. It looks freezing. And look at those guys on the roof of the building.

Wissant 1918. Tommy is on the left.

This is Tommy with my Grandmother Winfred Quigley in 1918. 
They were married in Chelsea in 1918. 
Granny hated the name Winifred and after they were married she was known as Goff.

W Sector 1919 Tommy is fifth from the right at the front. 
He was a full Captain by the end of the war and in 1919 was a Temporary Major.
He was awarded the OBE in 1919 and didn't leave the army until 1920.

I don't know what happened here but it seems to be Tommy in hospital in Calais in 1919. 
The hospital appears to be a beach. If you've ever been to Calais you'll know how windy it always is. I can't imagine lying in bed on a windy beach was very much fun.

After he left the army Tommy obviously moved around a lot. 
The War Office struggled to send him his despatches certificates.

He was a Major with the Ministry of Supply in 1941. 

He had two children and two grandchildren and died in January 1973.

Without signing up to one of the army records services this is all the information I have. 
Maybe I'll look into his war record further one day, but not just now.

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