Private 30670 Joseph Emmanuel Goode

Goode Joseph 96 432x600

Killed in Action on Sunday, 29th September 1918, age 20.
Buried in Grave B. 10. 'Special Memorial' at Bellicourt British Cemetery, Aisne, France.

'A' Company of 1st/6th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.

Son of John and Mary Ann Goode, of Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/238197/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
6 Hall Street, Rounds Square, Tipton, Staffs.
John Good (42, Furnaceman, born Tipton), his wife Mary Ann (41, Char Woman, born Warwickshire), and their 4 children: John (18, Feeble Minded, born Hednesford), Samuel (12, born Tipton), Joseph (3, born Tipton), and Henry (9 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
6 Court 3 House, Queens Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Mary Ann Goode (50, Widow, Char Woman, born Warwickshire), and her 4 children: John William (28, 'Never done anything', born Hednesford), Joseph (13, School, born Tipton), Harry (10, born Tipton), and Alfred (7, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After Joseph's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £16/6/0d (16 pounds and 6 shillings); this was paid to his mother, Mary A., in March 1919. His War Gratuity was £9/0/0d (9 pounds exactly), this was paid to his brother, Thomas, in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Joseph had enlisted in approximately August 1916.

Action resulting in his death

The 29th September 1918 was to be the day the Hindenburg Line, the final truly defensible German defence line, was to be breached. The 46th Division was to storm the St. Quentin Canal between Bellenglise and the Riqueval Bridge with the 1/6th South Staffs to the north-west of Bellenglise. At 'zero' hour (5.50 a.m.) the 1/6th South Staffords approached the western bank of the canal enshrouded in fog. Lightly manned enemy outposts presented little resistance and they re-grouped at the west bank of the canal.

Each man was to make his own way across the canal which was in a cutting some 50 feet deep. Moving up the opposite bank, they advanced to a second line of trenches, comprising heavily fortified concrete defences and machine gun emplacements. The persistent fog allowed the Staffs to approach the German trenches before rushing in with the bayonet. Many of the defenders similarly made use of the fog to escape although many more were made prisoner.

After a brief pause, two companies of the 1/6th South Staffs continued the forward advance whilst the other two companies now turned to their right to enter Bellenglise. The Staffords met with little resistance and had little more to do than mop-up the remaining Germans paying special attention to the entrance to the Bellenglise canal tunnel, a previously impregnable part of the Hindenburg Line, and from where they captured almost a thousand prisoners.

The War Diary for 29th September 1918 modestly states: "At 5.50 a.m. under a heavy Artillery and Machine Gun Barrage the Battalion as part of the 137th Infantry Brigade crossed the St. Quentin Canal and captured the Hindenburg Line and the Village of Bellenglise." After the attack, General H. S. Rawlinson wrote "The forcing of the Hindenburg Line on the canal, and the capture of Bellenglise ranks as one of the finest and most dashing exploits of the war.".

On this auspicious day, Joseph Goode was killed in action, one of 26 men of the 1/6th South Staffs to lose their lives. Joseph has a gravestone in Bellicourt British Cemetery, which says he is 'believed to be buried in this cemetery'.
Words in part from "Wolverhampton Warriors" by Roy C. Evans.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 18th November 1918
South Staffs Regiment, Goode, 30670, J.E., (Tipton).