Harold Goddard was born in Macclesfield in 1892 and baptised on 21 March 1893 at Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church, the son of Alice (nee Woolley) and Joshua Goddard, a silk weaver of Hurdsfield, Macclesfield. In 1901, eight-year-old Harold was living at 10 Cotton Street, Macclesfield with his parents and siblings Martha (21), Joshua (18), Henry (16), Nellie (12), John (10), Alice (7) and four-month-old Arthur. By 1911 Harold and his brother Henry were both employed as silk hands and living at 68 Bond Street, Macclesfield with their sister Martha and her husband.
Harold married Olive Lawton at the Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Church, Cumberland Street, Macclesfield on 25 December 1913. The couple had two sons: Arthur, born in 1914, and Harold, born in 1915.
Harold was employed by the British Automobile Traction Company as a motor bus driver, and the family lived first at 2 Court 8 House, King Edward Street and later at 12 Court 5 House, King Edward Street, Macclesfield.
Harold enlisted in November 1914, joining the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, and was drafted to France on 11 January 1915. Three months later on 30 April 1915 he was admitted to the 14th Field Ambulance, suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg. He was transferred to No 8 Casualty Clearing Station at Bailleul, and after his leg was amputated he was repatriated England and sent to the Military Hospital at Cambridge for treatment.
After some time Private Goddard was moved, first to a hospital at Stockport, later to Hurdsfield and finally to the Quinta Hospital, Congleton, where he died on 16 January 1919. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 24 January 1919:
DIED – A lingering death and terrible suffering for nearly four years, coupled with intense grief, has been the lot of a Macclesfield soldier named Pte H Goddard, of the Cheshire Regt, husband of Mrs Goddard, of 12 Court, King Edward St. The unfortunate man, who enlisted in November of the year war broke out, was wounded in France in April of 1915. His injuries were so serious that it was found necessary to amputate his leg and he was brought over to England and placed in the Military Hospital at Cambridge. Unfortunately, poisoning got into his system and caused the formation of abscesses in his back. He remained in Cambridge Hospital for 18 months and during this period he lost, by death, no fewer than three of his nearest and dearest relatives. One was his mother, another was his brother, and the last was his little baby son who was born after he went out to France, and whom he never saw. After experiencing all this trouble he was removed to Stockport Hospital in order that he might be nearer to his home. From there he was transferred to the Hurdsfield House Red Cross Hospital, Macclesfield, but after a time his condition became such that it was found necessary to move him to the Quinta Hospital, Congleton. It was here that he passed away. His body was brought form Congleton to Macclesfield for burial, and the funeral took place with full military honours on Tuesday.
The coffin was borne to the grave by soldiers from the Cheshire Regt, and after the last sentences of the burial service had been read by the Rev G H B Brewin, the Trinity Wesleyan Church minister, three volleys were fired over the deceased soldier’s last resting place by members of the Volunteer Corps. With the sounding of the “Last Post”, a most impressive ceremony concluded.
Among the many beautiful wreaths sent was one from the doctor at the Congleton Hospital, one from the sister who had attended him, one from the nurses, one from his wounded comrades, and another from the employees of the Macclesfield Branch of the British Automobile Traction Company, by whom he was formerly employed as a motor driver. Deep sympathy is felt for the widow and one child in their heavy bereavement.
Private Harold Goddard is buried in grave ref. X. 19482 in Macclesfield Cemetery.
In Macclesfield, Private Harold Goddard is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall and Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Church war memorials.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WWI Representative Selection of Military Hospitals Admissions and Discharge Registers (Find My Past): MH106/13 First World War Representative Medical Records of Servicemen from 14th Field Ambulance
WWI Absent Voters Lists (FindMyPast): Macclesfield Parliamentary Division
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 24 January 1919
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.