A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
Claypits Pond with Horses 1905
Long Melford Coronation fancy dress competition at the British Legion in Cordell road1953
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Selected Biographies

Goody, George – Born: Glemsford, Suffolk on 31.12.1898.[1]   Parents: James Goody (Iron Founder’s Hammer Man) and Elizabeth Jane [née Bird] (Silk Throwster).  Family Connections: Son-in-law of Frank Richard Boulden [b1872]; also, brother-in-law of Frank Richard Boulden [b1897], Edward George Boulden [b1907], Harry Thomas Boulden [b1910] and Herbert William Boulden [b1913].  Home: Silk Factory Yard, Glemsford, Suffolk (1901), Brook Street, Glemsford (1911), Mill Hill, Melford Road, Sudbury, Suffolk (1939), 18 School Field, Glemsford [1961].  Occupation: Horseman on Farm (1939), Farm Stockman [1961].  Married: Beatrice Annie Boulden of Long Melford in 1920.  Service Record: George was conscripted as Pte.56567 with 6th [Service] Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, posted to France as part of 54th Brigade, 18th [Eastern] Division.  The Battalion fought in many engagements on the Western Front including the Battles of the Somme in 1916, the Third Battles of Ypres in 1917, and the German Spring Offensive, the Battles of the Hindenburg Line, and the Final Advance in Artois in 1918.  He was issued with a Silver War Badge due to wounds and eventually discharged from the army in August 1919.[2]   Died: Chelmsford, Essex in 1984.

[1] Date of birth taken from the 1939 Register for the Melford Rural District.  [2] For military details see his Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329], Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372], and Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War, Silver War Badge [WO 329] record ref: [badge no: B322008].

Goody, Walter [MC, MM] – Born: Glemsford, Suffolk on 20.4.1885.[1]   Parents: George Goody (Railway Plate Layer) and Elizabeth [née Oakley] (Horsehair Weaver).  Family Connections: Brother-in-law of Alfred Bulmer [b1887].  Home: Station Road, Long Melford (1891, 1901), 7 Rotten Row, Long Melford (1911).  Occupation: Bricklayer’s Labourer (1901), Bricklayer (1911).  Married: Harriett Mary Case in 1906.  Service Record: Before the First World War Walter was a member of 3rd [Militia] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment and was also a member of the Melford Silver Band.[2]   He enlisted on 1.9.1914 as Sgt.3/9691 with 8th [Service] Battalion, Suffolks and was posted to France from 25.7.1915 as part of 53rd Brigade, 18th [Eastern] Division.  It was not until late June 1916, when the Battalion had moved to Carnoy that Goody’s unit carried out any offensive action.  Although some useful intelligence was gathered from two trench raids a heavy price was paid with eighty men killed or wounded.  On 19.7.1916 8th Suffolks took part in an unsuccessful attack on the village of Longueval on the western flank of Delville Wood.  The assault, originally planned for midnight, did not get under way until well after dawn, leaving the men to cross two miles of open ground in full daylight and allowing German artillery and machine guns to inflict more than 230 casualties on the Battalion.  On 26.9.1916 the Suffolks took a leading role in the Battle of Thiepval Ridge, with the unit’s contribution being considered one of its greatest achievements during the Somme Offensive, in helping the Allies gain control of the German strongpoint of Thiepval, and the western face of the much-vaunted Schwaben Redoubt.  The cost to the Suffolks however was high, with over 200 casualties resulting from the two days of stubborn fighting.  It may have been in this action that Sergeant Goody won his Military Medal as the London Gazette records the award on 11.11.1916.[3] On 18.2.1917 the Battalion saw action again, this time at Miraumont when it attacked Boom Ravine on 6 March and captured Resurrection Trench and facilitating the later storming of Irles.  By July of that year the Battalion had been transferred from the Somme valley to the Ypres Salient, a hundred miles to the north.  The end of the month saw the start of a series of British offensive actions, known collectively as the Third Battles of Ypres.  Goody’s battalion took a significant part in the opening thrust, the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, advancing nearly a mile through heavy rain before digging into new positions.  The push forward had been hard fought with his unit sustaining 177 casualties from machine-gun and sniper fire together with a menacing artillery barrage, while traversing Sanctuary Wood.  It was at this time that Walter Goody, now promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major, was awarded the Military Cross.  The citation reads: For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on two particular occasions.  Under a heavy shell fire, he removed [a] limber containing Lewis guns and ammunition to a place of comparative safety, and it was entirely due to his coolness and prompt action that other limbers were safely unloaded and heavy casualties to men and material avoided.  On the following day, when a very heavy enemy barrage was threatening destruction to the transport which was bringing up his battalion’s rations, he went forward and stopped the transport and thus ensured the safe delivery of the rations at a time when they were urgently required.  His splendid conduct and utter disregard for personal safety under exceptionally heavy shell fire greatly inspired all ranks.[4] Little further offensive action appears to have been undertaken by 8th Suffolks and by the New Year they were disbanded.  On 7.2.1918 RSM Goody, fifteen officers and 265 other ranks were transferred to 7th [Service] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, then stationed in the Lys valley as part of 12th [Eastern] Division’s 35th Infantry Brigade.  It was probably at this time that Albert, King of the Belgians visited the Battalion and presented Walter with the Chevalier de l’Ordre de Léopold II.[5] In March 1918 Goody’s new battalion was moved to the front line at Albert, which came under sustained attack on 26.3.1918 from waves of enemy troops, recently reinforced as part of the German Spring Offensive.  After two days of hard fighting the 7th Suffolks was withdrawn with the loss of 250 men.  By 3.4.1918 the Battalion was returned to Albert, again trying to beat back the German advance.  The following day RSM Goody led a squad out into no man’s land and successfully neutralised a machine gun post that had been moved perilously close to the British positions.  On the morning of 5 April, the enemy again tried to establish a machine gun post in the same area, and again Walter and a small squad destroyed the position using rifle grenades.  It was during this foray that he was seriously wounded.  In the unit’s War Diary, his commanding officer praised Walter Goody for,

[1] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 7.6.1888, St Catherines Mission Church, Long Melford.  [2] My thanks to Tim Seppings of Sudbury for showing Walter’s connection to the Melford Silver Band.  [3] For notification of his Military Medal see Supplement to the London Gazette, 11.11.1916, Issue No. 10923.  For the timing of his promotion to RSM see his Army Will dated 21.12.1916.  An account of the day’s action where RSM Goody won his Military Cross see the appendix to 8th Suffolk’s War Diary [WO 95/2039/1-5], which also praises him among others for the ‘gallant and admirable work performed’.  [4] For the citation to his Military Cross see Edinburgh Gazette, 18.10.1917, Issue No. 955 and London Gazette, 18.10.1917, Issue No. 10712.  [5] The eponymous Order was instituted by King Albert’s uncle Léopold II in 1900, and for its presentation to Walter, see the Supplement to the London Gazette, 15.4.1918, Issue No.4522 and Suffolk and Essex Free Press 17.4.1918. 

Walter Goody and son Fred
Walter at the Front
Walter and Harriet in 1918

Related Biography

Bulmer, Alfred – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 9.6.1887.[1] Parents: Alfred Bulmer (Drug Grinder) [see record above] and Eleanor ‘Ellen’ [née Ringer] (Horsehair Weaver).  Family Connections: Brother to William Frederick James Bulmer [b1888] and Charles Bulmer [b1893]; also, cousin of Herbert Edwin Bulmer [b1882], Henry James Bulmer [b1884], Arthur John Bulmer [b1884], Frederick Charles Bulmer [b1888] and Thomas Clifford H. Bulmer [b1892], and brother-in-law of Walter Goody [b1885].  Home: Liston Lane, Long Melford (1891), St Marys Street, Long Melford (1901), 112-118 Gower Street, London (1911), 48 St Catherines Road, Long Melford (1939) to [1957].  Occupation: Seed Drier in Chemical Works (1901), Delivery Porter for Messrs Shortbread & Co. (1911), Sheet Metal Worker and Motor Radiator Repairer (1939).  Married: Flora ‘Florrie’ Theobald [d1920] in 1912 and Jessie Elizabeth Goody in 1925.  Service Record: No definitive military record found.  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk on 29.5.1957.[2]

[1] Date of birth taken from the 1939 Register.  [2] Date of death from the. National Probate Calendar.

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2022
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