Peter Connon, a man unknown to me until yesterday, sent me an email asking if Sgt. William Edward Goodman was my father. He’d apparently seen a short article about him online and contacted me to see if dad was the same person that he’d turned up in his research on the aeronautical history of the Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway region of the UK. He’s the author of two books and has a third in the pipeline.
Amazingly, Peter was able to furnish me with dad’s address whilst a child and the name of his two schools. This was information that I’d not previously had and it was lovely to be able to add these facts to the others that I have on him. He’d lived with his family at 38 Thornton Road, Carlisle and attended Stanwix and Creighton Boys School. Looking on the internet I think I’ve found images of the two establishments to add to my records.
Peter also asked if he’d worked, after leaving school, for a firm of solicitors and I was able to give him the following information from the unpublished sections of dad’s memoirs:
“I left school at sixteen and my first job was with a firm with the gorgeous name of Clutterbuck, Trevenan and Mawson. With a name like that they could only be solicitors! I was engaged as a Junior Clerk. My Uncle Frank, in Shrewsbury, was a solicitors’ Managing Clerk and seemed pleased I had gone into the same line. I enjoyed it and soon became able to peruse legal documents with their legalistic verbosity, and would have been happy to continue in law. To become a solicitor one did not need a university degree, and even if you did have one, to go further you had to become an Articled Clerk to the solicitor, which you could do without a degree, to study law and procedure under him and pass their examinations. The big problem was that you were classed as a student and were unpaid, so a separate source of income was essential.”
Peter replied fairly quickly, later that evening giving further information:
“During my many years of research I made notes on the Thousand plus Cumbrians lost on air operations and on regular visits to London found the circumstances of their loss. My criteria is that they must have been either born, educated or substantially employed in this area. One of them was Sgt Goodman.”
“The Cumberland News of 1.7.42 records ‘Sgt William Edward Goodman PoW. Educated at Stanwix and Creighton Schools. joined RAF at 18, was in the offices of Clutterbuck, Trevenan & Mawson. Lived at 38 Thornton Road, Stanwix. Family now live at Maidstone’. The issue of 1.4.44 refers to him baling out during a raid to Emden and mentioned he had passed his book-keeping exams in captivity.”
So… it looks as if I might be able to find out more if I contact the newspaper and enquire if anyone could furnish me with copies of the pages on those days. I don’t know if dad even knew that he was mentioned in that newspaper having left Carlisle in about 1939 when he was about 17 years old… but I’m so glad that Peter has been so assiduous in his research and that the internet posts that I’ve put ‘out there’ have been productive for both of us.
One of Peter’s books is for sale on Amazon – Aeronautical History of the Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway Region: 1915-30
As a final comment, Peter also informed me that he lives just 5 minutes away from where dad spent his childhood! Amazing!