JULY 1: MEMORIAL DAY
Community: Grand Falls
Date of Death: November 6, 1918
Regiment: Newfoundland Regiment
Cemetery: Vevey (St. Martin’s) Cemetery, Lake Geneva,Switzerland
Parents: Elias and Mary Jane Goudie, of Grand Falls. Born at Northern Arm, Botwood.
During the war years parents often received conflicting news from the front. If a soldier went missing in action (MIA) often the only shred of hope that the parents could cling to was that their son was prisoner of war (POW). As a POW they could at least take comfort that he was alive.
On June 15, 1917, Elias and Mary Jane Goudie, the parents of George, received a telegram that gave them hope. He was alive and “being treated well.”
The Telegram read:
” Have pleasure in informing you Record Office, London, today reports No 2242 Corporal George Goudie, prisoner of war at Munster, Westphalia, Germany, April twenty third, suffering from gunshot wound right leg, being well treated.”
Upon hearing the news that that their was in the POW Camp in Germany , Elias and Jane, through their local clergyman Reverend W.T. D. Dunn, Pastor of the Methodist Church in Grand Falls wrote:
“In his letters to his parents (George Goudie) pleads for a shaving outfit, a towel and some eats and smokes. His parents would be glad to furnish amounts ….”
There was more reason for hope when news arrived that he was “being transferred from Germany to a POW Camp in Switzerland”.
Unfortunately the POW Camps were breathing grounds for disease especially tuberculosis. News arrived (November 18, 1918) that he had contracted the disease and had died “shortly after the Armistice, just before he was to be repatriated …”
Recommended Reading: Browne, Gary. Forget-Me-Not: Fallen Boy Soldiers, St. John’s: DRC Publishing, 1911. 145p.
Recommended Archival Collection: At the Rooms Provincial Archives there is available 6683 individual service files, 2300 have been digitized and are available at: http://www.therooms.ca/regiment/part1_entering_the_great_war.asp
This searchable database for military service records includes the attestation papers: name, service number, community and district of origin, next of kin and relationship, religion, occupation, year of enlistment, fatality, and POW status (if applicable). Take some time to read the stories of these young men.