Westgarthtown & WWI





Goodman Family


George Edward Goodman

George Edward Goodman. Photo: Australian
War Memorial.
George Edward Goodman (1871-1917) was born at Thomastown on 11 March 1871, the son of Joachim and Bertha Henrietta (née Schnoegula) Wethling. Joachim Wethling emigrated from Fehmarn, Holstein in 1856 and Bertha arrived with her parents aboard the Pribislaw in 1850. Joachim and Bertha married at Trinity German Lutheran Church at East Melbourne on 24 October 1865.

Joachim Wethling died at Separation near Mernda on 18 August 1870, aged 29, seven months before George was born. He was buried at Epping. Bertha, left with four young children, remarried on 1 April 1872 to Henry Hugh Goodman and George then took his stepfather’s surname. Bertha and Henry had at least three more children before she died in 1913 and he in 1915.  Both are buried at Epping where George was raised and attended school.

When he enlisted, George was 44 and living and working as a tanner at Preston. He gave his religion as Church of England. He was married, but separated from his wife, Annie Laurie (née Suiter) Goodman. They had one child, Ruby Mavis Goodman, born in 1911, their son Harold having died in 1909, aged 2. George gave his elder brother John Goodman’s name as his next of kin rather than his estranged wife. Another brother, William, had married Annie Kreitling of Westgarthtown in 1908. A half-brother, Albert Goodman, also enlisted in 1916.

Although George applied to enlist at Melbourne on 29 January 1916, his official enlistment date is 21 February 1916. He gave his age as 38 so as not to be rejected as overage. He was posted to A Company, 10th Depot Battery at Ascot Vale, then transferred to the 12th Reinforcements, 12th Battalion, Private, No. 4717, 3rd Infantry Brigade at Williamstown on 25 March. On 28 March he was sent to Broadmeadows and on 4 April, embarked at Melbourne aboard the Euripides for England. After further training, he left for France on 16 September and joined the 21st Battalion, 6th Infantry Brigade in Belgium on 28 September 1916.

The 21st Battalion went into action during the Second Battle of Bullecourt, which commenced on 3 May 1917. George was reported ‘Missing in Action’ that day and it was not until a Court of Enquiry on 24 November 1917 that he was finally declared ‘Killed in Action’. His body must have been recovered as his burial place is recorded as the Tilloy British Cemetery, Tilloy Les Mofflaines, 1½ miles S.S.E of Arras. He is also commemorated on Panel 93 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra; on the Preston Cenotaph; and the Honour Rolls at All Saints’ Church, Preston, Epping Primary School and the Epping RSL.

His widow was granted a £2 per fortnight pension and his daughter £1 per fortnight from 1 October 1917.

Albert Edmund Goodman

Albert Edmund (aka Edward) Goodman (1884 -1964) was born at Epping on 23 June 1884, the youngest child of Henry Hugh Goodman and Bertha Henrietta (née Schnoegula) Goodman. Albert was a half-brother to George Edward Goodman (formerly Wethling), a child from his mother’s first marriage to Joachim Wethling, who also enlisted in 1916. George and Albert’s mother had married Henry Goodman in 1872 following Joachim’s death in 1870. Albert was raised at Epping and attended school there.

Albert was employed by Albert Zimmer of Broadmeadows on £3 per week when he enlisted there on 23 October 1916. He gave his age as 32 years and four months, occupation as farmer and address as Campbellfield. His religion was Church of England. He was allocated to the A.A.S.C Reinforcements, Private No. 14610. After basic training at Broadmeadows and Royal Park from 8 November 1916, Albert was transferred to the Remount Depot at South Melbourne on 19 January 1917, before returning to Broadmeadows on 15 March 1917.

Albert was single on enlistment but married Annie Louisa Rennie at Epping on 17 March 1917.  He was appointed as Driver on 1 May 1917 and embarked for England aboard the Themistocles on 4 August 1917. He disembarked at Glasgow on 2 October 1917. After further training with Artillery Details at Lark Hill, he proceeded from Southhampton to France on 9 January 1918, where he joined the 11th Field Artillery Brigade, 43rd Battery on 15 January 1918.

No further details of Albert’s service are included in his file until 16 November, five days after the Armistice, when he was granted leave to England. He rejoined the 43rd Battery in France on 9 December 1918. On 16 April 1919, he arrived back in England and embarked for Australia aboard the Swakopmund  on 15 June 1919. He arrived back in Melbourne on 2 August 1919 and was discharged from the AIF on 1 September 1919.

Albert, who resumed farming at Broadmeadows after the war, had at least two children. His wife Annie died in 1959 and he died at Broadmeadows on 4 July 1964 aged 80. Both were cremated at Fawkner. Albert’s name is included on the Honour Rolls at the Epping Primary School and Epping RSL.