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  • Photograph HMS Africa in which James Edward Goodacre served.
Person Details
17 May 1897
Wakefield Yorkshire West Riding
James Edward was the eldest son of George Robert Goodacre and his wife Clara Goodacre nee Hoult. George Robert was born in Temple Brewer, Lincolnshire, on 29 October 1871 (O/N/D Sleaford), the son of Matthew Goodacre, a farmer. Clara Hoult was born in Brockdale, Yorkshire, on 2 May 1871, the daughter of William Tomkinson Hoult, a woodman, and Elizabeth Hoult. She was baptised with her brother, Ian William Butler, on Easter Sunday, 13 April 1873, at the parish church of Darrington with Wentbridge, Yorkshire. George Robert (21) and Clara (22) were married on 14 October 1893 at Thornes St James with Christ Church, Yorkshire (1893 O/N D Wakefield). They had five children, Alice b. Thornes Wakefield 15 Marcy 1894 (A/M/J Wakefield), Ida Nellie b. Thornes Wakefield 6 October 1895 (O/N/D Wakefield), James Edward b. Thornes Wakefield 17 May 1897 (A/M/J Wakefield), Jane Elizabeth b. Lincolnshire 6 February 1902 (J/F/M Sleaford) and George William b. Sleaford Lincolnshire 1 May 1904 (A/M/J Sleaford). In 1901 George (29), who worked on a farm, and Clara (29) were living at Barton Road, Screddington, Lincolnshire, with their three children Alice (7), Ida (5) and James (3). By 1911 the family was living on Finkell Street, Gringley, Nottinghamshire. Robert (39) was a cowman on a farm. Three of Robert and Clara's five children were living at home, James Edward (13), Jane Elizabeth (9) and George William (6). Also in the household was a boarder, Thomas Schofield (16) a general farm worker. Alice (17) was a domestic servant at 37 Ashcroft road, Gainsborough, in the household of Charles and Elizabeth Fletcher. Her sister Nellie (sic) (15) was also a domestic servant and living in the household of Hannah Beck (83), a retired laundress, at Knaith, Gainsborough. It is likely that the other members of Hannah's household, two granddaughters and two more servants, were running a laundry from the premises. At the time of James' death in 1918 his parents were still living on Finkell Street, Gringley on the Hill. However, by 1932 George and Clara had probably moved to Pontefract where they were employed as caretakers. This is confirmed in the 1939 England & Wales Register when they are recorded at Ropergate House, Pontefract, as joint caretakers together with their unmarried daughter, Jane Elizabeth, who was employed as an assistant caretaker. George Goodacre died in 1948 (Dec Wakefield) aged 77 and his wife Clara died in Pontefract in 1954 aged 82. Of James' siblings: Alice was 27 and living at 5 Providence Place, Thornes Lane, Wakefield, when she married Frederick Laughton (b. 4 November 1886), a draper's assistant of Wakefield at the Primitive Mehtodist Chapel, Market Street, Wakefield, on 27 September 1922 (J/A/S Wakefield). Frederick was the son of Frederick Laughton, a licensing officer. Alice's father, George Robert Goodacre, was described as a stock keeper. In 1939 Frederick, a draper (shop keeper) and Alice were living at 99 Lower York Street, Wakefield, with their unmarried daughter Elizabeth (later Corney) b. 14 September 1926. Alice died in 1982 (Jun Wakefield) aged 88. Ida Nellie married Arthur Benjamin Leading (b. 2 April 1897) in 1917 (A/M/J Gainsborough). In 1939 they were living in Wakefield, Arthur was a railway signalman. Ida died in 1970 (Mar Halifax Yorkshire West Riding) aged 74. Jane Elizabeth died in 1972 (Jun Wakefield) aged 70. She had not married. George William was a collier when he joined the Royal Navy on 3 September 1924 as a Stoker 2nd Class (K64861). With a short break in service between August 1928 and September 1929 he served in the Royal Navy until 2 September 1936 when he was discharged shore, service expired (Leading Stoker). George married Dorothy Margaret Last (28) of Newcome, Stanley Row, Sutton, Surrey, at Sutton Christ Church, on 4 December 1932. He was then a Stoker serving in HMS Valiant. His father's occupation was given as caretaker on the marriage certificate. Dorothy was the daughter of Samuel James Last, a thatcher, and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth, and was born in Norfolk on 14 March 1904 (bap. 5 June 1904, Diss, Norfolk). In 1939 George was living in Chatham, Kent, and working as a boilermaker's labourer; his wife Dorothy was not at the same address when the national register was compiled. Dorothy died in 1975 (Chatham Kent) aged 71 while George died in 1987 (Apr Chatham Kent) aged 82. The Probate record gives his date of death as 15 April and his address as 'Casa Mia', East Hill, Luton, Chatham.
He was a farm labourer when he joined the Royal Navy on 1 May 1915.
13 Sep 1918
419668 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
Royal Navy
Last ship: HMS Africa James joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class on 1 May 1915 on a 'Hostilities' engagement. His RN service sheet gives his date of birth as 17 May 1896 although the civil record of the registration of his birth gives the year 1897 (A/M/J). By giving a date a year earlier than his actual date of birth, James was able to join as an eighteen year-old and an adult, rather than serve 'Boy' time, albeit for a few weeks before his 18th birthday. James served in the following ships and shore establishments: Pembroke II, 1 May 1915-3 July 1915 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Africa, 4 July 1915-13 September 1918 (Stoker 1st Class, 20 May 1916). His service records notes that he served in the Royal Naval Division … NL 35764/15. Not required in the army – to be retained in the RN’. James was serving in HMS Africa at the time of his death on 13th August 1918, a victim of the 1918 influenza outbreak. His service record was annotated ‘NP 9941/18. DD [discharged dead] 13 September 1918. Influenza’. He is buried in Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Africa. HMS Africa's ship's log gives the following details: in September 1918 while based at Sierra Leone some of the crew became ill. Their numbers virtually doubled each day from less than a handful at the start of the month until September 9th when 476 crew reported ill. On September 9th a crewman was reported dead of pneumonia following influenza. Five more crew died on September 12th. The next day another eight perished. On September 14th 10 more ship's crew died. Burial parties were sent ashore daily. By September 30th 52 crew had died out of a total complement of fewer than 800.
The following was published in the Retford Times on 27th September 1918 :- ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 'Mr and Mrs Goodacre and family, Gringley on the Hill, wish to thank all those kind friends who gave their sympathy towards them in their sad bereavement in the loss of their dear and eldest son James Edward who died suddenly from Influenza on September 13th. When the sun of joy is hidden, and the sky is overcast, Just remember light is coming, and the storm won't always last. From mother, father, sisters and brothers.' Source, ‘Gringley a Tribute to the 24 ‘ published July 2014 by the Gringley History Club. www.gohistory.org.uk (Courtesy of Alan Hickman)
Remembered on


  • Photograph HMS Africa in which James Edward Goodacre served.
    HMS Africa - Photograph HMS Africa in which James Edward Goodacre served.
  • Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery where James Edward Goodacre is buried.
Photograph courtesy of CWGC
    Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery, Sierra Leon - Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery where James Edward Goodacre is buried. Photograph courtesy of CWGC