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  • The family grave of the Godfrey family at St Peters Church, Sturton Le Steeple which commemorates the name of Fred Godfrey. The inscription reads ' George Godfrey who died June 20th 1853 aged 54 years also of his widow Emma Godfrey who died Feb 9th 1918 aged 75 years and of their son Pt F Godfrey who fell in action in France on Aug 13th 1915 aged 33 years ,at rest '
Photo courtesy of Steve Rockcliffe
Person Details
Sturton le Steeple
Fred was born in 1884 in Sturton Le Steeple the son of George Hempsall and Emma Godfrey (nee Newbert) in the 1891 census we find him living with his parents and three siblings at Low Holland, Sturton le Steeple he is 7 years of age and a scholar. In the 1911 census he is no longer living at home but is a boarder with George and Sarah Watson at 49 Vicar Road,Wath upon Dearne,Yorkshire. He is single and 28 years of age and gives his place of birth as Sturton le Steeple and his occupation is that of platelayer with the local railway.
13 Aug 1915
33
456574 - CWGC Website
15693
Wath upon Dearne
Private
10th Bn The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)
The soldiers died in the Great War records shows that Fred was born in Sturton le Steeple and that he enlisted at Wath upon Dearne and served with the 10th battalion the Prince of Wales's (West Yorkshire) Regiment and had a service number of 15693. His medal card shows his first entry into the Western front was on 13th July 1915 and within a month on 13th August 1915 he was killed in action His medal card also shows that his medals were applied for in September 1921 by an Amy Willgoose who was living at 19 Ardmore Road, off Sherland Lane, Attercliffe, Sheffield. Private F Godfrey Retford Times 27 August 1915 News was received on Thursday morning last that Pte F Godfrey had been killed at the front. Private Godfrey, so far as is known, is the first Sturton man to fall in the service of his country during this war. He enlisted a month ago and had only been at the front a month when he fell a victim to a sniper. At the time of enlisting he was engaged at Wath and had been for a long time a consistent member of the Salvation Army. Two other brothers – Private G Godfrey (who served all through the Boer War) and Private E Godfrey, were also formerly in the army. References to the sad event were made by the Vicar in both services on Sunday and the Dead March was played as a concluding voluntary at the evening service. The following letter was received by a sister from a Captain of his Company:- “Somewhere in Belgium in the firing line 7/8/15, Dear Madam, Pte Godfrey F, No., 15893, of 12 Platoon ‘C’ Co. 10th West Yorks, died today after two hours unconsciousness from a gunshot wound received in the right temple from a sniper. I don’t know how to break this terrible news to you of your poor brother’s death. I was with his from the moment he was knocked down and never recovered consciousness. The Medical Officer arrived very quickly and we tried to move Godfrey down from the firing line to medical station but he died in the communication trench on the way. His was a painless death. Private Godfrey was a God fearing quiet man whom everyone respected and I was glad to have him in my company. Of his work I know little as for some time he was with the transport but he showed every promise of being an excellent soldier, and all the company will mourn his loss. He was liked by everyone. Please accept my sincere sympathy in your bereavement and when she is strong enough to bear it, convey it to his aged mother. I fear the blow for her will be awful. I will see that any private letters or belongings of Godfrey’s are returned to you – in all sympathy, believe me, yours truly, W L Henderson, Captain.”. A brother also received a communication written by Private F J Seymour, giving the same account of the sad event and saying on behalf of himself and his comrades, “It may comfort his relations to know that he was a cheery fellow and very popular with his comrades and led a Christian life. You may rest assured that he will receive a decent burial; also that he was highly esteemed by his comrades. We tender our deepest sympathy with you and his relations in your great bereavement”.
He is buried in Voormezeele Enclose Cemetery France.
Remembered on

Photos

  • The family grave of the Godfrey family at St Peters Church, Sturton Le Steeple which commemorates the name of Fred Godfrey. The inscription reads ' George Godfrey who died June 20th 1853 aged 54 years also of his widow Emma Godfrey who died Feb 9th 1918 aged 75 years and of their son Pt F Godfrey who fell in action in France on Aug 13th 1915 aged 33 years ,at rest '
Photo courtesy of Steve Rockcliffe
    Fred Godfrey - The family grave of the Godfrey family at St Peters Church, Sturton Le Steeple which commemorates the name of Fred Godfrey. The inscription reads ' George Godfrey who died June 20th 1853 aged 54 years also of his widow Emma Godfrey who died Feb 9th 1918 aged 75 years and of their son Pt F Godfrey who fell in action in France on Aug 13th 1915 aged 33 years ,at rest ' Photo courtesy of Steve Rockcliffe
  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Voormezeele Enclosure , Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Fred Godfrey - Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Voormezeele Enclosure , Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle