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  • Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, France (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Huthwaite Nottinghamshire
James Arthur was the son of James and Mary Godber (née Bradder). James senior was born in Arnold, Nottingham, in 1863. His wife Mary was born in Huthwaite in 1861, the daughter of George and Sarah Ann Bradder. James and Mary were married in December 1883 and had ten children, six of whom were still living in 1911. Eight children were named on the census between 1891 and 1911; all the births were registered in Mansfield registration district, mother's surname Bradder: John George b. Huthwaite 1883; Jacob b. Huthwaite 1885 (A/M/J Mansfield) d. 1905 (J/A/S Mansfield); James Arthur b. Huthwaite 1888 (O/N/D), William Edward b. Huthwaite 1893; Annie b. New Houghton Derbyshire 1897; Thomas b. New Houghton 1899; Beatrice b. Huthwaite birth registered 1901 (J/F/M) d. 1901 (J/A/S), and Ida b. Huthwaite 1905. There was also a daughter, Georgiana, 1 month old born Huthwaite, whose name was entered on the 1891 Census but no record has yet been traced of the registration of either her birth or death; this may be an enumerator's error. There were two other registrations of birth - Godber, mother's surname Bradder - in the Mansfield registration district in the period between 1881 and 1911: Hezekiah Godber b. 1887 (J/A/S Mansfield) no registration of death traced, and Lily Edith Godber b. 1895 (A/M/J) d. 1898 (J/A/S). In 1891 James, a coal miner, and Mary were living on Royal Oak Yard, Church Street, Huthwaite, with their children John (7), Jacob (5), James (2) and Georgiana (1 month). Their daughter Annie was born in New Houghton in 1897 and their son Thomas was also born there in 1899. However, the family was again living in Huthwaite, on Barker Street, in 1901. James was a coal hewer and two of his sons also worked at the colliery - John a coal loader and Jacob a pony driver below ground. James and Mary had five other children: James, William (8), Annie (4), Thomas (2) and Beatrice (3 months) who died a few months later. Jacob died four years later in 1905. By 1911 the family had moved to New Street, Huthwaite. Five of James and Mary's six surviving children were in the home on the night of the census: James, William, Annie, Thomas and Ida (6). Their eldest son John George had married Louisa Ann Morley in 1907 and in 1911 they were living on York Street, Sutton in Ashfield, with their children Elsie (3) and John (2 months). James Arthur married Gertrude Hoaten in June 1914 at All Saints Church, Heath, Derbyshire (A/M/J Chesterfield). They lived at 104 Blackwell Road, Huthwaite. There were no children of the marriage. James Arthur's mother, Mary, died in 1936. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled his widowed father was living in Sutton in Ashfield; he had retired from the mining industry. Also in the household was William S Fox (b. 1869) who was also widowed and a retired coal hewer. James died in 1943.
He was a miner (filler below ground) at New Hucknall Colliery.
02 Dec 1917
1753196 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Sutton in Ashfield
2/6th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
James Godber enlisted in June 1915 at Sutton in Ashfield. He was posted to Dublin during the Irish Rebellion in April 1916 and then to the Western Front in August 1917 as a reserve stretcher bearer with 'C' Company, 2/6th Bn Sherwood Foresters. James was on the parapet of a trench when he was killed by machine gun fire on 2 December 1917. He was buried in a British cemetery but his grave was later lost and he is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, France (Panel 8). CWGC - Cambrai Memorial (extract): 'The Cambrai Memorial commemorates more than 7,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917 and whose graves are not known. Sir Douglas Haig described the object of the Cambrai operations as the gaining of a 'local success by a sudden attack at a point where the enemy did not expect it' and to some extent they succeeded. The proposed method of assault was new, with no preliminary artillery bombardment. Instead, tanks would be used to break through the German wire, with the infantry following under the cover of smoke barrages. The attack began early in the morning of 20 November 1917 and initial advances were remarkable. However, by 22 November, a halt was called for rest and reorganisation, allowing the Germans to reinforce. From 23 to 28 November, the fighting was concentrated almost entirely around Bourlon Wood and by 29 November, it was clear that the Germans were ready for a major counter attack. During the fierce fighting of the next five days, much of the ground gained in the initial days of the attack was lost. For the Allies, the results of the battle were ultimately disappointing but valuable lessons were learnt about new strategies and tactical approaches to fighting. The Germans had also discovered that their fixed lines of defence, no matter how well prepared, were vulnerable.'
Notts Free Press - 4th January 1918 (This report also appeared in the Mansfield Reporter, 4 January 1918) Local Soldiers Killed ~ Private J. A. Godber, Huthwaite 'Official news has been received of the death in action of Private J. A. Godber, 306314, C Company, 2/6th. Sherwood Foresters, whose home was at 104, Blackwell Road, Huthwaite. He was a reserve stretcher bearer, and a letter sent by Private F. Moore, 60325, 11th. Platoon, C Company 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, states that he was killed instantaneously on Sunday, December 2nd, being shot through the head by a machine gun bullet while lying on the parapet. This letter was received on Christmas Eve, and the official intimation on the previous Saturday. Private Godber was 29 years old, and worked at New Hucknall Colliery previous to enlisting in June 1915. He was wounded in the Irish rebellion, receiving four bullets in his body which were never extracted. He had been in France five months and his last leave was just before Whitsuntide, 1917. He leaves a widow but no family.' "It is with feelings of great sorrow that I write you these few lines to let you know how Jim met his death in action on Sunday, December 2nd. His end was instantaneous, as he was shot through the head by a German machine gun bullet while lying on the parapet, so he suffered no pain. He was a reserve stretcher bearer in our section, and was highly thought of by all the men of our Company, and more especially by those to whose platoon he belonged. We miss him very much, and I hope that God will help you to bear your heavy loss. It may comfort you a little to know that he had a decent burial in a British cemetery, and I hope that by this time you will have received his effects, which I gave to the Quarter-Master of our Company to forward to you. I have shared the parcel out between the men who belonged Jim's section, and I am returning the letter to you out of it and also his cap badge. I don't think I can tell you anything else this time. I am sending you my address, and I shall be pleased to tell you anything that I may know if you write and ask me." (signed) Private F. Moore, Stretcher Bearer.' Note: 60325 Private F Moore 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters survived the war. Mansfield Reporter 10 January 1917, ‘Huthwaite’s sacrifice’. Names of those reported to have died of wounds or been killed in action; the list included James Arthur Godber. Mansfield Reporter, 19 April 1918 (extract): ‘Memorial Service. At Huthwaite Parish Church a memorial service was held on Sunday morning to eight Huthwaite men, who have met with their deaths in France or died of wounds, their names being: Adams C. Evans, Evans T. Newman, Pendleton, Godber, Hardy and Riley. There was a large congregation, including the members of the Parish Church Bible Class, to which Newman belonged. St George’s flag was at half-mast on the church tower, and the ‘Roll of Honour’ was surrounded by a laurel wreath. The Rev. FN Beswick officiated.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: His father James Godber was his legatee. WW1 Pension Ledgers: names his parents, James and Mary Godber.
Remembered on


  • Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, France (www.cwgc.org)
    James Arthur Godber - Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, France (www.cwgc.org)