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Person Details
11 Jul 1893
Herbert was the son of Reuben and Hannah (née Wagstaff) Godfrey. He was the youngest child with many older sisters. The next in age to Herbert was Violet and she was ten years older than him. She married Robert Cree in 1902. Robert and Violet Cree lived on Wollaton Road, Beeston, and by 1915 Violet had six children. It was at that point that her husband Robert enlisted, and her mother (Hannah Godfrey, née Wagstaff), moved to Beeston from Bulwell. Meantime, Herbert, aged 4, had gone to live with his uncle in Canada, and is recorded in the 1906 Canadian Census when he would have been thirteen. He was also recorded in the 1911 Canadian Census.
He was a farmer in Canada. He was a Presbyterian.
21 Dec 1919
2749878 - CWGC Website
Canadian Forces
With the outbreak of the war he enlisted (24/8/1914) in the Royal Canadian Dragoons, and after training was sent to France. Herbert’s war came to an abrupt end during the Battle of Moreuil Wood. On the second day of the battle, 31 March 1918, Herbert was injured and blinded. By August 1918 he had arrived at St Dunstan’s Lodge, Regent’s Park, the hostel for blinded soldiers and sailors. In 1919 he began a poultry farming course. He wanted to return to Canada but was not well enough to contemplate the journey. He died at St Dunstan’s following an operation relating to his war injuries.
He was buried in Beeston Cemetery on 24 December 1919 Grave Reference: A E34 33 We can only begin to think about what turned out to be the final months of Herbert's short life. ‘There is no pain in Heaven’ was the poignant inscription chosen by his family, ‘he gave his sight and then his life to save others’. His mother and sister thanked all of those friends in Beeston who had sent floral tributes. Thanks to John Beckett for compiling this page.
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