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Approach of the Storm - Part 41, Family at War (A School Project)

by actiondesksheffield

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Archive List > Royal Navy

Contributed by 
People in story: 
J. Goddard, Charles Thomas Goddard, Herbert Goddard,Ernest Goddard, Ben Goddard, Ronald Goddard, Cyril Goddard, Harry Goddard, Lill, Szefler
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
30 December 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Roger Marsh of the ‘Action Desk — Sheffield’ Team on behalf of J. Goddard and has been added to the site with the author’s permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

Approach of the Storm - Part 41, Family at War (A School Project)

Thomas Arthur Russell’s Step Grandson - J. Goddard 2.S.2

The Images of WWII - Thomas Arthur Russell’s Photograph Album apply equally to this story.

During World War II my granddad C.T. Goddard joined the Royal Navy with his brother H. Goddard whilst his other two brothers E. and H. Goddard joined the army.

Five brothers serving - January 10, 1942
Five cheerful lads, sons of Mrs. Harrington, 41, Steven’s Crescent, Chapltown, are in H.M. Forces. Herbert Goddard, who before enlistment was a moulder, is a fine sportsman, and chose the Navy. Charlie Goddard, well known as a local footballer, also showed a preference for the sea and is one of the stars of his ship’s team, which bears a name that is a household word throughout the country. Not to be outdone, Cyril Goddard decided what was good enough for his brothers could not be improved upon by him and, like them he is afloat. Harry Goddard joined the Army and has been wounded while serving in the Middle East. Ernest Goddard, the eldest brother, has been some time serving with the R.A.O.C. All the brothers are readers of the “Times and Express.” The two younger brothers, Ben and Ronald, have no qualms about what their job will be when the opportunity arises.

During World War II my granddad Charles Thomas Goddard on my father’s side of the family joined the Royal Navy with his two brothers Ronald and Herbert whilst his other two brothers Cyril and Harry joined the Army.

My granddad has told me some of the stories he has and shown me some of the evidence that he has about the war. My granddad’s ship called the HMS Ramillies, which took him all over the world, was called over to Cornwall with hundreds of other ships to protect the Cornish people from Nazi invasion. When my granddad reached Cornwall he couldn’t see the sea for ships and one day my granddad’s ship and all the other ships surrounding his ship were firing at Nazi bombers and Nazi dive bombers from dawn to dusk and there was hundreds of empty anti-aircraft shells covering the entire gun deck because the shell bags were full and they were unable to them because the big guns were firing so fast.

On another call my granddad was coming out of harbour with another ship following them and a Nazi U-Boat released a torpedo and my granddad saw the white line trailing behind the torpedo go towards the ship behind them and hit it, the ship started to go down. My granddad’s ship pulled up against the side of the sinking ship and fired lines over to it to try to take of survivors but my granddad realised that the sinking ship would take his own ship down with them so they had to cut the lines and move away and pick up as many survivors from the water as they could.

My granddad was trained as a torpedo man and also fired the Anti Air Craft guns as well as the 5-inch guns.

My granddad was travelling in the Indian Ocean and they were so badly shelled they had to pull into the coast of Madagascar. My granddad had a torpedo hit the ship amidships but it didn’t detonate but it flooded the compartments and all of the bulkhead doors had to be sealed off.

My granddad has a collection of foreign hatbands with the names of the ships on them, some he swapped and some he took off the prisoner’s hats. My granddad has a collection also of medals that he received for everywhere he went.

1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star, Burma Star, Italy Star and 1939-45 War Medal.

During the war hat bands had to be worn on your hat at all times but your hat band was only able to say HMS and the name of your ship when you were aboard but if you left or you had a photograph taken on board you had to change your hat band so it only said HMS.

Even in wartime ‘the crossing of the line’ ceremony is still observed. This ceremony occurs when you cross the equator and everyone gets a good ducking.

But soon after a serious outlook on things.

The ship is severely damaged in an air attack.
After the air attack and the ship was so badly damaged the ship’s crew was given seven days leave in South Africa at Glenco and my granddad stayed with his friend Johny at a white family’s house. The white family ran a coalmine so my granddad and his friend went down it.

During the war my granddad was given a commando knife by one of his friends who was serving in the army at the time.

After the war my granddad went to Berlin in Germany and obtained a photograph of German AKAK fire at the English aeroplane.

AKAK fire is when a belt fed anti aircraft machine gun fires a flare after every five bullets fired, and so that they can see the English aircraft for the next shots.

My Great Granddad Lill on my father’s side of the family fought in the First World War and got shot twice but he survived and later got the Military Medal for bravery in overtaking a German Machine gun camp single handed.

My step great granddad Szefler on my mother’s side of the family was Polish and was placed in the German prisoner of war camp Auchwitz where many atrocities were carried out.

All the people mentioned in this project survived the war and are all alive today but sadly many people lost their lives fighting for their country and left many loved ones and families without husbands and fathers.

Remembrance Sunday is held at the Cenotaph the people who lost their lives in the war and is symbolized by the poppy.

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