Two broth­ers, fa­ther made it home alive



Great-great-grand­fa­ther (Fred­er­ick) and great-great-grea­tun­cle (Harold) of Finn and Noah O’Driscoll Kir­rup boys Fred­er­ick and Harold God­dard were both born in the South West and worked as sleeper hew­ers in a tim­ber mill be­fore en­list­ing.

Fred­er­ick, the younger brother, was the first to join up on July 24, 1915, as a 19-year-old.

He was as­signed to the 11th Bat­tal­ion — the first re­cruited in WA — and spent the ma­jor­ity of his ser­vice en­gaged in bloody trench war­fare on the Western Front.

The 11th Bat­tal­ion helped stop the Ger­man spring of­fen­sive in 1918 and then took part in the Au­gust counter-of­fen­sive that brought the great­est Al­lied suc­cess in a sin­gle day on the Western Front.

Fred­er­ick was on the Western Front at 11am on November 11, 1918 — the day the guns fell silent — and re­turned home on Fe­bru­ary 28, 1919.

His older brother, Harold, was also there that day, hav­ing fol­lowed Fred­er­ick to Europe in March 1916. He served first in the 16th In­fantry Bat­tal­ion and then the 4th Ma­chine Gun Bat­tal­ion.

The 16th Bat­tal­ion spent most of 1917 ad­vanc­ing to the Hin­den­burg Line and suf­fered heavy losses at Bul­le­court in April, when promised tank sup­port dur­ing an at­tack failed to ma­te­ri­alise.

Harold re­turned to Aus­tralia in June 1919 and was awarded the Bri­tish War Medal and the Vic­tory Medal af­ter his ser­vice.

The boys’ fa­ther, Ge­orge Wil­liam God­dard, also served with the 16th Bat­tal­ion in WWI, em­bark­ing for the con­flict aged 44 in December 1915.

He, too, re­turned safely to Aus­tralia.

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