Two brothers, father made it home alive
FREDERICK JOHN GODDARD and HAROLD THOMAS GODDARD
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.