On Friday 5th December Project Coordinator Gail Mackintosh and a volunteer photographer set off for Bury St Edmunds for the weekend. The aim of the trip was to photograph material to illustrate the life of Edmund Goodchild.
The above photograph of Edmund Goodchild and further information, including typed up versions of Edmund and his brothers’ letters, are provided by http://goodchilds.org/, courtesy of Henry Finch a nephew of the brothers.
Edmund Goodchild (Ned) and two of his three brothers volunteered for Kitchener’s New Army in 1914. They all wrote hundreds of letters about their time in the Suffolk Regiment both in training and on the Front Line to their mother in Suffolk. Ned was the oldest brother and was sent to Shoreham Army Camp along with younger brother Arthur in September 1914 to be trained. His letters detail his experiences in the camp and offer invaluable insights for our project.
We visited the Suffolk Record Office at Bury St Edmunds to see the original letters and connect with the personal touches – for example when he scribbled ‘Don’t worry yourself, mother’ in the corner of a letter.
Thank you to the Record Office for helping us with our research.
Our volunteer photographer taking pictures of the original letters at Suffolk Record Office.
Thanks to the Suffolk Regiment Museum (www.suffolkregimentmuseum.co.uk) we were also able to handle and photograph some of Ned’s personal effects.
Volunteer photographer taking pictures at the Suffolk Regiment Museum of Ned’s personal effects.
Ned sadly did not make it back home from the front line dying in action on 19th December 99 years ago. His personal effects were sent home to his mother and his family gave them to the Regiment Museum. Included were his medals, a flask and a cigarette case.
We will be featuring more about Ned and his brothers in our exhibition next year.
A peek inside Suffolk Regiment Museum
Many thanks in particular to Gwyn Thomas (Suffolk Regiment Museum Curator) and the Suffolk Regiment Museum volunteers who made out trip enjoyable and passed on helpful insights about Ned and the history of the Suffolk Regiment. Thank you also to Henry Finch for giving us permission to reproduce images and excerpts from the letters.