searching for any details re Willie Francis Goodwin

My great uncle Willie, born in England,, joined the 8th Battalion AIF on  29th Aug 1914, his service number was 17. I have his digital service record but am now trying to trace any connections in Australia. I know when he came to Australia  in 1913 he lived @ 49 Clarke Street Chilwell Geelong. He lived with William Henry Rogers and Mary Rogers at this address. William Rogers was a quarryman.

I know it is a long shot but I am hoping to find any traces of my uncle while he was in Geelong or any descendants of the Rogers family that may know of him.Any details about Geelong would be happily received

I would also like contacts with any other families of Anzacs that served in this battalion.

Willie died in the 3rd Ypres battle in Oct 1917, he had received the Military Cross and Bar and had also been recommended for the VC.

He left Australia on the Benalla on 19th Oct 1914.

Although his service record is extremely informative, I hanker to find out about life for him in Australia prior to him joining up.

I know that many letters and diaries do exist, I have found him mentioned on The Great War Forum,in a diary belonging to a serviceman called John Pitt, and just feel somewhere out there could be other information waiting to be found.

I am going the beginning of Oct this year to visit his grave in Ypres, the first family member to visit him.It will be 99 years and 4 days after he was killed when I get there.

If anyone has any advice or ideas please contact me.

Many thanks


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Comment by Elizabeth Allen on July 27, 2016 at 20:39

Heather,  Have you seen this PDF with info on him?


Comment by Debra on July 29, 2016 at 11:56

There are a number of newspaper references to Francis (with a few place/name errors):

I think that he arrived earlier than 1913 and was in Victoria by 1912 at least.  The obits say that he had been a member of the Cheltenham Harriers in the UK and was in the Christ Church Harriers in Geelong.  There are a number of mentions of F.W. GOODWIN from 1912:

This is probably also him given the obit reference to the British Football Association:

He was still in the UK in Feb 1912 so that gives you a small window for arrival in Australia.

From the Gloucester Citizen - Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England (1 February 1912)

RUNNING. The Cheltenham Harriers will be represented by the following in the Midland Senior Championship. to take place at Colwall Park Saturday week; S. Brown. C. T. Cummings. E. Franklin. H. J. Franklin, R. Gardiner. F. W. Goodwin, C. Hall. C. Haines......


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