William Sawyer Goodison
Date of birth: 10.1915
Date of death: 1.1.1943
Regiment: Royal Navy
Family information: Son of William S and Mary A Goodison of Crofton
Rank: Petty Officer Stoker
Service number: P/KX 88312
Always known at home as “Billy”, he was born in Kirkgate, Wakefield in October 1915 and was the fifth of nine children but two died as little ones.
The family moved to Ings Cottages at Walton and Billy became an errand boy when he left school.
He always wanted to be a sailor and though his sister remembers him as always being good to his Mum, he used to upset her in his “teens” by leaving notes saying he had gone to join the Navy. However in 1934 he did join for five years. William was tall and slim and very smart and neat.
He served in China and the Far East and exciting presents arrived which his sister remembers. There was a kimono, a beautiful workstand, some lovely cork pictures and a tea set with “kissing cups” but one cup arrived broken.
In 1939 Billy was in China when War broke out and he stayed in the Navy serving in HMS Drake, HMS Fidelity, HMS Tracian and HMS Bagshot.
Early in 1943 the family were distressed to read in the newspaper that William’s ship had been sunk while escorting convoys to Russia. They waited for three months before they were officially informed that William was missing, believed drowned at sea.
To this day the family regret having no grave as a focus for their grief. William’s father died within twelve months of his son.
“William Sawyer Goodison was my brother. He was born in October 1915 at Kirkgate, Wakefield and later lived with our parents, Mr and Mrs William Goodison at Ings Cottages, Crofton. He was the fifth of nine children (two died in childhood).
He joined the Royal Navy for five years in 1934 and stayed on when war broke out. He came home on leave for Christmas 1940, then re-joined his ship which was sunk on 1st or 2nd January 1941. He was Petty Officer Stoker. He was still single when he died. He was reported missing, presumed dead….”
Extract from a letter by his sister.