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Walter Hugh Godsal (1883-1918)


Old Etonian served in the 2nd DLI died of wounds and awarded DSO


Walter Hugh Godsal, the son of Major (ex Durham Light Infantry) Philip Thomas and Ellen Henrietta Godsal, was born in Sturminster, Dorset on 31 March 1883. He went to Eton College, where his father was Adjutant of the Officer Training Corps, and later to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry on 18 January 1902 and promoted to lieutenant in May 1905. From 1912 to 1913 he served with the Army Signal Service and, in November 1913, became Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion.

Walter landed in France on 8 September 1914, was promoted to captain two weeks later and wounded shortly afterwards. In June 1915 he was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross. He was promoted to brigade major in the September, which position he held until he became a staff officer (GSO2) in December 1916, having been mentioned in despatches again in the January. A year later was promoted to major and again mentioned in despatches. He died of his wounds at Villers-Carbonnel, near Amiens on 26 March 1918 and is buried in the St Pierre Cemetery at Amiens. He was mentioned in despatches yet again in May and posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in June.

Birth date: 31-Mar-1883

Death date: 26-Mar-1918

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Iscoed Park, Iscoyd, Flintshire (1891 Census)
Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (1901 Census)
Colchester Garrison, Essex (1911 Census)

Education: Eton College
Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst

Family: Father: Philip Thomas Godsal
Mother: Ellen Henrietta Godsal (nee Parke)
Siblings: Philip, John, Alfred Edmund, Dorothy Grace, Charlotte Elaine, Thomas William & Margaret Louisa Godsal

Military service:

2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry & General Staff
Major

Medal(s): Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross
Mentioned in Dispatches (4)
1914-1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Durham Cathedral DLI 1914-1918 Book of Remembrance
Eton College List of Etonians who fought in WW1
Hawarden, Flintshire Roll of Honour
St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens, France
Whitewell, Iscoyd, Flintshire War Memorial

Gender: Male

Contributed by John Edwards