Walter’s family were living near to Melton Mowbray, but by 1901 they had moved to Knighton.
His parents were Robert Goodson a Tailor and Elizabeth Goodson, who had married in 1873, it’s unclear if they were related but they did share the same last name. Originally, they lived in Thorpes Lane, Croxton Keyrial, but they later moved to Sproxton.
The couple went on to have seven children, Elizabeth born in 1873, Mary born in 1875, Amy born in 1877 but died aged only 7 months, Clara born 1878, Robert born 1881, Carrie born in 1883 and finally Walter born in 1885.
While living at Buckminster Road in Sproxton tragedy was to hit the family. The year started well with the birth of Walter who was baptised on 7th June 1885. The following month Walter’s oldest sister Elizabeth, aged 12 died and was buried on the 3/7/1885. Ten days later at the age of 47 his father Robert died and was buried on the 14/7/1885, later in July siblings Carrie aged 2 and Robert aged 4 also died and were both buried on the 18/7/1885.
By 1901 the widowed Elizabeth had moved to Shelley Street in Knighton together with Clara and Walter as well as Clara’s son, Robert aged 2. Clara was working in the Boot Factory and Walter aged 15, was a Boot Finisher. Older sister Mary had married Edward Armstrong in 1896 and was living at Clarendon Park Road. The 1911 census shows that Elizabeth was staying with Mary and her family. Clara and her son had moved back to Sproxton.
At the age of 25, Walter was serving as a Private in the Sherwood Foresters, the 1911 Overseas Military Ships and Overseas Establishments Census shows he was at the Gough Barracks, Trimulgherry Deccan in India.
He was Killed in Action on 11/3/1915 aged 29 and in commemorated at Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais in France. The Memorial lists over 13,400 British Soldiers with no known grave killed from the beginning of October 1914 to the eve of the Battle of Loos in late September 1915.
Walter’s name also appears on a WW1 memorial tablet at St Bartholomew’s Church in Sproxton, he was the first Spoxton man to die in the war, the last name on the tablet, F Neale died on Armistice Day, 11/11/1918.
The Grantham Journal, Saturday April 10th 1915
SERGT. WALTER GOODSON
Yet another name has to be added to the list of soldiers killed while fighting for King and Country. Sergt Walter Goodson, 1st Sherwood Foresters a native of Sproxton, whose photograph is produced above. The news of the sad occurrence was received by his widowed mother at Sproxton from the War Office on Wednesday, March 31st. It briefly stated her son had been killed in action on March 11th, the name of place being emitted. Sergt Goodson, who would have been thirty years of age had he been spared until Easter Sunday, joined the Army in 1906. He served with his regiment in Ireland for three years and in India for five years. He went to France, where he died a hero’s death, with the India Expeditionary Forces in November. The sympathy of the whole village goes out to the bereaved mother, who is almost blind.