Royal Artillery Cap

In Memory of

Royal Artillery Cap

Edmund Good

Lance Bombardier
Royal Garrison Artillery

who died on
Wednesday 12 March 1918. Age 24.

Edmund Good is buried in the ANZAC Cemetery at Sailly-Sur-La-Lys in the Pas de Calais region of France, a cemetery managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The cemetery is located almost on a straight line between Armentieres and Estaires, being about 6 miles from the first and 2 miles from the second.

"Sailly Church was burnt during the open fighting of October 1914, when French cavalry and British and German infantry fought on the Lys, but from the winter of 1914-1915 to the spring of 1918 the village was comparatively untouched. It was captured by the Germans on 9 April 1918, and it remained in their hands until the beginning of September.

ANZAC Cemetery was begun by Australian units in July 1916, immediately before the Attack at Fromelles, and it contains the graves of many Australian soldiers who died in that engagement. It continued in use as a front-line cemetery until April 1918 and was used by German troops for the burial of Commonwealth soldiers during the following summer.

ANZAC Cemetery contains 320 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. 62 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to seven casualtes known or believed to be buried among them, and to three soldiers buried by the Germans in Sailly Churchyard whose graves could not be located. It also contains five Second World War burials and six German graves."[from the Commmonwealth War graves site]

The Grave of Edmund Good

The entrance gate to the ANZAC Cemetery. Sailly-Sur-La-Lys
Edmund's grave is located at position  III D 2. in the cemetery. His headstone the second one in this row with the small bush in front of it.




12TH MARCH 1918 AGE 24

Edmund's headstone
Close-up of the top of the headstone



Third cousin, once removed, Kenneth Scott, at the grave of Edmund in October 2013.

A view from the front of the cemetery. Edmond's grave is visible in the fourth (D) row second grave in from the center aisle with the small bush in front of it.
A view of the front of the cemetery and the memorial cross taken from the fourth (D) row near Edmund's grave.

[the record of Edmund Good on the Commonwealth War Grave Commission website]

The Military Record of Edmund Good

Edmund was brought into the army under the provisions of a conscription act during World War I. Soldiers so enrolled filled out an attestation paper. While most of these papers were lost during bombing in WWII, that of Edmund has survived:

From the attestation paper we learn that Edmund is living at 98 Gladstone St. in Landport and is a maried butcher. The date of enrollment is 11 January 1916, and he is subsequently assigned to the Royal Garrison Artillery Regiment (RGA). We also see his personal signature on this page.[source: which provides access to records of the National Archives of the U.K.]

Edmund was a Lance Bombardier (Acting corporal) in the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) at the time of his death. The RGA was formed as a branch of the Royal Artillery to handle the larger coastal guns around the empire, in contrast the the Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) which was the mobile artillery with smaller guns that acted in direct support of the infrantry.

"From 1914 when the army possessed very little heavy artillery, the RGA grew into a very large component of the British forces on the battlefield, being armed with heavy, large-calibre guns and howitzers that were positioned some way behind the front line and had immense destructive power.[source: wikipedia]

Henceforth the artillery would be positioned well behind the infantry battle line, firing at unseen targets, at co-ordinates on a map calculated with geometry and mathematics. As the war developed, the heavy artillery and the techniques of long-range artillery were massively developed. The RGA was often supported by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) who had devised a system where pilots could use wireless telegraphy to help the artillery hit specific targets. The RFC aircraft carried a wireless set and a map and after identifying the position of an enemy target the pilot was able to transmit messages such as A5, B3, etc. in morse code to a RFC land station attached to a heavy artillery units, such as Royal Garrison Artillery Siege Batteries." [source: wikipedia]

All soldiers have a military file and these files are kept by the national government. Sadly, during attacks in WWII, the personnel records of most WWI soldiers were destroyed. I have searched without luck the remaining records and the file for Edmund is not among them. This greatly limits the amount of information available concerning his military experience. We can summarize what we have in the following short list:
  • He enrolled on 11 January 1916 under the conscription act.
  • He was a lance bombardier in the Royal Garrison Artillery at the time of his death
  • He died on 12 March 1918, just prior to the German spring offensive
  • He is buried at  the ANZAC Cemetery in Sailly-Sur-La-Lys
The only other military record that I have been able to locate is the record of the medals awarded to him:

The medals awarded to Edmund Good

The Victory Medal
The British War Medal

These medals were awarded to all who served overseas during the war. The fact that he did not receive the 1914-15 star indicates he did not report overseas before the end of 1915.

.[source: which provides access to records of the National Archives of the U.K.]

The Military Life of Edmund Good

I have not yet located any records which would indicate which unit(s) he was attached to, and consequently cannot view the operational records of such units to determine his locations in France or if he was in action at the time of death. The fact that he has a known grave located near a field hospital area indicates that he likely died which undergoing medical treatment. Possible causes of this could be from counter battery fire or a firing accident which in action and alternatively from illness (possibly from the flu epidemic of 1918).

Locations of the ANZAC cemetery at Sailly-Sur-La-Lys (N. 50.65271, E 2.76311)

This satellite view shows the location of the Sailly-Sur-La-Lys cemetery [yellow pin] where Edmund's grave is located. The front lines prior to the German attack in the spring of 1918 had been in the Armentieres area with Estaires being a well know rear area communications center. The spring German offensive started on 21 March shortly after the time of Edmund's death.

Edmund's Childhood

Edmund was born in the second quarter of 1893 in Alverstoke, [source website and census records] the son of Edmund and Kate Alice Good who were butchers. One or more photographs exist of Edmund's parents and hopefully there will be one of the parents with their two boys.

1901 Census Image

Edmund is a 7 year old boy living at 311 Forton Rd. Gosport. The occupation of Edmund's father is not clear from the entry, but he is an employer. From family knowledge we know he was a butcher. The mother is named Kate. Edmund has a brother 2 years younger than he.

1911 Census Entry


In the last quarter of 1915, Edmund married Gertude May Holiday in Portsmouth. This was a wartime marriage and so, even though he was not yet enlisted, it likely was a subdued event. However one would hope that perhaps there is a photograph somewhere of this wedding.[source FreeBMD]

Edmund and Gertrude had at least one child, a daughter Katie (presumably named after Edmund's mother) born in the first quarter of 1917 [source FreeBMD] A search on FreeBMD does not reveal any other children of this union.

Gertrude remarried in the first quarter of 1923 to Edwin Hartley and they lived at the time of the setting of Edmund's headstone, at 40, Munster Rd., North End, Portsmouth. [source FreeBMD]

  1. Carole Jarmon a great niece of Edmund's for alerting me to his service and death in WWI and information on his child Katie
  2. The Commonwealth War Graves for their on-line service which provided information on Edmund's grave and Edmund's wife.
  3. FreeBMD which provided records for the marriage of Edmund to Gertrude May Holiday and her subsequent marriage to Edwin Hartley.
  4. The unknown passerby who was kind enough to take my photo at Edmund's grave.
  5. which provided access to attestation, war medal and census records for Edmund

ŠKenneth Scott and others 2013

contact: ken at