Goddard, Frederick Maurice John


He was the eldest son of Frederick Walter Goddard, who was College Tutor from 1917 to 1918, an Assistant Master from then until 1931, and Housemaster of ‘D’ from 1931 to 1953.   His mother was Eva Mildred Goddard (daughter of William J. Oliver) and she had three sons: Frederick, David Michael Goddard (B 1938-1943) and Anthony Oliver Goddard (B 1942-1947).

Goddard came to the school from Horris Hill in September 1935.  He became a House Prefect in Short Half 1939 and a School Prefect in Common Time 1940. He played a great part in school and house games: three years in Lords; two in the soccer XI; two in VI; he represented his house in three winning Turner Cups and in two winning Hawkins, Toye and Ellis Cups. In addition he was no mean steeplechase runner. He was a vigorous and courageous player who did not easily admit defeat.   He played for Lords in 1939 and 1940.  According to his obituary in Wisden, his attractive batting was “full of strokes and dash”.

He was set on a career in the Navy, but in the summer of 1940 he failed by a few marks for Special Entry. Undeterred by this, he passed through HMS Collingwood and had ten months active service as an ordinary seaman in the Mediterranean.  This service, on HMS Formidable, included the Battle of Matapan and defence of Crete.

He returned in August 1941 to HMS King Alfred, and was commissioned in November. At his own request he was posted for training in coastal forces. After much service he was wounded in action off the Dutch coast on May 1st 1943, whilst serving as First Lieutenant of a ‘D’ Class Motor Gun Boat, MGB 630, operating from HMS Midge, the Coastal Forces base in Great Yarmouth.

On the night of 30th April/1st May 1943, two flotillas of D Boats, operating separately off the Dutch coast and under the overall command of Lieutenant Commander Duff Still, were supposed to rendezvous at dawn to return to base.   Duff Still sighted what he at first thought were the four boats of the other unit but then quickly realised was a German patrol, one of which was a mine sweeper.  Duff Still decided to attack and led his force under the stern of the German formation and, with still no reaction from the enemy, at a range of 400 yards, opened fire with one of the gun coasters catching fire.  The second MGB also turned towards the German ships but the commander, Lieutenant Guthrie was killed by a shell which hit the bridge.  With no-one in command, the boat ran on towards the German ships  until it was in the centre of their formation.  Heavy casualties at such close quarters were inevitable and, besides the Commander, two ratings and seven others were wounded.  Goddard was so severely wounded that he died the following day in Great Yarmouth.    He was buried at sea and is commemorated on panel 80, column 1 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

War: World War 2

  • Surname: Goddard
  • Forenames or initials: Frederick Maurice John
  • House: B
  • Years in School: 1935-1940
  • Rank: Sub-Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Date of Birth: 22nd October 1921
  • Date of Death: 2nd May 1943
  • How Died: Died of Wounds
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner A2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Column 1, Panel 80