Luton's war hero telephone foreman

Sgt Ernest Tilley GoodwinSgt Ernest Tilley Goodwin, 29592, Royal Engineers 14th Signals, was a Luton telephone foreman who had served in the R.E. since October 1914. He had already been decorated with the Russian Cross of St George, 4th Class, after the Second Battle of Ypres, when he was mentioned in despatches by the Commander-in-Chief in Italy for “gallant service and devotion to duty” while working with 34 Motor Airline Section, 14th Signals.

The Luton News (January 23th, 1919) reported that Sgt Goodwin, of 193 Park Street, Luton, first saw active service in the South African [Boer] War. He joined the Grenadier Guards a month before his 17th birthday, and went to South Africa just before he was 18. He had about 16 months of active service in South Africa, and after three years with the Colours passed into the Reserve, being time expired only a few months before the outbreak of war in 1914.

He then tried to re-engage in the Grenadier Guards, but owing to his telephone experience – he had been a foreman for 11 years – he was held for service with the R.E. Signals, and went to France almost immediately. He spent two years and eight months in France, and has followed this with 16 months in Italy.