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  • Mark Forsdike

Remembering Cyril

There has been much Away ‘pomp and ceremony’ today in Normandy as the leaders of the UK, the Is and France gather to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 1944.

Away from the focus of the media’s attention, other smaller but no less important services have been taking place to remember those who participated in that momentous day.

I was asked to represent the Suffolk Regiment at a small ceremony in Peterborough today, to commemorate the life of Private Cyril Goodwin who was mortally wounded on D-Day and died in hospital two days later in England.

A local resident, Judith Good, decided that he should be remembered and set about trying to trace his descendants for a small ceremony. At the ceremony, his nice and nephew were both present: his nephew wearing his treasured wristwatch that he left at home in England before D-Day.  His niece travelled up from Kent to be present. She was born just after the war, and was named ‘Cyrilla’ in his memory.

Born in Ipswich, Cyril, who was a member of 8 Platoon, ‘A’ Company, was shot in the leg in the first attack on ‘Hillman’ on the afternoon of D-Day and was evacuated back to the beach to await embarkation onto a ship for England. As he lay there he was wounded again by shrapnel during an enemy mortar barrage and his condition rapidly deteriorated. He arrived at Gosport the following day and was transferred to hospital, but sadly died of his wounds on 8 June 1944. His body was brought back to Peterborough where he was laid to rest with full military honours.

In the great hubbub of all the various ceremonies in France, this small act of remembrance will have been sadly overlooked, but to think that people are still interested in remembering men of the Suffolk Regiment sixty-five years after the Regiment ceased to exist, is heart-warming. Well done to Judith and all who ensured that their hero of D-Day was not forgotten.


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