Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
5 Feb 1917
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Arthur Robert Goodman, 23081, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on February 5th, 1917. He was aged 20.
In a letter to Pte Goodman's sister, Mrs Ellen Bland, chum Pte Fred George said: "We were advancing in the early hours on February 5th under very heavy shell fire, when one came and killed my dear chum and three more of our mates, besides wounding several others. I think it would be about one o'clock in the early morning, and I had a narrow escape myself. I was only about a yard away from dear Bob when it happened. He never felt it; his death was quite instantaneous.
"I did not see dear Bob buried, but I know where he was buried and I went to see the grave before I came away. It is a nice grave." [As Robert Goodman is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, the location of his grave must have been subsequently lost.]
Pte Goodman joined the Colours in November 1915 and was in training at Ampthill before going to France on July 10th, 1916. He was an old boy of Queen Square School and had worked at the Diamond Foundry.
Born in late 1896, he lived at 27 Lea Road, Luton, with his mother, Priscilla Goodman, and Arthur Virgin, a labourer at Hayward Tyler.
Priscilla and Arthur Virgin had lived together for over 20 years and in the 1901 Census both used the surname Virgin, as did three children,including Arthur Robert. In the 1911 Census, Priscilla and two children used the surname Goodman and were described as lodgers. Priscilla and Arthur Virgin were in their sixties when they finally married in 1919.