A Genealogical Study
SUMMARY OF 203277 PTE MORRIS GOODMAN'S
ARMY SERVICE 1916-19
Morris was born under the name Moses Goodman in Leeds on 25 December 1892, the sixth of seven children, to Symcha Gutman and Ester Szajndl "Fanny" Frydman. His parents and some of his elder siblings had been in the country since 1888, and one brother had been born in Leeds before him. His father and elder brothers were tailors, and he also became a tailor, somewhat unsurprisingly. His father died in 1908, when Morris was nearly 16, and he was living with his mother in 1916, when he was called up for active service, at the age of 23.
CONSCRIPTION, TRAINING AND ATTACHMENT
At York on 27 April 1916, Morris was assigned to the 10th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales' Own) and trained for two months, before being posted to north-eastern France on 23 August, as part of the British Expeditionary Force involved in the ongoing Battle of the Somme. Following heavy British losses in the attack on Thiepval, south of Arras, on 3 September, he was transferred to the 1/4th Battalion of the West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), on 5 September, with whom he would spend the remainder of his overseas service.
ACTION SOUTH OF ARRAS
Morris' new battalion fought in the Third Army, south and south-west of the city of Arras, until March 1917, spending periods in and out of the trenches, and stationed in various villages for several nights at a time. On 28 February 1917, as the battalion returned to the village of Bailleulval after its last stint in the trenches before moving north, the enemy shelled the village, and Morris was one of 10 men injured. The extent of his injuries is not known, but they did not prevent him from moving north with the battalion in the following weeks. The spring of 1917 was spent north of Arras, where casualties were great.
ACTION IN FLANDERS
The summer was relatively relaxed, as Morris' battalion was manning the coastal defences of north-eastern France and Belgium. Finally, the battalion marched south to support the attack on the Passchendaele Ridge in October. The battalion took part in the battle of Poelcapelle on 9 October, during which Morris received a gunshot wound to the left thigh. The battle was fierce, and many men were lost. However, Morris survived and was sent home on 31 October.
CONVALESCENCE, MARRIAGE AND HOME SERVICE
Morris spent a year out of action, during which he married Martha Sykes in Leeds on 27 July 1918. He returned to army service on 20 November that year, and spent a further 11 months in the Royal Protection Corps, serving in various places around Britain, including Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Pembroke and possibly Northamptonshire. During this time, he committed a number of offences, most of which involved overstaying passes and being absent for longer than permitted, and it is assumed that he was enjoying married life a little too much!
When Morris was demobbed on 10 October 1919, he was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the West Riding Regiment, at the age of 26. He received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His war injuries would prevent him from sitting down properly and from having children. He returned to civilian life and became a bookmaker. Morris died on 28 December 1956, three days after his 64th birthday, and is buried in the New Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Cemetery in Leeds.