Harry Cleveland GOODSIR (1892-1918)



Company Sergeant Major: 1125 Harry Cleveland GOODSIR.

Born: 1891. Islington, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Birth Cert:24857/1891.

Died: 1st June 1918. Killed in Action

Father: Reuben Goodsir. (1864-1934) Died at Toronto, N.S.W. Death Cert:3011/1934.

Mother: Eliza Goodsir.nee: Aston. (1869-1926) Died Orange, N.S.W. Death Cert:16392/1926.


Harry Cleveland Goodsir enlisted with B Company, 36th Battalion AIF on the 14th of January 1916 and was an original member of the Battalion. Harry was transfered to the 35th Battalion AIF after the 36th were disbanded.

28th February 1918


This N.C.O has at all times shown great devotion to duty and keenness in his work both when in the trenches and billets. When in action his coolness and cheeriness has inspired all ranks with the utmost confidence. His courage has been frequently in evidence and has been reflected in the moral of the men under his control.

Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 24th of October 1918. No:165


4th-5th April 1918

The Strength of the 9th Infantry Brigade was about 2,250 but their casulties during the 2 days of fighting numbered 30 Officers and 635 men either killed in action or missing.

9th Infanry Brigade Casulties.4th-5th April 1918
33rd Battalion. AIF 3 Officers 82 Other ranks
34th Battalion. AIF 5 Officers 120 Other ranks
35th Battalion. AIF 9 Officers 282 Other ranks (including 44 missing)
36th Battalion. AIF 12 Officers 133 Other ranks (including 1 missing)
9th Machine Gun Company. AIF 1 Officer 18 Other ranks (including 4 missing)

’On the 16th April, the rumours of a new German Offensive against Amiens seemed to be definitely confirmed. A German prisoner, taken by the French, volunteered the that Villers Bretonneux was to be attacked the next day. The 5th Australian Division, which had come line on the night of the 6th/7th April, and held the sector from Villers Bretonneux (inclusive) to the Somme canal was warned to be ready to retake the town, if captured by attack from the north ; and other preparations and counter-preparations were made. About 4 A.M. on the 17th, Villers Bretonneux, Bois d'Aquenne, to the west of it and the village of Cachy, to the south, were heavily drenched for three hours with phosgene, mustard and irritant gasses. But no assault followed. As soon as possible the local garrison, consisting of the 6/London(58 Dvn) and the 33rd Australian Battalion, was got out of the shelters in the town into the trenches around it. The gas shelling was repeated in the evening from 4 to 7 P.M., next morning and on the following days, being increased so as to include Bois I'Abbe, but with greatly reduced results. Nevertheless it was impossible for anyone to move that area without feeling some ill-effects from the mustard gas, and there were, in all, 1,074 gas casualties.’

’The gassing of Villers Bretonneux seemed to point to the probability of its not being attacked, but by this time air photographs had revealed the signs of imminent operations; an increase in the number of enemy batteries had also been noticed, while the roads were being registered by German artillery. There were, however, also indications that the Albert sector might be the objective of an attack which might extend to Arras and Vimy Ridge. On the 21st there was much air fighting near the Somme, and the famous airman Richthofen was brought down.1. That night a man of the 4th Guard Division, captured by the 8th Dvn , disclosed the fact that his formation had just relieved the 9th Bavarian Reserve Division in front of Marcelcave , and would attack Villers Bretonneux at 3 A.M. on the 23rd. Counter-preparations were continued, and the German railway centres were bombed, particularly Chaulnes .2 'No infantry assault materialized on the 23rd, two deserters came in from the 77th Reserve Division, just arrived from Russia, which had entered the line on 20th, south of the 4th Guard Division, opposite Cachy, and the French captured a gunner of the Guard Ersatz Division opposite Hangard. All these men said that the relief of the line divisions by " storm " divisions had been completed :1. the infantry were ready to advance; the bombardment would begin early on the 24th and. last two and-a -quarter hours: and the attack would be assisted by new German tanks, which were already in position near the front line. 2 It is from the fact that tanks were used to punch a hole in the British line on either side of Villers Bretonneux, and that, in consequence, the Germans gained possession of the town and ground on either side for a short time, that the fighting on the 24th derives its interest.’

36th Battalion's last Parade before being disbanded. 30th April 1918.

Harry was Killed in Action on the 1st June 1918.

Informant; Lieutenant: N A TURNBULL 35th Battalion. Severe wounds on upper part of body and head caused by enemy exolosion, while occupying a front line position. Death was instantaneous, occuring in the early morning of 1st June 1918. The burial was conducted on the 2nd June 1918 at the Chalk Pitt Cemetery, Captain Chaplain: John Edward Norman OSBORN Officiating.

For Commanding Officer 35th Battalion.

Family Information

Harry was a single 24 year old Saw Mill Manager from Brighton Avenue, Toronto, N.S.W upon enlistment. His parents Reuben and Eliza Goodsir were married in 1888 at Newcastle, N.S.W. Marriage Cert:6635/1888.

Cousin; Sergeant: 770 Albert Victor GOODSIR. 33rd Battlaion AIF.

Military Records

Australian National Archives

Under Construction; 09/08/2009-10/04/2015.

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