Thomas John Goddard  1886 – ?

Thomas’ birth was registered in the 1st quarter of 1886, in the Eastry district, with his baptism taking place on the 13th January 1886 at St Andrew’s, Deal. 

His parents were William John and Elizabeth Eldridge (née Bushell), and Thomas was one of eight children. The 1891 Census showed the family at 34 Northbourne Street in Northbourne, and William was employed as a farm labourer. No trace has been found of Thomas in 1901, however the 1911 Census gives the possibility that he was ‘on board at midnight on Sunday 2nd April 1911’, when the list of officers, crew and Royal Marines was given for Gillingham, indicating that he was in the Navy. His age was 26, and he was born in Finglesham which is close to Deal, making it likely that he was born in 1884 or early 1885, however this does not tally with his birth registration in 1886.

Confirmation is given that he was a sailor when he married Amy Elizabeth Mummery on 23rd December 1912 at St Andrew’s in Shepherdswell. His residence was given as HMS Teviot, Harwich, and he was 27, indicating a birth in 1885. 

Thomas and Amy had a daughter, Doris Elsie, born at the end of September 1913, nine months after their marriage. School records for Shepherdswell confirm that her father was Thomas and their address was given as Moons Hill Bungalow.

The only Navy record found for a Thomas John Goddard is for a man born in 1884 in Dover. It is unclear if this is our man, however he was not on HMS Teviot at the time of the marriage to Amy Mummery and no other details have allowed certainty that this is the same person.

Pike’s Dover Directories show Thomas living at 5 Freeman’s Villas from 1921 to 1926. The Dover Express records his daughter in both 1925 and 1928 in Shepherdswell, so it is possible that they were still living in the village. 

The last record found for Thomas gives his address as 45 Sussex Lane, Ashford, when he and Amy were emigrating to Canada on the Alaunia, a Cunard White Star ship on 26th October 1935. He was 49, an ‘agent’ and was intending permanent residence in Canada. The ship sailed from Southampton and was bound for Quebec and Montreal. No other records have been found to date.