Rank: Ordinary Seaman
Service Number:J/71869.
Regiment: H.M.S. Contest Royal Navy
Killed In Action Tuesday 18th September 1917
Age 18
County Memorial Macclesfield
Commemorated\Buried Plymouth Naval Memorial
Grave\Panel Ref: 21.
CountryUnited Kingdom

Edison's Story.


Edison Goodwin was born on 6 June and baptised on 25 June 1899 at Tideswell, Derbyshire, the eldest son of Florence and Thomas Goodwin, a chauffeur. In 1911, eleven-year-old Edison was living at 9 Charles Street, Buxton with his parents and siblings Thomas Eldred (10), Florence (8) and Harry (5).

The family moved to 4 Crown Street, Macclesfield in 1913.



Thomas joined the Royal Navy on 7 June 1917 and after training was posted to HMS Contest on 13 August 1917.

HMS Contest, a destroyer, was torpedoed on 18 September 1917 by German U-Boat U106 in the Western Approaches to the English Channel while assisting the torpedoed steamer City of Lincoln. Thirty-five lives were lost, including that of Ordinary Seaman Edison Goodwin. Edison's death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 28 September 1917:


Mr and Mrs Thomas Goodwin, 4 Crown St, off Hibel Rd, Macclesfield, received an intimation on Monday from the Admiralty stating that their son, Seaman Edison Goodwin, is believed to have been drowned. The communication stated... "the name of Edison Goodwin, ordinary seaman, who is believed to have been on board, does not appear in the list of survivors received in this department. Under the circumstances it is feared... that he must be regarded as having lost his life."

Seaman Goodwin was a native of Buxton, and eighteen years of age. He came to Macclesfield with his parents four years ago, his father being a local taxi-driver. The seaman received his education at the Buxton Council School, and on coming to Macclesfield entered the employ of the Macclesfield Times, Ltd, Queen Victoria St. Later he engaged at Mrs Leach's Dyeworks, Pearl St, and joined the Navy on June 7th last. Seaman Goodwin underwent a course of instruction at a naval training school, and was afterwards posted to a ship. He was formerly connected with the Trinity Wesleyan Chapel.


Ordinary Seaman Edison Goodwin has no known grave and he is named on Panel Ref. 21. of the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Ordinary Seaman Edison Goodwin, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

In Macclesfield, Edison Goodwin is commemorated on the Park Green and Town Hall war memorials. The floral tributes laid when the Macclesfield Park Green War Memorial was unveiled on 21st September 1921 included one with the words “In very loving memory of our dear son and brother, Seaman Edison Goodwin, from his loving mother and sister and brother.”


GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975 (Find My Past/FamilySearch)
Census (England & Wales): 1911
British Royal Navy Seamen 1899-1924 (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 28 September 1917
Macclesfield Courier: 24th September 1921

Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.