Gerald Littlehales Goodlake VC

b. 14/05/1832 Faringdon, Oxfordshire. d. 05/04/1890 Denham, Buckinghamshire.

Gerald Littlehales Goodlake (1832-1890) was born in Wadley, near Faringdon (then in Berkshire, now Oxfordshire) on 14th May 1832. He was the son of Thomas Mills Goodlake and his wife Emilia Maria, who was the daughter of Sir Edward Baker, 1st Baronet of Radstone in Dorset. Goodlake entered the Armed Forces in 1848 when he entered the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at the age of 16. He was then commissioned into the Coldstream Guards on 14th June 1850, with whom he would serve throughout the Crimean Campaign. He was present at all of the major battles at Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, Tchernava, and the Siege and Fall of Sebastopol. He was promoted three times between 1851 and 1856 reaching Major.

Gerald L Goodlake VC

On 28th October 1854, an appeal for volunteer sharpshooters brought about the formation of a small body of about 60 men of the Guards, which, under Cameron of the Grenadiers, Goodlake of the Coldstream, and Baring of the Scots Fusiliers who held Careenage Ravine under an enemy assault. Later that day, Goodlake was in command of the sharpshooters and Coldstream Guards when the 2nd Division came under heavy attack. Goodlake was given the task of holding Windmill Ravine, below the Picquet House, against a much larger force of the enemy. The party of sharpshooters under his command killed 28 Russians (one an officer) and took three prisoners. He also displayed distinguished gallantry on the occasion of a surprise of a picquet of his shooters under his sole leading and command, when the knapsacks and rifles of the enemy’s party fell into his hands.

Goodlake was present at the first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park on 26th June 1857, having had his citation gazetted on 24th February that year. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1859, and in 1869 he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria. He then became Major General of the Land Forces in 1879, and retired in 1881 with the rank of Lieutenant General. Goodlake died on Saturday 5th April 1890 at Denham Fishery, Uxbridge at the age of 57. He was laid to rest at St Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Harefield, Middlesex. His medals are held by the Coldstream Guards RHQ, Wellington Barracks, London.




Thomas Stewart – Medal Group at the Guards Museum, London.