William Edward Goff EM

b. 29/12/1917 Mollington, Cheshire.  d. 10/12/1944 Germany.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 16/10/1933 Pump Farm, Backford, Cheshire.

William E Goff EM

William was born on 29th December 1917, the second of six children born to Samuel and Emily Goff of Demage Lane, Mollington, Cheshire. He started school at the age of 5 at Mollington C of E School, leaving at the age of 14, and took a job as a farm hand at Pump Farm, Backford. It was at this farm that two years later on 16th October 1933, he saved the life of his employer, Mr A R Cooke. On the 18th December 1933, he was presented with his Edward Medal by King George V, though he was accompanied by the local MP, Sir Christopher Clayton, and not his parents. Shortly after this, he left the employment of Mr Cooke, and went to work for Sir Christopher as a chauffeur, handyman and gardener. His third job was with Mr Wild, a dairy farmer in Mollington. At this time, he met his future wife, Joan Roughsedge, and they married on 5th September 1940 and had one daughter.

He was not initially called up for service in the Second World War because he was in a reserved occupation. In early 1944, he chose to enlist as a Driver with the Royal Army Service Corps, declining to mention that he was a recipient of the Edward Medal. On 23rd January 1945, his wife Joan was informed that he had “gone absent without leave” and his pay would be stopped as a deserter. This information sadly was incorrect, and in March 1945 his death from drowning was announced. He had been found in a canal in Germany on 10th December 1944. He was subsequently buried in Ghent City Cemetery. His widow, later remarried, and the medal is still held within her family.



On the 16th October, 1933, Mr. A. R. Cooke, a farmer, of Pump Farm, Backford, Cheshire, was attacked by a bull in the yard behind his house. The farmer tried to hold the infuriated animal off, but became exhausted and was thrown to the ground and gored by the bull. Goff, who is employed by the farmer, is 16 years of age, but small in height and build for his age. He heard the farmer cry for help and ran to his master’s assistance armed with a pikel. Goff rushed at the bull and by thrusting the pikel several times into the animal’s head succeeded in driving it off for a short distance, while the farmer managed to get into safety. The farmer was seriously injured, and but for the boy’s intervention, would almost certainly have been gored to death.






Allan Stanistreet – Biographical information on William Goff EM.