Walter Michael Goodrich (nicknamed ‘The Bishop’) was one of the original five boys that formed the Hounds Patrol and started Scouting in Grimsby in 1908. The Hounds later went on to join 3rd Grimsby (Mayor’s Own) Walter lived with his parents (and nine brothers and sisters- he was the youngest!) at 1 Princes Avenue, Grimsby and attended St.James’ School until 1913.
He was known for being quiet, gentle and modest.
After leaving school he became a clerk in the Riby Square branch of the Union of London and Smiths Bank.
As well as Scouting, Walter taught at the Silver Street Sunday School and served at the alters of both the Parish and Little Coates Churches.
In November 1915 he joined the Seaforth Highlanders and saw six months action in France before being invalided home.
After home service he joined the Officer’s Training School at Cambridge and in September 1917 he joined the 8th Battalion (attached to the 6th Battalion) of the Manchester Regiment, as a Second Lieutenant. On the 25th March 1918 his regiment was defending their position as part of the German Spring offensive on the Somme (The German’s advance had begun on the 21st). Walter was holding his position with a machine gun when it became jammed and useless. Walter was shot dead and his companion managed to escape with a wound. Walter had only just passed his 20th Birthday.
Although listed as missing from the 25th March, Walter’s death was not reported until the 14th June- and a memorial celebration of Holy Communion was held at his Parish Church on Thursday 20th June 1918 at 7 am.
A fellow officer wrote of him “If Walter was killed, he was quite ready. We all knew that he was a real Christian, and he was a good influence out here”
He is buried at Assevilliers New British Cemetery in France and commemorated on the rood screen in the War Memorial Chapel in Grimsby Minster.
St Michael’s Church in Little Coates, uses, most weeks, a communion paten (a small silver plate) which commemorates Walter Goodrich ‘who served at the altar of this church 1912-1918′ and died in action aged 20