war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper




Harry, courtesy Ethel Puckett

Harry Goldsmith was born in Dover on 7 March 1896, the son of Henry Goldsmith and his wife Emma (née Ladd). The couple also had three daughters, Ethel, Edith, and Mabel. In 1901 the family were living at 14 Dixon Road, Dover, and Mr Goldsmith was working as a stoker.

Harry joined the Navy in March 1914. He was lost on 20 January 1918, when his Monitor, the HMS Raglan, was attacked by the cruisers Goeben and Breslau. The Raglan sank in shallow water.

A family story states that just six men survived, bringing home the log book, bullet-riddled flag, and the tale that as the Raglan sank the men still on board sang "Rule Britannia". 


Harry, with two of his sisters, Edith and Ethel. They are standing outside their home at 3 Seaview Terrace, on Bunker's Hill, one of the steepest hills in Dover

Harry and sisters, courtesy Harry Jarvis








It  was at this address Harry's mother received the news of her son's death.

Harry, courtesy Ethel Puckett

Harry with his older sister Mabel.

Harry and Mabel, courtesy Harry Jarvis








 She always spoke of the day he died, and remembered him as a "quiet, inoffensive boy". 

Below is believed to be the last picture ever taken of Harry, when they were coaling up. Mabel received the picture after her brother had died. 
Harry in a group, courtesy Harry Jarvis harry, courtesy Harry Jarvis

Harry's parents at Barham, courtesy Harry Jarvis

Left are Harry's parents in Barham church, beneath the flag that was brought home from the Raglan. It was eventually taken away to be restored, but never returned.

Harry has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval MemorialHarry's parents, courtesy Harry Jarvis

Harry's parents at home. Mrs Emma Elizabeth Goldsmith died on 15 October 1943 at 8 Hillside Road, her daughter's home, "after many years of suffering patiently borne"


below: Emma Ladd with her mother

harry's mother, with her own mother, courtesy Harry Jarvis

During the Great War, Mabel, born 29 April 1893, worked for Scott's the dyers, washing soldiers' uniforms in benzene. Her husband, Albert Butterfield (see Whitfield Fallen), whom she had married on 15 August 1915 at St Andrew's, Buckland, was killed on 7 June 1917, serving with the Royal Field Artillery. Albert's younger brother, Alfred John, had died the month before, on 3 May 1917. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. The family suffered a third tragedy when another brother, Robert Redvers Butterfield, serving in the Hampshire Regiment as a Private, fatally crashed into a car after losing control of his cycle at the bottom of the Whitfield Hill on 30 April 1921. Their grandmother is believed to be Jane Cruttenden, who died the year before, on 8 April 1920, aged 64.

Mrs Mabel Florence Butterfield, aged 24, remarried on 12 January 1918 at St Andrew's, Buckland, to Charles Arthur Cloke, 34, who was then serving as a Private in the Machine Gun Corps. Sadly, she was widowed again when Mr Cloke died on 19 June 1921. Mrs Cloke married for the third time on 20 October 1923 at Barham church, Kent, to Albert Laurie Jarvis, a plasterer's labourer.

Ethel Goldsmith, born 22 March 1899, married Thomas Pilcher, born 23 August 1895. They were living at 8 Hillside Road when he collapsed and died suddenly whilst at work on the Military Hill on 12 December 1940. Living in 1939 with them were Edith, her sister, and their mother, Emma. Edith's husband, Charles Richard Puckett, served during the Great War in the Royal Navy, including service on the Hood. He recalled how he sailed past the wreck of the Raglan, seeing the mast in the water. Known as a cheerful joker, he was killed in World War II, during the evacuation of Dunkirk. His tug, St Abbs, was bombed at 09.50 on 1st June 1940, and sank within 45 seconds.

with grateful thanks to Ethel Puckett and Harry Jarvis

Copyright 2008-16 © Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved