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George Batley GodwinManager of Cordite Section, Gretna Mossband
Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): George Batley Godwin
Date and Place of Birth: 24/09/1879 in St Pancras, London
Date and Place of Death: 22/06/1965 Cape Town SA
Nationality: British/South African
Parents: Harold Frederick and Louise Marie Godwin
Parent’s occupations: Wine Shippers Agent (Father)
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance:
Praetoria House School, Folkstone
S.A.I.E (South Africa Institute of Engineering)
Place of residence at Gretna: N/K
Job title at Gretna: Works Manager, Cordite Section, Mossband
Marital status: Married Evelyn Alexandra Godwin
Children: Jean Louise (b.1905) and Joan (b.1914)
Travels: South Africa
Awards/recognitions: Member of the Order of the British Empire 1920
Trivia / any other information:
- Books published (Title, year of publication, publisher): N/K
- Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher): N/K
- Blogs about the individual: N/K
- Websites about the individual: N/K
Further links, notes, and comments:
George Batley Godwin
George Batley Godwin, who before the War was living in South Africa, was
the manager of the Cordite Section at Mossband. He returned to his family
in South Africa at the end of the War and pursued a long career as an
George was born in London on the 24th September 1879, the son of Harold Frederick and Louise Marie Godwin. In 1891, he is at Praetoria House School in Folkstone. He serves his engineering apprenticeship with Greenwood and Batley Engineering Works in Leeds from 1896. On the 1901 census George is a mechanical engineer boarding in Headingley in the city. While there he joins the 1st West Riding of Yorkshire Artillery militia, a reserve territorial unit, and is promoted to Second Lieutenant.
In March 1902, George volunteers for the 27th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry and goes off to fight the Boers in South Africa. His medical record shows him to have been 6 feet one inch tall and have dark brown hair and grey eyes. He attains the rank of Sergeant and is discharged in February 1903 and remains in Cape Town. He gives his forwarding address as Thomas Cooks in Cape Town.
He marries Evelyn Alexandra, and they have two daughters, Jean Louise born in 1905 and Joan born in 1914. In South Africa he works for several engineering companies.
In 1915 George returns to Britain to take up a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery. However, he is seconded to the Ministry of Munitions for explosives manufacture.
He began at their head office in Storey’s Gate, Westminster in September 1915 as Chief Draughtsman designing, ordering, and inspecting plant and materials for HM Factory Gretna. From October 1916, he is the Manager of the Cordite Section at Mossband with control of some 10,000 workers and 200 staff including technical and engineering services.
George leaves Gretna in October 1919. His contact address published in the Mossband Farewell is c/o Messrs de Beers Consolidated Mines,
15 St Swithin’s Lane, London. The London Gazette of April 1920 records George being awarded the Order of the British Empire and he becomes an MBE, for his contribution to the war effort as Works Manager at HM Gretna.
He returns to his family in South Africa and becomes the Chief Engineer for the Vacuum Oil Co. of South Africa.
George died on the 22nd of June 1965 in Cape Town aged 85.