Frederick Goodwin was born at Liverpool on the 28th December 1881 and baptised at St.Michael's R.C. Church, Everton, on the 8th January 1882.

 
He was the son of George William Goodwin and Ellen (nee Burns). His parents were married at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception R.C. Church, Everton in 1871. Ellen was George William's second wife and she was just a year older than his eldest daughter.  
 
George was a cabinet maker and manufacturer from Dublin where the children of his previous marriage to Elizabeth Townsend were all born. He was a widower by 1871 and had moved to Liverpool where he was living at 6 Atwell Street, Everton, with his four daughters, Mary M (born 1854), Georgiana Elizabeth (born 1855), Margaret (born 1862), Kate E. (born 1864) and George W. F. (born 1868),  
 
George and Ellen's children, all born in Liverpool, were: Robert Thomas (born 1873), Norah (born 1873), Edward Fitzgerald (1877-1879), Lily (born 1879) and Ellen (born 1884). Of the four oldest children only Lily was still alive by 1881, when the family was living at 32 Aber Street, Everton. 
 
By 1891 George had died and Ellen was a dressmaker, living at 41 Laith Street, Everton with her three surviving children, Lily, Frederick and Ellen. Her step-children were not living with them but their does not appear to have been any rift in the family as Lily and Ellen were living with their unmarried half-sisters Margaret and Georgiana, at 48 Red Rock Street, Fairfield, in 1901. The sisters were all working in the garment industry.
 
Frederick enlisted in the South Lancashire Regiment at Warrington on the 20th October 1899 using the name of Frederick Burns. He was already a member of the militia.
 
He gave his age as 18 years and 1 month, although he was actually a few months short of his eighteenth birthday. He was 5ft 5Ĺ inches tall, weighed 115 lbs and had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair. On his left foreman he had a tattoo of a woman's bust and the name Sarah. On the other forearm he had a tattoo of a "ballet girl".
 
He gave his next of kin as his elder brother George of 11 Renfrew Street, Liverpool, and his younger sister Nellie of Birkenhead.
 
He retained the service number he was given at this time - 5954 - until his death although at different times he used the surname Burns and Goodwin and as a result two sets of service records and two First World War medal cards have survived for Frederick.
 
He received much of his education during his time in the army. In November 1903 he obtained his Third Class certificate of education and his Second Class certificate in March 1905. He was also awarded his Mounted Infantry Certificate in July 1903.
 
Frederick served in India and also in the South African Campaign (The Boer War) from 1900 to 1902 and it was during that period, in September 1901, that he was sentenced to 42 days Field Punishment No. 1 for leaving his post.
He was awarded numerous medals for his service in South Africa.
 
 
During his army career, apart from this one incident, he committed only minor infringements of discipline on numerous occasions such as gambling, missing parades and giving impertinent answers to superior offices. In January 1904, for example, he was reprimanded for "not complying with Battn. orders i.e. not wearing a regulation flannel shirt on parade"!
 
In April 1904 Frederick extended his period of service with the colours to eight years and was promoted to Lance Corporal in December of the same year. He made full Corporal in October 1906 and in December 1907, on the completion of his eight years, he was transferred to the army reserve.
 
He re-engaged in the reserve for a further period of four years on the 1st May 1911.
 
Shortly afterwards he married Mary Canham at St.Francis de Sales R.C. Church, Walton, on the 3rd July 1911. Frederick had been lodging with the Canham family at 46 Antonio Street, Bootle, at the time of the 1911 census a few months earlier. He was working as a railway detective.
 
They had three children, the youngest of whom, Helen Lilian, was born at 59 Rigby Street, St. Helens on the 24th June 1915, twenty-two days after her fatherís death. The older children were Mary Veronica (born Bootle 1st July 1912) and Frederick William (born Prescot 10th February 1914) 
 
Frederick was recalled for active service on the 5th August 1914 and promoted to Sergeant on the 1st September. He was posted to the 2nd battalion South Lancashire Regiment on the 7th October and arrived at the front with the British Expeditionary Force the following day. He was therefore eligible for the 1914 Star as well as Victory and British War medals. In 1919 the 1914 Star was issued to his wife in the name F. Burns whilst his Memorial Scroll and Plaque were sent in the name F. Goodwin.  
 
He was killed in action on the 2nd June 1915, aged 33 years.  
 
On the 4th November 1915 it was noted in his service records that his effects should be returned to his wife at 59 Rigby Street, St. Helens (Goodwin). By the time she eventually received his effects in April 1920 - namely one identity disc - she had returned to Bootle and was living at 84 Antonio Street, Bootle.
 
Reports on his death appeared in the Liverpool Echo on the 10th June 1916 and in the Evening Express on the 9th June 1916. The photo which appeared in the Evening Express report is reproduced here with the kind permission of the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo.
 
A ST. HELENS SERGEANT.
   Sergeant Frederick Goodwin, of the South Lancashire Regiment, formerly railway detective on the London and North Western Railway, has fallen for his country. He resided at Rigby-street, St.Helens, and was not only very well known to the regular travellers between St.Helens and Liverpool, but popular with his comrades on the line. A good soldier, he fought a good fight and fell at Ypres, mourned by all who knew him.

Evening Express 9th June 1916

 
SEVEN LANCASHIRES DEFEAT A GERMAN ATTACK.
   Information of the death of her husband, Sergeant Goodwin, formerly detective at St.Helens for the London and North Western Railway Company, has been received by Mrs. Goodwin, of 57, Rigby-street, St.Helens. Sergt. Goodwin was a Liverpool man, and 33 years of age. He had served in the Regular Army, and was a most efficient N.C.O. Company Sergeant-Major Alldridge, in writing to Mrs. Goodwin, who has two young children, says:- "Sergt. Goodwin's death, on June 2, is grieved by all who soldiered with him. During his time with the 2nd South Lancashire Battalion on active service, he has proved himself a never-tiring and brave soldier. Little do people realise who have joined the battalion since last November that your late husband held back a German attack with only seven rifles working in his trench. At that time we were denuded of officers, otherwise he would have now been the proud possessor of V.C. or D.C.M., only, as in many more cases he had no one to carry the affair forward. The locality in which he was killed is the same place where he proved himself such a capable and reliable soldier last November, namely, Ypres. Please accept the deepest sympathy of myself and all the N.C.O.'s and men of my company.

Liverpool Echo 10th June 1916