Acting Sergeant Mark Goff

Mark Goff
Photograph courtesy of Royston Williamson

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Family History

Mark Goff Birth Index ©
Mark Goff – Image from Official Birth Registration Indexes ©
Mark Goff – Baptism Entry from Parish Register ©

Mark Goff was born on 11th April 1886 in Dorking Surrey, and was baptised on 8th May 1886 at St Martin’s church in Dorking. At the time of baptism the family lived at Cotmandene Square.

Mark’s mother was Emily/ Maria (nee Peters). She was born in the 3rd quarter of 1852 in Dorking. Her parents; Joseph (born about 1824) and Maria (born about 1825), both in Dorking. Joseph was working as an agricultural labourer. Emily died in March 1918 in Dorking Surrey. She was 65 years old. Mark’s father was Henry, born in the 4th quarter of 1846 in Dorking. Henry stated in censuses that his place of birth was either Abinger or Effingham in Surrey. His father and was called Butler born about 1805 in Abinger. Butler was an agricultural labourer. Henry died in June 1917 at the age of 69, in Dorking, and was buried on 17th June 1917 in Dorking Cemetery. Emily and Mark married in the 2nd quarter of 1870 in Dorking. Emily was already pregnant with Emily Maria.

Emily and Mark had 15 children. Eleven were still alive at the time of the 1911 Census.

Mark’s siblings were:

Emily Maria born in 1870 and baptised on 28th August 1870 in Dorking.
Ann born on 16th February 1872 and baptised on 31st March 1872 at St Paul’s church in Dorking
Rachel born in the 1st quarter of 1874 in Reigate Surrey.
Henry Butler born in Reigate in 1875 and baptised on 1st August 1875 in Reigate.
Eleanor Kate born in Dorking in 1877 and baptised on 12th August 1877 at St Martin’s Church.
Fanny Sarah born in Dorking in 1879 and baptised on the 7th of December 1879 at St Martin’s Church.
Edward James baptised on 26th June 1881, and Esther baptised on 9th October 1882, both at St Martin’s Church.
Martha Caroline born in Dorking in 1884, and baptised on 30th March 1884 at St Martin’s Church.
Twins Lucy and George born on 27th September 1888 and baptised on the 26th of October 1888 in Dorking.
Charles Joseph born in Dorking on 8th November 1889 and baptised on 5th January 1890 at St Martin’s Church
Eliza born in Dorking on 6th January 1893 and baptised on 19th March 1893 at St Martin’s church.
Emma born in Dorkking on 27th October 1894 and baptised on 30th December 1894 at St Martin’s church.

Edward, Esther and the twins Lucy and George died as infants.

The 1871 Census reads that newlywed’s Emily and Henry, together with daughter Emily, lived with their relatives John and Ann Lucas at Falkland Road in Dorking. Henry worked as a labourer.

In 1881 Census reads that the ever growing family moved to Jupps Cottages (Cotmandene) in Dorking. Henry still worked as a general labourer.

In 1891 Census reads that the family lived at Cotmandene Square. Mark was 5 years old. Henry worked as a general labourer.

Mark Goff 1892 School Register ©
Mark Goff School Log Book 1892 ©

The School Admission Register reads that Mark was admitted on 17th October 1892 to St Martin’s Church of England School in Dorking for Boys. The family lived at Cotmandene Square. Mark previously attended St Martin’s Church of England School in Dorking for Infants. He left the school on 30th September 1898.

Mark Goff 1901 Census ©

By the 1901 Census, Mark left home and worked as a pot boy at the Spotted Dog public house on South Street in Dorking. The rest of the family continued to live at No. 4 Cotmandene Square.

Mark Goff 1911 Census ©
Mark Goff 1911 Census ©

At the time of the 1911 Census, Mark was stationed in India as part of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Fusilier Regiment. He was single and did not learn any trade.

Military History

In 1911 he was in India as part of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Fusiliers Regiment. He was a drummer.

At 1914 Mark was serving with the 1st Battalion the Royal Fusiliers City of London Regiment. His regimental number was L/10174 and he had the rank of a Lance Corporal and an Acting Sergeant. Mark enlisted in Aldershot and resided in Dorking. He entered the Western Theatre of War on 7th September 1914.

The 1st Battalion was stationed at the outbreak of the war at Kinsale, Mulster as part of the 17th Brigade of the 6th Division. In September 1914 the 1st Battalion landed at St Nazaire, France. The Battalion supported the BEF in the action on the Aisne heights in 1914 and in 1915 the Battalion moved north to Flanders and took part in action at Hooge.

Mark was killed in Flanders on 25th September 1915 – possibly by a shell.

Mark Goff New Irish Farm Cemetery Roll of Honour © CWGC

He is buried at the New Irish Farm Cemetery situated near a farm which soldiers called the Irish Farm in Belgium. His body was reburied at the New Irish Farm Cemetery, from a smaller original Irish Farm Cemetery ‘St Jean’, south of the farm. He was identified there by a cross. This small cemetery was built by the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers in May 1915. They were burying their dead there until September 1915. After his reburial at the New Irish Farm Cemetery, Mark had a cross erected and a citation inscribed upon it that reads “He gave his best” “Thy will be done”, by his oldest brother Henry Butler Goff of 77 Gloucester Road Peckham. His grave reference is XXVL. F. 16.

Mark Goff Medal Roll ©

He received the Victory and British medals and the 1914 Star. Mark was 29 years old.

Born Dorking, Surrey
Lived Dorking, Surrey
Son of Henry and Emily Maria Goff of 4 Cotmandene Square, Dorking
Enlisted Aldershot, Surrey
Regiment 1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers
Number L/10174
Former Regiment 2nd Battalion The Royal Fusilier Regiment
Date of Death 25th September 1915
Place of Death Flanders
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Age 29
Cemetery New Irish Farm Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium
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