Private Roy Frederick Goldsack

Roy Goldsack
Roy Goldsack © Newdigate Local History Society

Thank you to John Callcut for letting us reproduce the following information, taken from his book: A Village at War. Newdigate in World War One.

Roy Goldsack was born in Marylebone in 1898. His mother Ethel E. Goldsack was one of the nine children of Frederick George Goldsack, a tailor from Dover who had moved to Reigate. Roy lived with his grandparents in Reigate and then moved in with his uncle George Frederick Trow and his aunt Margaret Louisa Trow (nee Goldsack) who, before her marriage had been in service with the Herron family at 14 de Vere Gardens, Kensington. They lived at Reffolds and Roy went to school at Newdigate. He was one of the first in Newdigate to join up.

In May 1915 his regiment landed at Boulogne, but when on leave he told his friends that he was convinced he was going to die because as a sniper he felt very exposed. When it was time for him to return to Aldershot, he was reluctant to leave Newdigate and it took a lot of persuasion to get him onto the train at Holmwood. The 6th Battalion had taken part in the Battle of Loos and the Somme, so it is not hard to imagine the misery and dread in young Roy’s mind as the trees and fields of the Surrey Hills slipped by and he re-joined his comrades.

As a result of the great German offensive of March 1918, the battalion was in constant action. By June they were back at Aveluy Wood and occupying ground that had been fought over three months ago. An operation was planned to gain the remaining high ground of the Bouzincourt Spur. Zero hour was 9.35pm on June 30th and the advance was to be made under a creeping barrage, the 6th Queen’s attacking on the right and the 6th Royal West Kent on the left. Stokes mortars opened the barrage at zero less one minute. Artillery barrage opened at zero and the enemy barrage started ten minutes later. About midnight the situation was obscure, but for Roy Goldsack the torment ended as he fell just as darkness was setting in that mid-summer’s evening. He is buried at the Dernacourt Communal Cemetery Extension, just south west of Albert.                                                   

Born Marylebone, London
Lived Redhill, Surrey
Son of Ethel E. Goldsack
Grandson of The late Frederick Goldsack of Reigate
Regiment 6th Battalion, The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number L/11236
Date of Death 30th June 1918
Place of Death France
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Age 20
Cemetery Dernacourt Communal Cemetery

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