Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 21, 1891
Place of BirthOwen Sound, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMary Goodman (mother), 343 Edmonton Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingDraftsman for railway
Service Details
Regimental Number1081596
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion1st Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentCochrane, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 27, 1916
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death19691116
Age at Death78
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg

Goodman, Earl Stanley

Sergeant Earl Stanley Goodman enlisted in Cochrane, Ontario in May 1916, at age 25. He served in France and Belgium with the Canadian Railway Troops for more than two years and returned to Canada in March 1919.

Earl was the youngest son of Frederick St. Clair Goodman and Maria Smith of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Frederick (aka Friedrich Goodmann), an upholsterer, was born in Oshawa, Ontario. His wife Maria (Smith/Schmidt) was born in Salem, Ontario to German parents. Frederick and Maria were married in 1881 in Carrick Township, Ontario. Their first three children were born in Berlin (now called Kitchener): Robert Judson, Mabel Louise and Harvey Frederick. Earl Stanley was born on 21 March 1891 in Owen Sound, Grey County.

At the time of the 1901 census the family was living in Sarnia but a short time later they moved to the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. Frederick worked as an upholsterer for the Rideout-Gilbert Co. Ltd., a home furnishings store that had a branch in Kenora. By 1906 Frederick and his family had moved again, this time to Winnipeg. In 1907 his daughter Mabel was married in Winnipeg to Rocque Beaudro, a Kenora lad who had played hockey with the Rat Portage/Kenora Thistles. When the 1911 census was taken Frederick’s occupation was listed as carpet layer and he and his wife were also running a boarding house on Bannatyne Avenue in Winnipeg.

Earl started working for a railway company when he was about 19 years old. By the time he enlisted in 1916 he was living in Cochrane, Ontario and employed by the Canadian Government Railways as a draftsman in their engineering department. His sister and brother-in-law Mabel and Rocque Beaudro were also living in Cochrane, where Rocque was an accountant for the same railway firm. Earl and Rocque both enlisted on 27 May 1916. Rocque joined the 228th Overseas Battalion (Northern Fusiliers) and Earl signed up with the No. 1 Construction Battalion. Earl’s unit was recruited across Canada among skilled and experienced railway men and it was to be used for general railway construction. The battalion headed overseas on 13 September on the SS Northland, arriving in England about nine days later.

After just a month in England the No. 1 Construction Battalion was sent to France and the troops disembarked at Le Havre on 26 October. In February 1917 the unit was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops and Earl served with them for the next two years. Canadian railway troops were involved in all aspects of the construction and maintenance of railways in France and Flanders. On 2 April 1917 Earl was appointed Acting Corporal and on 5 July he was promoted to Corporal. He had ten days leave in France in October and two weeks leave in the UK in December. On 1 May 1918 he became Acting Sergeant, getting promoted to Sergeant on 1 June. Beginning in August the fighting moved into a more open phase and railways were crucial for maintaining supplies to the front lines and for evacuating the wounded.

The Armistice ended hostilities in November and two months later Earl returned to England, where he was transferred to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot. He embarked for Canada on 25 February 1919 on the SS Megantic and arrived in Halifax on 9 March. He had two weeks landing leave and he was discharged on demobilization on 29 March in Winnipeg.

Earl stayed in Winnipeg and went on to have a long career with the Canadian National Railway Company, which was incorporated in June 1919. When the 1921 census was taken he was living with his mother, who still operated a boarding house but now on Edmonton Street. Earl was married in Winnipeg on 24 September 1921 to Dorothy Lydia Lackie. Dorothy was born in Barrie, Ontario, the daughter of John Davis Lackie and Elizabeth McDonald. When the 1921 census was taken she was working as a clerk and living in Winnipeg with her widowed mother and two of her three brothers.

Earl and Dorothy had one son, John. Dorothy passed away at Misericordia Hospital in March 1948. Her parents had predeceased her and she was survived by her three brothers, Thomas, George and John. Earl retired from the CNR in 1954, at age 63. He died at the St. Vital Hospital on 16 November 1969, at age 78. His funeral was held two days later and he’s buried at Brookside Cemetery along with his wife and other family members.

Earl is commemorated on the Canadian National Railway Roll of Service: ‘Canada’s National Railways: Their Part in the War.’

By Becky Johnson

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