For King and Country

Person Details

GOOLDEN, Alexander Wood


Name: Cookham School Lane, Cookham
NIWM Ref: 7925
RBWM Ref: WM151

Person Details

Place of birth: Paddington, London
Gender: Male
Date of death: 15/07/1919
Place of death: Baber, Fort Sandemann, N W Frontier, India
Manner of death: Killed in action
Age at death: 30
CWGC Ref: 1437185
TWGPP Ref: 1927978
Address: The Grove Odney Lane Cookham

Military details

Military Organisation: Army
Rank: Captain
Military Organisation: Army
Military Unit/Group: East Surrey Regiment


Father Edwin Richardson GOOLDEN
Mother Eva Sophia GOOLDEN
Brother George Anthony GOOLDEN

Additional information

Research has shown Alexander as a Law student at Trinity College, Cambridge and that he is commemorated on Trinity College War Memorial. He is however not on the Roll of Honour:
Alexander enlisted in the Artists Rifles at the outbreak of War and went to France early in 1915. Shortly afterwards he got a commission in the East Surrey Regiment. He was wounded in September 1915 and deemed "incapacitated for further service abroad." He was then employed at the OTC in Bristol and promoted to Lieutenant in February 1917. In July that year he gained a permanent commission as Captain in the 124th Duches of Connaught's Own Baluchistan Light Infantry. (This became part of Pakistan's army in 1947.) During WW1 four battalions of the Surrey Regiments were based in India. Alexander's regiment was involved in the 3rd Afghan War which lasted from 6th May - 8th August 1919, when the Afghan Army invaded the North West Frontier. 236 British and Indian men were killed in action but more than 500 died from cholera, and more than 500 from other diseases. Alexander was killed in action of 15th July 1919 during an attack on a convoy which he was guarding, on the North West Frontier of India (now Pakistan) at Baber, near Fort Sandeman. He is buried at Loralai Cemetery near Quetta on the Afghan border. This is too remote to be maintained by the CWGC. However, his name is on the Indian Gate of the Delhi Memorial designed by Lutyens.
Alexander was born in 1889 in Paddington, London, to Edwin Richardson Goolden, a Solicitor, and his wife Eva Sophia. His christening took place on 15th September, 1889 in Sandown, Hampshire. Alexander was one of three brothers and in the census of 1901 he was ten years old and boarding at Bradfield School. By the time of the 1911 census, his parents were living at "The Grove", off Odney Lane, Cookham. This was an 18 room house with - on the night of the census - a housekeeper, a domestic nurse, a cook, two house maids and a parlourmaid. Alexander was at that time, a law student at Trinity College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1911. One of his brothers, George, aged 20 who was a medical student at Caius College, Cambridge was at home, as was a friend called Patrick Roger Frere, a student at Brasenose College, Oxford and possibly the brother of Gilbert Raper Frere, of St. George's Lodge, who also died in the Great War. The family house, The Grove, burnt down in March 1919 when the Fire Brigade cound not attend due to the floods in Cookham, but it was later rebuilt. Probate records show he left 3,618.


Find my past
Summary: Afghan War
Summary: London Gazette
The London Gazette, issue 31212, p3026 Alexander Goolden, E Surrey Regiment, promoted to Lieutenant 9 Feb 1917. Later Captain in the 124th Duchess of Connaughts Light Infantry, KIA 15.7.1919 in the NW Frontier of India at Baber, Nr Fort Sandeman, buried at Loralai Cemetery. Handwritten documentdated 7.10.19, A Goolden 3/124 Baluchistan Infantry reported killed in action July 16 near Fort Sandeman on the Afghan Frontier, was the third son of Mr E R Goolden of Cookham, Berks. He was educated at Bradfield College and Trinity College Cambridge where he graduated LLB in 1911. At the outbreak of war he enlisted in the Artists Rifles and went to France early in 1915. shortly afterward he obtained a commission in the Ist East Surrey Regiment and in September of that year was wounded. He was incapacitated for further service abroad and was employed in the OTC in Bristol. In July 1917 he was transferred to the Indian Army and obtained a permanent commission in the 3/124 Baluchistan Infantry with which regiment he was serving in the Afghan Frontier at the time of his death. He was killed during an attack on a convoy proceeding from Lakaband to Fort Sandeman, being at the time the officer in charge of the escort protecting the convoy.

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