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Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- CWGC Headstones -
- Ventnor Cemetery : William Richard Gould -


In Ventnor Cemetery, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Grave location Q 123.

Ventnor Cemetery : William Richard Gould
click to enlarge

12TH MAY 1945

Further Information

William Richard Gould

Son of Richard Gould and Margaret Gould (née Burton).

Born : 1918 (registered Lewisham, Sep 1918 qtr).

Married : 1942, Agnes Elizabeth Gee, Register Office, Newport, Isle of Wight. Son :- William Richard (born 1945).

(Agnes Gould remarried, in 1946, George Griffith)

Died : 12th May 1945, Warwickshire.

CWGC record ...

Newspaper reports

Isle of Wight Mercury

Friday, May 18, 1945 Page 1

The Mercury would like to extend a very cordial welcome to the local boys who have in recent days returned to their homes after being prisoners of war in the hands of the enemy for varying periods. Their home-coming has been a very joyous occasion for all concerned.
* *
In the midst of these rejoicings it is sad to hear of the tragedy reported on another page. Mr. and Mrs. Gee, their bereaved daughter and other members of the family will have the sincere condolences of many friends in their extremely sad loss.

Page 3

Killed on Day His Wife Had Baby Son.
Young Marine Corporal's Sad End.
A Ventnor Family's Great Sorrow.
A terrible tragedy has overtaken a well-known and respected local family. On Saturday last, at about 10 a.m., Cpl. William Richard Gould, of the Royal Marines, aged 25, lost his life instantly as the result of a motor-cycling accident which befell him when attached to a military convoy passing along the London Road, Willoughby, Rugby.
Three years ago Cpl. Gould was married to Miss Agnes (Jimmy) Gee, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Gee, 13 Pier Street, Ventnor, and on the day of the tragedy she gave birth to a son at the Unique Nursing Home. Cpl. Gould had spent a short leave in the town earlier in the week, returning on Thursday in readiness for military police duty in Germany, for which he had been training. On the day before the accident he chatted to his wife on the 'phone, inquiring as to her welfare in light of the expected arrival.
The sad story was related to the Coroner (Dr. H. Tibbits) at an inquest held at Rugby on Monday.
Cpl. Arthur Norman Williams said that Gould was an experienced motor-cyclist.
Dr. J.N. Wheeler said the dead man had sustained a fracture of the cervical spine.
William John Tustin, journeyman-electrician, Strawfield Farm, Misterton, said he was driving a Ford 8 h.p. car from Dunchurch towards Willoughby, and intended to turn right at the Grandborough turn. He had previously over-taken a military convoy consisting of vehicles and a number of motor-cycles. In his mirror he saw a motor-cyclist, about 300 or 400 yards behind him, approaching at a terrific speed. When witness was about 60 yards from the turn the motor-cyclist was about 100 yards or more behind him, and witness put his arm out to indicate that he wished to turn to the right and drove into the middle one of the three traffic lanes. He thought he had plenty of time to turn, and kept his arm out until he reached the turn, when his speed dropped to 10 to 15 m.p.h. He then drew his arm in and took his eyes off his mirror, and the motor-cycle struck his front wheel a glancing blow and swung the car round towards the left side. The motor-cyclist hit the kerb, mounted the path, and continued straight along it, until he saw some milk churns and two men standing on the path, and apparently in trying to avoid them hit a truck and crashed into a telegraph pole. The rider was thrown four or five feet from the ground and landed with his feet on the handlebars and his head on the back wheel. The machine burst into flames, but there was no sign of movement in him. The motor-cycle had never lost a bit of speed, and it was not out of control until it had the track, which caused it to go broadside into the telegraph pole. Witness had drawn into the middle traffic lane to allow the motor-cyclist to pass behind him, and there was room for him to do so.
Roy George Marriott, aged 15, engineer's mate, 66, Abbey Street, Rugby, a passenger in the car with the last witness, estimated the speed of the motor-cycle at 60 m.p.h., and said Tustin had his arm out 50 or 60 yards before he reached the Grandsborough turn.
Harry Rabin, "Inglenook," Grandborough, a roadman employed by Warwickshire County Council, said he was sweeping the footpath near the Grandborough turn, and was talking to Mr. Hobley, a farmer. His attention was drawn to the motor-cyclist because of the tremendous noise made by the machine, and he remarked that the motor-cyclist was "travelling." He saw the driver of the car with his arm out, indicating that he wanted to turn towards Grandborough, and heard a bump. Witness and his companion were standing by some milk churns, and the motor-cyclist passed them, ran into Mr. Hobley's truck and then went into the telegraph pole. The convoy was travelling at about 20 to 25 m.p.h., and the motor-cyclist came from the rear at a tremendous pace. There was plenty of room for the motor-cyclist to pass on the near side of the car, and he had a third of the road in which to pass. In witness' opinion the car driver was not to blame at all.
P.C. H.G. Asby said the impact occurred practically in the centre of the road, and the motor-cyclist had crashed into and wrecked a small four-wheeled bogey truck before going into the telegraph pole. Brake marks made by the motor-cyclist measured 93 feet.
Returning a verdict of "Accidental death," the Coroner said it had been conclusively shown that the motor-cycle was travelling at a very considerable speed. Had it been travelling at a reasonable speed Mr. Trustin could easily have got across to the turn, but the motor-cyclist had not time either to slow down or to go on the near side. In endeavouring to pass he struck the car and the machine got out of control.

News of the peculiarly sad tragedy has caused a profound sensation in Ventnor, and expressions of sympathy with the widow and Mr. and Mrs. Gee, and other members of the family, together with the bereaved parents, have been heard on all sides. Cpl. Gould had made quite a number of friends in Ventnor, where, when serving as a Royal Marine Commando, he was stationed for some time. He had served throughout the war, and had seen service at Dunkirk, Dieppe, North Africa, Sicily, Italy, etc. He was the proud possessor of the King's Badge, a coveted honour, held, we believe by only two others in his regiment. He was a fine type of soldier, clean and of splendid physique, with a happiness of disposition which endeared him to all.
The body has been brought to Ventnor, and the funeral takes place to-day (Friday), a service at St. Catherine's at 2.30 p.m. preceding the interment at the Cemetery. Full military honours will be accorded.

Isle of Wight Mercury

Friday, May 25, 1945 Page 2

GOULD. - Mrs. W.R. Gould wishes to express her heartfelt thanks to the many friends who have sympathised with her in her overwhelming bereavement, and for the lovely floral tributes sent. She desires also to thank most sincerely Dr. Giles, Nurse Callaghan, Nurse Adamson and Nurse Jackson for their sympathetic and kindly attention.

Page 3

Military Funeral at Ventnor
Military honours were accorded at the funeral at Ventnor on Friday last of Corpl. William Richard Gould, of the Royal Marines, son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. W. Gee, whose tragic death as the result of a motor-cycling accident we fully recorded last week. The coffin, draped with a Union Jack, and covered with lovely floral tributes, was conveyed from Messrs. Ingram's private chapel in Albert Street on the shoulders of six stalwart Marines to St. Catherine's Church, where the first part of the service was held. Following the coffin were Capt. Woodhouse and Sergt. P.J. Churchill, both of the Royal Marines. The service was conducted by the Vicar (Rev. L.K. Morton).
The principal mourners were Mr. and Mrs. Shearer (sister and brother-in-law), Mr. Ross Gould (brother), Mr. and Mrs. W. Gee (father-in-law and mother-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. C. Cole and Mr. and Mrs. W. Gee, jun. (brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Bates, Mr. J. Home, Mr. and Mrs. L. Hess and Nurse Jackson, together with the military representatives already named. The deceased's father and mother, it may be added, have for years been living in Persia, and for this reason were unable to be present.
There was a large gathering of sympathisers in the precincts of the church. Those present at the impressive service were Dr. F.C. Giles, Mr. T. Pethick and Mrs. T.F.H. Pethick, Mrs. Cherry; Mrs. Maybee, Mrs. Hall, Mrs. W. Deighton, Mrs. C. Deighton, Mrs. Lauder, Mrs. Walden, Mrs. Tyrrell, Mrs. L. Wright, Mr. G.W. Grover, Mrs. Witt, Mrs. Balten and others.
The service included psalms 23 and the hymn "Jesu, Lover of my Soul," and the organist played "O! Rest in the Lord" as the cortege left the church.
Many more friends assembled at the Cemetery for the final rites, which included impressive farewell salutes over the open grave by the military representatives and the throwing on to the coffin of roses and pansies from the children.
The local arrangements were in the hands of Messrs. H. Ingram and Sons, Ltd.
The following is a list of the floral tributes sent: -
My husband, my sweetheart: Goodnight, not Goodbye.
In ever loving memory of Bill. - Dad and Dolly.
God bless you Bill. From Muriel and Alex (sister and brother-in-law).
In long memory of Bill, from Doris (sister), Peggy (sister-in-law) and Ross (brother).
"Our Bill," with deepest sympathy from Mum and Dad (Mr. and Mrs. Gee).
Our dear daddy, from Ann and Little Bill.
God bless you from Mary and Charlie.
Betty and Jim.
Gladys, Peter and Pete.
Dorothy, Chris and family.
Harry, Doris and family.
Mary, Bill and Michael.
Molly, Ron and family.
Mr. and Mrs. Rowe.
Mrs. Arthur Phillips and family.
Nurse Jackson.
Mr. and Mrs. Lauder, Jean and Fred.
From all friends at Feltham.
Mrs. Cherry, Evelyn, Amy and Myra.
The Commandant, Officers and all ranks, Portsmouth Division, R.M.
The Commanding officer, Officers, and all the ranks of R.M. Provost.
Sergt. P.J. Churchill, R.M.
To Bill, from Jack and Nora.
From Mrs. Drover and family.
From Billy, Kit and family.


Janet Griffin for newspaper research.

Page updated

20 May 2014 (added newspaper reports and biographical details).


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