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Informal group portrait of soldiers from the 18th Battalion prior to embarkation c23 September 1915. Ernest Goode is in the back row on the far left. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

On 4 August 1916 Private Ernest Harold Goode was wounded in action at Pozieres in France. A private in the 18th Battalion 6th Reinforcements “Ern” received a gunshot wound to the head amid heavy enemy shelling.

Private Goode was evacuated to the nearby 2nd Australian Field Ambulance. The following day he was transferred to the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, then admitted to the 11th General Hospital at Camiers. On 9 August he was conveyed to the hospital ship HS Dieppe at Calais and evacuated to hospital in England.

Private Goode recovered from his wounds; he rejoined his unit in France in November 1916.

Ernest was wounded a second time, but this time his injuries proved fatal. On 25 February 1917 he was stretcher bearing at Butte de Warlencourt when a shell exploded nearby killing him instantly. Eyewitnesses claimed that he died from concussion, and that he body was unblemished.

Company Sergeant Major Butler of the 18th Battalion later observed:

Private Goode was well known to many for his excellent conduct and good service as a stretcher bearer

Ernest’s obituary in the Leader of 18 May 1917 noted:

Pte. Goode was born locally, spent all his school days here, and enlisted here not very long after the beginning of the war. He bore an unblemished reputation, and an upright character, and was highly respected by all who knew him.

Ernest was born in Millthorpe in 1885, the sixth of ten children of farmer William Goode and his wife Elizabeth Grace nee Pascoe. He attended Millthorpe Public School and later took up farming.

In July 1915 Ernest enlisted at Liverpool. He embarked for overseas service on 2 November 1915 and proceeded to Egypt, where he served until joining the British Expeditionary Force in France in March 1916.

On Sunday 1 April 1917 the Reverend WT Dyer preached his final sermon at Millthorpe Methodist Church. During the sermon he paid tribute to Ernest and the congregation joined in singing the following hymn in his memory.

Thou who hast all Thy people in Thy sight,
To Thee we come.
Be Thou their guide, their comfort and their light
Afar from home.
Keep Thou their souls, in steadfastness and right
Remember, Lord, Australia’s sons to-night.

Gone from the humble cottage in the dell,
From home, sweet home.
Gone from the dear ones whom they love so well
To face the storm;
Gone from the mansion to defend the right-
Remember, Lord Australia’s sons to-night.

Sons are now dying, ’tis the cost of war,
Have Mercy, Lord;
Wilt Thou prepare them ere they cross the bar?
Have mercy, Lord:
Burst Thou Death’s glooms by Heaven’s celestial light
Remember, Lord, Australia’s sons to-night.

Be Thou their refuge in the darkest hour,
Be Thou their stay;
Stretch forth Thy hand, shew Thine almighty power
In Thine own way;
Thou did’st on Galilee reveal Thy might-
Oh! comfort, Lord, Australia’s sons to-night.

On Sunday 9 November 1919 Captain Chaplain Wilson conducted a memorial service at Frape’s Hall at Millthorpe for local fallen heroes, including Ernest.

Ernest Harold Goode is commemorated on the Millthorpe Methodist Church Honour Roll and on panel number 85 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Ernest’s brother George Henry Goode also served in WWI; he was killed in action in France on 2 June 1918.