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August 08 , 2009

Gooch of Spalding, Memoirs of Edward Henry Gooch 1885-1962

Presented by his grandson, Bruce Watson


In these, his memoirs, we see Harry’s adolescent revolt against his all-powerful father and his flight to Canada after knocking him down in a row. Then there is the account of his adventures in the Lincolnshire Regiment before the outbreak of the First World War, his time in the trenches with the rats and the corpses and only his belief in the Almighty and in his Destiny to keep him going. He tells how he lost a fortune during the Depression, and then made another that he was to fritter away in luxury cruises in the last years of his life. The Second World War gives him a new ‘raison d’être’ – first in the Home Guard and then in the ‘Little Ships.’

He paints a vivid picture of a forgotten way of life, a life of ease, of loss, of heartbreak, and of adventure; though, strangely enough, he never speaks of his personal feelings – it wasn’t the done thing.

He was fiercely proud and patriotic and adored all royalty and aristocracy, delighting in any occasion that permitted him to approach them. But his greatest pride was that of being, first and foremost, ‘a Lincolnshire man.’

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