Old Coathamians of World War One


No. R/14156 Serjeant, 18th (Service) Battalion
(Arts and Crafts), King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

Born 6 November 1895,
Died 15 September 1916, aged 20 years.

Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme,
France, Pier and Face 13A and 13B.

He died during the Battle of the Somme. His is one of over 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial, being names of those of the armed forces of the United Kingdom and South Africa* who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and who have no known grave. The vast majority of these, Serjeant Goldsbrough among them, died between July and November 1916 during the four-month-long Battle of the Somme itself. * Other Commonwealth countries erected their own memorials elsewhere.

Ronald Hanson Goldsbrough was the son of William and Annie Goldsbrough of 73, Queen Street, Redcar. His father was a coal merchant, running the depot for the North Eastern Railway. Ronald had four older sisters, Mabel, Ethel, Helen and Anne, the last three all still living at home in 1911. He attended Coatham Council School before starting Coatham Grammar School on 13 January 1905. Aged nine, he joined Form I, the preparatory class, and remained in the school until 28 July 1911. He passed Cambridge Preliminary and Junior examinations and was given a Special Prize for Industry, recognizing his hard work. The school magazine noted his skills as a 1st XI team footballer and cricketer, and an excellent athlete and tennis player. He also took part in a French play at the School Speech Day of 1911. On leaving school he became a boy clerk in the Civil Service, having passed the entrance examination at his first attempt. Both parents were still alive when Ronald lost his life in 1916.