Brigadier E.W. Goodman, D.S.O., M.C.

Brigadier Goodman

Malaya – 3rd September 1941

Brigadier E.W. Goodman, D.S.O., M.C. was asked by his wife Dorothy, in one of her letters, to keep a diary on the campaign in the Far East and his subsequent captivity.

In the late summer of 1941 Dorothy, accompanied by her nine year-old son David, had sailed from India to Cape Town, where she spent the rest of the war.

Although many of the original entries of the diary were lost when he moved camps, Brigadier Goodman later transcribed the diary into a Japanese notebook. What remains is therefore an incomplete record, for which he had intended to check many details, dates, places, names and distances after the war. He appears not to have done so but decided simply to put the whole experience behind him.

Like many of those taken prisoner by the Japanese, he was promoted no further and retired from the Army in 1948.

Brigadier Eric Whitlock Goodman, D.S.O., M.C., Royal Artillery, born on 12 February 1893 at Cottesbrooke, 15 Mostyn Road, Merton, Surrey, only son of Charles John Goodman, partner in the firm of Scholefield, Goodman & Sons, and his wife Amy Harriet, only surviving daughter of Colonel Edward Holbeche Couchman, Madras Artillery, and his wife Federata Harriet, second daughter of Lieutenant General Sir George Cornish Whitlock, K.C.B..

Eric Goodman was educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. Went to France on 15 February 1915 with 121st Heavy Battery, R.G.A. (mentioned in despatches 30 Nov 1915), was Adjutant, 9th Brigade, R.G.A. 1916-17, commanded 119th Heavy Battery, R.G.A. from 30 Jan 1917 to the end of the war (M.C. 1 Jan 1918). Served in Iraq 1919-20 (medal with clasp).

He married on 25 September 1929 at Christ Church, Cheltenham, Norah Dorothy, only daughter of Richard John Stacpoole, D.L., J.P., of Edenvale, Co. Clare, Ireland and his wife Geraldine Norah Isabella, daughter of Robert Hume Crowe, J.P. See STACPOOLE – Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976 Edition. They had one son: Major-General John David Whitlock Goodman, C.B., Royal Artillery and Army Air Corps.

Brigadier E.W. Goodman commanded 5th Bombay Mountain Battery, R.A., Waziristan 1936-37 (D.S.O., mentioned in despatches 16 Nov 1937), commanded 21st Mountain Regiment 1939-40, served in the Ahmedzai Salient (mentioned in despatches 20 Jun 1941), was C.R.A. 9th Indian Division, Malaya 1941 and B.R.A., Malaya Command 1941-42, (mentioned in despatches 1 Aug 1946). He was a prisoner-of-war in Singapore, Formosa and Manchuria 1942-45.


I am writing up this diary as you asked in one of your letters whilst I am a POW. I started making notes for it in December last (1942) and am starting this today, the 28th July 1943. My memory is very bad now and few of the dates are accurate probably. There will also be many omissions. If you have kept my letters I should very likely be able to expand it a bit and actually I have been able to verify one or two trips I made, from your letters in answer to mine. I can at least put a great deal into this which the censor didn’t allow me to put into my letters, and probably a good deal which I wrote in letters.


Midday halt on the Kam Sham Plain, May 1937: Major Eric Goodman with Lieutenant Colonel Brownlow and Lieutenant D.L. Betts

    DiaryCover-tn Diary Contents

      Arrival at Kuala Lumpur Arrival at Kuala Lumpur

      Malaya Malaya

      Singapore Singapore

      Changi Changi

      Taiwan Taiwan

      War Ends War Ends

      Journey Home Journey Home


      Despatch Notes on the Campaign in Malaya from Artillery Point of View


      Letter to David Letter to Major-General David Goodman (Brigadier’s son)



      Appendix A A - Inspection

      Appendix B B - Notes of Meeting

      Appendix C C - Issue of Red Cross Stores

      Appendix D D - Voucher No. 20


      Malaya Malaya

      Singapore Singapore


      Chronology of Brigadier Goodman Life of Brigadier E.W. Goodman


      BlotterDataListIcon11 Obituary written by Major Frederick James Howard Nelson, RA in Gunner, March 1982


Eric and Nora-tn

Eric and Dorothy Goodman, Nathia Gali, India - July 1937


Brigadier E.W. Goodman, D.S.O., M.C.

Eric died on 8th December 1981

Dorothy died 7th March 1986


May They Both Rest In Peace



Special thanks to Jeremy Archer for supplying the documents, and Brigadier E.W. Goodman’s family for allowing them to be published on the Internet.




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