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Harpenden school presented with formerly lost World War One medal of former pupil

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 March 2019

St George's School headmistress Helen Barton and Richard Goddard. Lt John Lister Goddard is on the screen in the background. Picture: Submitted St George's School

St George's School headmistress Helen Barton and Richard Goddard. Lt John Lister Goddard is on the screen in the background. Picture: Submitted St George's School

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A Harpenden school has been presented with the war medal of a former pupil for archival.

Lt John Lister Goddard was a pupil at St George’s School in the early 20th century, and who was sent to fight with the 2nd Norfolk Regiment in World War One in 1914.

He died in action at The Battle of The Somme in 1916, just weeks away from his 22nd birthday.

Goddard was posthumously awarded a Victory Medal, which he named Wilfred, but the recognition was lost in time - until now.

It was recovered when a Dutch World War One medals collector contacted Goddard’s cousin, Richard Goddard, with the historic item.

The collector was contacting close relatives before disbanding his hoard. Richard subsequently donated the medal to St George’s School archive.

Headmistress Helen Barton said: “It was wonderful to have had Richard and his wife Helena visit the school and to have been presented with this medal.”

St George’s School had already remembered Lt Goddard’s sacrifice by naming one of its houses in tribute to him - Goddard House.

Helen added: “The students of Goddard House, named after Lister, were delighted to hear further stories of their namesake and it was a pleasure to receive the medal into the school archive.

“It is important for our students of today to remember those who have gone before them and who sadly sacrificed their lives in order to make the world a safer place for us all.”

Lt Goddard was awarded two other medals - a 1914-15 Star he called Pip and a British War Medal named Squeak - both of which are still missing.

Richard said he hopes the rest of the collection will make their way back to him or to St George’s School.

They should be easily identifiable, as they all list Goddard’s service number, rank, name, and unit.

The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest World War One fights, with about one million people massacred on both sides over 141 days.

Despite aiming to relieve the French and weaken the Germans, the Allies were never able to break through enemy lines.

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