The funeral of Bill Goodall
Born: 30 May 1914 Died: 18th July 2001

ill slipped gently away on Wednesday 18th July 2001 at Jubilee House Nursing Home in Godalming, Surrey. He had increasingly been affected by his dementia, a condition which he bore with a mixture of fortitude and frustration.

Family and friends gathered for his funeral held at 1.30pm on 27th July 2001 at Guildford Crematorium, Surrey. Attending the service were his son Ian, daughter-in-law Sheila, Russell Wilson and Andrew Wilson, sons of Dandy & Winnie Wilson, and Bill's grandchildren - Alan, Jennifer & Fiona and his youngest great-granddaughter, Eilidh (a few days before her first birthday). Ted Walker, who was with Bill as a POW in Stalag Luft 3, and one of his sons Tony Walker, made the long trip from Darlington and Forfar respectively. Tributes were received from Geoff Wyatt, Dorothy Swanson, Lyn Hollings and former colleagues from the Old Parkonians.

The address by Reverend Sarah Crowle was an appropriate and fitting tribute to Bill. The full text is reproduced below.

Funeral Address by Sarah Crowle

We are here today to remember, celebrate and be thankful for the life of Bill Goodall.

As we reflect on how God uses people to bring his love into our lives, we give thanks today for the many ways in which He used Bill to greatly enrich the lives of others.

And so today we remember Bill as he was in the fullness of life and health, a true gentle man in both senses of the word, and a kind and caring husband, father and great grandfather. He will be recalled by many as a dignified, quiet, formal and even dapper man - always impeccably dressed and well mannered. He was a good person, well liked and well respected by all who knew him.

Bill was born in Ilford, Essex in 1914. He was educated locally at the County High School, and lived in Ilford for most of his early life.

In the late 1920s Bill met Moira, his wife to be, while playing tennis - a sport they both enjoyed. Their parents already knew one another through involvement with the London Scottish Association - so it seemed meant to be. They were married in April 1939, and moved to Liverpool to where Bill was transferred by the Customs & Excise to escape wartime London.

In 1941 Bill volunteered for the RAF and was sent to Canada and the USA to train as a pilot. He failed his pilot training, but became a navigator instead, and in June 1943 was posted to his first Bomber Squadron near Bury St Edmunds.

On July 26 1943 Bill's plane was shot down over Holland. His life was saved by a parachute - and in recognition of that Bill was to become a life member of the caterpillar club. He was taken prisoner by the Germans and held at Stalag Luft 3 until the end of the war. During his time in captivity Bill played another of his favourite sports - cricket, with great success, for England against Australia.

At the end of the war Bill was returned home, and he and Moira bought their first house in Galesway, Woodford. It was here that they became a family, with the arrival first of Ian, and 2 years later Moira.

In 1953 Bill arranged for an Excise transfer to the island of Islay, and the family returned to Scotland. In 1960 they moved back to the mainland, and made their home in Fife, where Bill was to remain for most of the rest of his life. His last home was in Lower Largo of Robinson Crusoe fame.

When Bill moved to Fife he became a member of the Lundin Links Golf Club, where he would play three times a week until just 4 or 5 years ago. Golf was another sport that Bill really enjoyed.

Sadly Moira died in 1991, and Bill had to learn how to look after himself. He did this with seeming ease, and managed to take care of himself very well up until the last few years. Following Moira's death Bill travelled a lot, visiting such places as Canada, America, Australia and the West Country of England.

Travel was one of Bill's life long interests. Others included a love of railways - Bill was still making long train journeys up until 4 years ago. He also loved history, and embarked upon an Open University History degree prior to retirement. Throughout his life Bill was very keen on sport. I've mentioned his cricketing success as a prisoner of war, but before that he was cricket and football captain of his school's former pupils sides.

Bill's pleasures included a drop of Good Ale from which it is believed the name Goodall is a derivation. He was a modest drinker, but enjoyed a glass or two right up to the end.

Bill moved into a residential home early in 1999, and came south to Jubilee House in the December of the same year. The family wish me to extend their thanks for, and tremendous appreciation of, the care and attention Bill received from the staff at Jubilee House - he couldn't have been in better hands at this difficult stage of his life.

Bill passed away very peacefully a week ago last Wednesday. In the end he simply died of old age - a natural and fitting end to a fulfilled and well lived life.

Our faith however believes that death is an end, but not the end, not so much goodbye but au revoir, or 'until we meet again'. Our hope and our confidence is that where love and fellowship have existed in this life, so they continue to the next. This belief is reflected in our reading, where Jesus comforts his disciples by reminding them that he is merely going ahead of them, to the Father's house, where there is room for us all. Our faith looks not only to this life, but also to the life to come, in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, within the measureless love of God for all his children.



Jennifer Goodall, Bill's oldest grandchild, read the letter (the original of which is in the family's possession) sent by Bill's wife Moira when she found out, after more than a month had elapsed, that Bill was alive after being posted 'missing in action'.

Reading of letter by Jennifer Goodall

Leatherhead, Surrey
27 August 1943

Darling, Darling, Darling,

That's what I keep saying to myself. I've been doing it for the last 10 mins since I got Mother's wire. I just knew you were O.K. - you had to be. I've almost done a handstand and I've slid down the bannisters and I still feel as though I'll explode at any moment. The last 5 weeks have been the worst in my life and yet after the first shock I could not believe the worst. Most people I know think I was right. I even ordered a new tailored costume so I shall have something nice to wear when I next see you. Navy with a white stripe. I've just dashed to the Post Office to get the dope on writing letters to P. of W. Of course they had just given the last copy away but they told me it cost 5d and I can only use one sheet of paper so I hope this arrives O.K. Daddy has sent a wire to your people, they are in Anstruther just now. I moved here two weeks ago. I think I shall like it although I haven't settled in so well yet as I had at the old place. Dorothy may be visiting your friends the Rush's this week and will pass on the good news.

I'll go up to town on Monday and see about Red Cross parcels. I won't send you more than one shirt at a time just in case the parcel goes astray. Your things haven't been sent home yet - I expect they'll arrive sometime soon. Let me know all the things you want most. Oh Billy I'm so thankful. Mother and I had a good cry over the phone just now. Marjorie and Laurens are staying at Woodford for a week and sent you their best wishes etc. Daddy is as busy as ever but I think it does him good. Are you really O.K. it wouldn't surprise me in the least to hear you've hurt your ankle, knowing your natural clumsiness. You'll note I'm still ticking you off - but you like it don't you ? I'm longing for your next letter. I hope they will come fairly frequently. I don't need to tell you how much I love you - you know. You are the only thing (sorry person) that I live for and always will be - my own darling Billy.

All my love
Your adoring wife
Moira Goodall


 William Motion Goodall 1914 - 2001