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Description

Postcard showing Alfred Godsal. Alfred Edmund Godsal (1884-1918) was the fourth son of Major Philp Thomas Godsal and Ellen Hennrietta Godsal of Iscoed Park, Whitchurch.
He was educated at A J de Winton’s Slough and from there passed into HMS Britannia from which he passed with five firsts. In the language of the fleet, this was referred to as a ‘Five wonner’.
Alfred Godsal completed 17 years in the navy incuding service in The West Indies, China and Mediterranean seas in the ‘Hague,’ ‘Monmouth,’ and ‘Irrisistible’.
He volunteered for service in the attempt made on Ostend Raid, Belgium in April 1918 as commander of the blocking ship ‘Brilliant’ during the Ostend operations. The British intended to sink obsolete ships in the canal entrance, to prevent German vessels from leaving port. The first attempt was not successful and came through this ordeal with a slight wound and again volunteers for the second venture to block the fairway of Ostend Harbour. He was given command of the ‘Vindictive’.

The second attempt was on the 9th of May, 1918. The obsolete cruiser ‘HMS Vindictive’ was sunk, but only partially blocked the channel. Despite the operation not being a success, the raid was presented in Britain as a courageous and daring gamble that came very close to success. Alfred Godsal was killed during this operation. The French Croix de Guerre had been conferred upon him and had he lived it is understood he would have been promoted to captain.

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