Captain Eric A Goodwin

Captain Eric A Goodwin was a member of B Sqn, 6th Airborne Armoured Recce Regiment during World War 2.

After a year at university, Eric undertook officer training at Sandhurst and was commissioned into The Lothian and Border Horse Armoured Regiment, from which he volunteered for the airborne forces. 

Eric (now the rank of lieutenant) was parachute jump trained at RAF Ringway on Course B154. This Course ran between 20 February to 9 March 1945. He was 1 of 15 officers on this course, which consisted of 8 jumps. 

He spoke little very after the war about his experiences, but told his younger son, his unit was so far ahead of the fighting around Minden, they found themselves surrounded by German troops. The night of Eric's 21st birthday was spent looking in a forest for a German gun battery. This battery surrendered to them, without a fight, the following today. He said they had to be very careful of wires stretched across roads at turret height by retreating German troops. 

Eric and his unit were appalled by what they saw at the liberation of the Belsen concentration camp. They were among the first British troops to arrive. 

His unit met Russian troops on the Baltic Coast and were able to briefly celebrate before each force was ordered to withdraw a few miles. 

Presumably via the UK Eric was then transferred to Egypt, where either there or in Sudan, high altitude parachute training was tested. This was followed by Jungle Training School in India. During this training Eric learnt to swim river hanging on to the tail of a mule. He and other members of his unit however felt that the Indian Army officers there, did not really appreciate what experience they had already had fighting in Europe. VJ day meant that they were not sent further East, but transferred to Palestine. Eric was evacuated back to England suffering from TB of the right lung. His right lung was removed by local anaesthetic at the King Edward VII Military Hospital, Midhurst in Sussex. 

Eric recovered to go back to study Law and eventually became a solicitor in Local Government and a water authority. 

He died in 1976 from late complications of his surgery for TB. The documents on his page were found amongst his late widow's papers. 

Created with information and documents kindly donated by Dr Richard Goodwin. 

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