D-Day at 80: touching memorial ceremony held for sole D-Day casualty buried in Peterborough

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Intimate graveside gathering at Eastfield Cemetery honoured Private Cyril Albert Goodwin, Peterborough’s first casualty of the Normandy landings

A moving commemoration to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day has been held for a Peterborough soldier who was mortally wounded during the 1944 Normandy landings.

Family members, military veterans, civic dignitaries and representatives from the Royal British Legion were among those who honoured Private Cyril Albert Goodwin at Eastfield Cemetery today (June 6).

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The brief, non-religious ceremony was organised by Judith Good, who said it was simply “the right thing to do.”

Family members, military veterans, civic dignitaries and representatives from the Royal British Legion were among those who paid their respects to Private Cyril Albert Goodwin at Eastfield Cemetery.Family members, military veterans, civic dignitaries and representatives from the Royal British Legion were among those who paid their respects to Private Cyril Albert Goodwin at Eastfield Cemetery.
Family members, military veterans, civic dignitaries and representatives from the Royal British Legion were among those who paid their respects to Private Cyril Albert Goodwin at Eastfield Cemetery.

“I discovered Cyril’s grave when it was D-Day 75 and there was no-one around and nothing was happening,” she told the Peterborough Telegraph.

“And so when it was D-Day 80 I did a bit more research into him and found he is the only D-Day casualty buried in Peterborough.

“And I just thought - we ought to make a fuss of him.”

Private Goodwin was just 26 years old when he was wounded advancing to take Sword beach with his comrades in 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment on that fateful day in 1944.

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The ceremony's organiser Judith Good (left) with Cyril's niece Cyrilla Muxlow, who spoke movingly of her uncle's final moments and legacy.The ceremony's organiser Judith Good (left) with Cyril's niece Cyrilla Muxlow, who spoke movingly of her uncle's final moments and legacy.
The ceremony's organiser Judith Good (left) with Cyril's niece Cyrilla Muxlow, who spoke movingly of her uncle's final moments and legacy.

Though the courageous soldier was successfully evacuated back to England, he died in hospital, in Gosport, less than two days later.

Around 30 people joined Judith at Eastfield Cemetery to honour the local lad, who was born and raised in Clifton Avenue - near Mayor’s Walk - with his mum, dad and two sisters.

Cyril’s niece, Cyrilla and nephew, Roderick, were among those who laid wreaths at their uncle’s graveside.

Cyrilla - who was named after her heroic uncle - spoke movingly and poetically when it was her turn to address the gathered guests.

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Peterborough man Private Cyril Goodwin was just 26 years-old when he was fatally wounded on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.Peterborough man Private Cyril Goodwin was just 26 years-old when he was fatally wounded on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
Peterborough man Private Cyril Goodwin was just 26 years-old when he was fatally wounded on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

“No loved ones stood around him to hear his last farewell; no word of comfort could he leave to those he loved so well.

“With little thought, his time so short in this world remain; all thoughts when he from home he went, he would never return again.”

The ceremony was drawn to a close by an emotionally-charged rendition of For the Fallen, followed by a bugler piping the Last Post.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning;

We will remember them.