Goodchild, David John (David)
No. 1795195 , Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Killed in an aircraft accident on Tuesday 9 March 1943 (aged 19)
Streatham Park Cemetery, Surrey, England (Square 6B Grave 19215)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church
Annals of Helen’s Bay Presbyterian Church
Bangor Grammar School
David John Goodchild was born on 2 August 1923 and he was the elder son of Thurlow and Mary Goodchild (nee Irwin). During the First World War Thurlow Goodchild (No. 367552) served as a Sergeant with the RASC. His attestation was on 20 June 1916 and he was discharged on 5 May 1920.
The marriage of Thurlow Goodchild (born in 1878) and Mary Irwin was registered in the second quarter of 1922 in St. George Hanover Square, London and David’s younger brother, Richard T. Goodchild, was born in 1927 in London.
The Goodchild family moved from London to Bangor, Co. Down where they lived at 133 Belfast Road.
David John Goodchild was educated at Bangor Central Public Elementary School and then at Bangor Grammar School from 1936 until 1940 where he excelled in French, Latin and Chemistry. In 1940 he gained the Cambridge School Certificate and qualified to pass London University Matriculation. At that point, aged 17, he opted to relinquish his final year at school, resigned his scholarship and began an industrial career combined with evening study at the Technical Institute. In sport he played rugby for the school and excelled at athletics. The Headmaster said of him that ‘he had a brilliant and versatile brain, an athletic constitution and a resolute character’.
In 1941 David Goodchild joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve through the Queen’s University Air Squadron and went to Georgia in the United States of America for training. He was with No. 7 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) at RAF Desford in Leicestershire when he died on 9 March 1943 (aged 19).
Sergeant (Pilot) David John Goodchild (No. 1795195) was flying a de Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft (N6753) which went into a spin at 2,500 feet during a training flight and crashed to the ground. He was buried in Streatham Park Cemetery, Surrey.
Sergeant (Pilot) David John Goodchild (No. 1795195) is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church; in the annals of Helen’s Bay Presbyterian Church and in Bangor Grammar School.