Topic: Eric Lucas Goodacre (1895-1968)

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Eric Lucas Goodacre (13/2324) was a First World War soldier in the Auckland Mounted Rifles.

Soldier Goodacre WWI 15-063

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Eric Lucas Goodacre, a farmhand from the Hamilton Ruakura Farm run by the Department of Agricultre, signed up early during the First World War. He joined the Auckland Mounted Rifles and served in Egypt and Palestine, including the Sinai and Palestine campaigns. 

Like many soldiers he suffered from enteritis (a bad stomach), during his service and was admitted to hospital on several occasions in 1918. His military file notes that on termination of his period of engagement he was also ill (March 1919). 

Many of Eric's letters home survived and were loaned to Tauranga City Libraries Research Collections for scanning in 2015. In them the reader can learn of his training and travel to North Africa, as well as various engagements with the enemy, discomfort, privation, and the shock of his Father's passing, as well as some agricultrual pursuits in Palestine. 

These letters and postcards need transcribing by people good with handwriting. Are you able to help? If so, click a letter below and follow the simple instructions to volunteer. You can do this from right where you are. 


Quick Facts

Military Record from New Zealand Archives (click here)

  • Appeared to be 20 years at enlistment, 5 foot 8, 61 kgs, Fair skinned, blue eyed and brown hair.
  • Born 11/6/1895 
  • Died 29/7/1968
  • Service number: 13/2324 
  • Service Period August 23 1915 - March 1 1919
  • NZ 45 days recorded (actually 55)
  • Overseas 3 years 191 days.
    • Australasia Egyptian 1915, 1916
    • Egyptian EF 1916, 1917, 1918
  • Decorations
    • 1915-1915 Star
    • British War Medal
    • Victory Medal

 Campaigns Eric Goodacre participated in

Undated postcards and letters

Letters and movements from 1915

Movements are taken from Eric's Military War Record or gleamed from his letters.

  1. August 23, War service in NZ begins
  2. August 24, Recruiting Office 275 (JJ Raynes)
  3. October 15, embarks overseas (won't return to NZ until March 1 1919).
  4. Letter: Oct 18, 1915, written "at Sea"
  5. November 18, disembarks HMT Aparima and reports for duty.
  6. December 27, notes in letter he is about to 
  7. Letter: Dec 27, 1915, about to move camp somewhere in Egypt

 Letters and movements from 1916

  1. Letter: January 22, 1916, while stationed at Zeitoun Camp. "We keep on drilling drilling drilling". Packages in light tins get smashed up. Requests condensed milkand dried fruit. Is serving an Officer, gets a bit more pay therefore. "Congrats to John for his B.A."
  2. January 23, Left for Canal from Zeitoun (Casualty Record)
  3. Letter: March 13, 1916
  4. Letter: March 16, 1916Refers to a Mr Thorndon doing good work in the hospitals in Cairo.
  5. Letter: June 25, 1916, recalls an aeroplane machine gunning them, killing a horse.
  6. Letter: July 17, 1916 (with Australian mobile vetenarian unit).
  7. Letter: August 31, 1916 (describes German underhand tactics).
  8. October 5, on leave in Alexandria (Egypt), back on roll October 29.
  9. Letter: October 10, 1916, writes home to Father. 
  10. Postcard: November 11, 1916, writes a quick postcard home to his mother.
  11. Letter: November 20, 1916, describes being on the line and a friend being fired upon
  12. Letter written 1916, mentions thought of Camel Corp forming up

Letters and movements from 1917

  1. Letter: January 7, 1917, describes 1200 Turks captured. 
  2. Letter: January 12, 1917, wonders about visiting Canada after the war 
  3. Postcard: April 27, 1917 (post card sent to Eric)
  4. July 31, noted as on the Auckland Mounted Rifles Roll
  5. November 29, 1917 , near Jaffa, notes his regiment suffered heavy loses against the Germans, wonders how he came out alive
  6. 27 December 1917 to 13 May 1918, Volunteers to Transport Brigade
  7. Letter written between August 1917 and February 2018

Letters and movements from 1918

  1. Letter: January 6, 1918, 5 miles out of Jaffa, describes an attack on Turkish troops and doubts reports of a sinking in the Suez 
  2. Letter: March 10, 1918 as allied troops approach Damascus. 
  3. Letter: April 28, 1918, "I am tired of this war..."
  4. Letter: May 1, 1918, "Our chaps are having a rough time"
  5. May 13. Rejoins his detachment in Cairo after being with the Transport Brigade.
  6. May 27, admitted to hospital, transferring in June through Kantara, Abbassia Cairo and Heliopolis.
  7. Letter: June 20, 1918, Letter to brother John after having tooth pulled.
  8. July 3-14 at Aotea home in Heliapolis
  9. Letter:, July 3, 1918, while sick in Aotea Hospital
  10. Letter: July 14, 1918, refers to father's Will
  11. July 15, Attached to NZ base Ismalia (casualty record)
  12. July 29, marched in and appointed appointed cook (until September 15)
  13. Postcard: August 6, 1918, postcard to mother
  14. Letter: August 12, 1918, friction at home re the Will, writes from near 'the Holy City'
  15. Letter: August 20, 1918, "I'm where you always tell me to go when you're angry" (Gehenna outside Jerusalem?)
  16. Letter: September 18, 1918, to Sis and Mother - after transporting prisoners to Jericho
  17. Letter: October 24, 1918, to sister Lil, comparing old soldiers to new recruits. 
  18. Letter: October 28, 1918, to younger brother
  19. November 22 to December 8 (or 18), on detachment to DML rest camp at Port Said
  20. December 23, coming from Rysho Le Zion, then Rafa. At Jaffa Agricultural College with 60 others. 
  21. Letter: December 23, 1918, to Miss Darliell - learning to prune vines from the Jews at the Jaffa Agricultural School
  22. Letter: December 23, 1918, to sister Lil - learning to prune vines from the Jews at the Jaffa Agricultural School \
  23. December 24 Ismalia, marched in from NZ Mounted Brigade to embark to NZ on H.T. Wiltshire.

Movements 1919

  1. January 31 Returns from Wiltshire troop transport ship.
  2. March 1. Discharged from duty on termination of period of engagement



This article was archived at Perma CC on August 10, 2016 (

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Eric Lucas Goodacre (1895-1968)

Year:1919, 1915, 1916, 1917, and 1918
First Names:Eric Lucas
Last Name:Goodacre
Date of Birth:11/6/1895
Date of death:29/7/1968
Occupation:Farmhand, Dept of Agriculture Hamilton East
Fathers name:Hal Goodacre
Fathers date of birth:1856
Fathers place of birth:Shardlow, Derbyshire, England
Fathers date of death:January 30 1918
Mothers name:Mary Phillips
Mothers date of birth:October 2 1861
Name of sibilings:Lillian Laird (nee Goodacre), Leonard Garfield Goodacre, and one other sibling (according to
Military Service:WWI Auckland Mounted Rifles
Member of Society:Baptist Church

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