was born William Motion Goodall on 30th May 1914 in Ilford, Essex
to William Simpson Goodall and Kate Kennedy Young Motion, his
parents having moved from Scotland to London about 1905. Bill's
father, who worked for the Cannon Brewery in Clerkenwell for
the whole of his working life, was posted in the First World
War to Grantham and York. Bill's sister Catherine Wyatt was born
in York (at 60 Havelock Terrace) on 5th January 1919, just before
his father was demobilised.
at cricket and football, captaining teams at school and of former
pupils ('Old Parkonians'). He joined the Crown Agents in June
and transferred to the Customs and Excise in 1935. Bill and Katherine
Moira Davie were married for only four months when war was declared
and they lived in a new flat in Wanstead until transferred by
the Customs and Excise to Liverpool.
Bill and Moira
remained in Waterloo, Liverpool until he volunteered for Aircrew
duties in the RAF. After training in the UK and the USA, Bill
qualified as a navigator and was posted to 620 Squadron at Chedburgh
near Bury St Edmunds in June 1943 for night bombing operations.
On his 6th operation, on 25th/26th July 1943, his Stirling bomber
took off for Essen but was shot down by a night fighter over
Holland. Hit in the starboard wing which caught fire the crew,
with the exception of their pilot John Patteson ('Jack') of the
Royal Canadian Air Force who was killed saving his crew, abandoned
the aircraft by parachute.
1943 Bill was in the Centre Camp of Stalag Luft III in Poland
from where two famous escapes - the "Wooden Horse"
and "The Great Escape" - took place. Bill remained
a POW until May 1945 when he was returned to London on 28th May
1945 where he was met by his wife Moira at Paddington station
and 'the long ordeal' was over.
in January 1948, their first house at 1 Galesway, Woodford Bridge,
Bill and Moira moved to Bonahaven on the Isle of Islay in March
1953 where he had applied for the Excise Officer's job at the
most northerly distillery on the island.
In 1970, Bill
enrolled with the Open University, and in April 1977 graduated
with a BA (Hons) degree at a ceremony attended by his family
at Edinburgh University.
29th December 1975, after exactly 40 years in the Customs and
Excise, Bill was able to fit in even more golf at Lundin Links
in Fife, where he was a member for 40 years. In February 1999
Bill was uprooted by his daughter Moira from his 'cottage' in
Drummochy Road, Lower Largo to Cameron House, a residential Home
run by The Church of Scotland in Inverness.
(flying down with his son Ian by
EasyJet via Luton), in October 1999, to Birtley House, a nursing
home near Bramley in Surrey, to be closer to his family. As Bill
said on leaving Inverness, "I'm entering the next phase
of my life". The day after Bill's arrival in Surrey
he met his then youngest great-granddaughter, Lucy,
for the first time.
1999 Bill moved to a new purpose-built nursing home run by Care
UK in the centre of Godalming. He had the best room in Jubilee
House with a view of, and easy access to, the lovely garden.
Most days Bill enjoyed a pint with his son, Ian, and daughter-in-law,
Sheila, out of one
of his beer tankards ( Old Parkonians, Bomber Command and golf
club prizes). Even if it wasn't replacing lost liquid following
a round of golf at Lundin Links Bill really looked forward to
his "Websters Yorkshire Bitter" or "Morlands Old
the best care and attention in Jubilee House - the staff could
not have been more dedicated or caring. Sadly, on 18th July 2001,
Bill passed peacefully away in his room - old age and dementia
had finally caught up with him. He will be sadly missed as a
Dad, Grandpa and Great-grandpa and by his many friends, some
of whom go back to Ilford County High School and 'Old Parkonian'
days - 'A Stirling Player and Good Companion' as his favourite
tankard says (with apologies for the misspelling on the engraving
from 1953). Bill's funeral
was held at Guildford Crematorium on 27th July 2001.