Godfrey was born on the 11 March 1892 in Wimbledon, the son of Miss Ada Ellen BEALES. Ada attempted to register the father’s name as Frederick GOODYEAR but this was deleted by the Registrar when he realised the father was not married to Ada or present to acknowledge the child.
Ada lived as a single woman in her parents’ house in Wimbledon until their deaths and then moved to Ewell where she died in 1943 as a spinster.
In the 1901 census Godfrey was boarded out to live with Thomas Charles STOCKER, a wheelwright, and his wife Mary Jane (nee CARPENTER) and their eight children in Westfield, Woking.
In the 1911 census, Godfrey is listed as an adopted child of the above.
Godfrey enlisted as a Driver in the Royal Field Artillery on 26 October 1915 as Godfrey BEALS, but was discharged on medical grounds on 13 August 1917 due to nephritis, and returned to Woking to live with his adopted parents in Westfield, where he found work as a printer’s labourer at St Martha’s Print Works.
His adopted father died in March 1918; Godfrey contracted influenza in the autumn and succumbed to influenza and pneumonia on 4 November 1918. Godfrey was buried in the Old Woking Burial Ground on 9 November 1918 by the vicar; I have not been able to identify the grave site as I doubt there was a headstone.
An obituary appeared in the Woking News and Mail of 15 November 1918. Strangely it refers to a wreath from “Mother and Dad.”
Godfrey’s death certificate did not indicate that the death was due to war service, so when Godfrey’s adopted brother applied for a War Gratuity, Godfrey was not recognised by the Imperial War Graves Commission as a war death, so is not listed as such by CWGC.