Edmund Goddard, known as Eddie worked at Newbury Diesel Company after the war. During the war, he served in the Royal Navy as an Engine Room Artificer (ERA) and as a trained engineer and qualified diver, was a member of the crew of the midget submarine X6. X6 was one of the group sent to destroy the German battleship, the 41,000 ton Tirpitz which could outgun any British warship and was a real threat to British shipping if it was allowed to escape from the Norwegian fiord at Trondheim where it was hiding.
The RAF had already attempted in 1942 to destroy the battleship with the loss of 13 aircraft. The solution the navy came up with was to use midget submarines with large demolition charges strapped to their sides to be jettisoned under the battleship.
Of the six X craft that left the base in Scotland in 1943 for the 1,500 mile tow by submarine one of which was X6, towed by HMS Truculent., only four of the X craft survived the tow to carry out the attack. Of these, only X6 and X7 reached their target the "Tirpitz". Lieutenant Cameron, the captain of X6, dropped his charges with X6 actually scraping the side of the Tirpitz. He then scuttled the boat Both he and his crew were taken prisoner. Lieutenant Place in X7, placed his explosives and then became entangled in German Anti-Submarine nets. A huge blast crippled the "Tirpitz", which at the same time freed X7, but she was damaged and abandoned. Lieutenant Place and one crew member escaped to the surface, only to be captured. Both Place and Cameron were awarded the Victoria Cross, which, after the war had ended, they were able to collect personally. The crew of X6 having been taken prisoner were actually on board the Tirpitz when the charges exploded. It is reported that the ship lifted six feet in the air and although some repairs were later carried out, it was finally sunk by a Tallboy bomb and never entered the war after the X craft attack.
For his bravery, Eddie was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal and after escaping from a prisoner of war camp, made it back to the British lines and was commissioned on his return to the navy. The CGM is second only to the Victoria Cross.
If you examine the set of photographs in the NDC at work section, Eddie is the dark haired chap behind David Stacey. His role within the company was a commissioning and troubleshooting engineer for the Newbury Diesel Company and on a visit to Norway to do some engine testing, the Norwegians discovered that he had been on the Tirpitz raid and presented him with a clock from one of the Tirpitz’s engine rooms.
Eddie died in 1992 in Tilehurst.
Edmund Goddard as he was when he went to Buckingham Palace to receive his Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.
One of a group of brave submariners, some of whom gave their all for their country.
The clock presented to Eddie by the Norwegians from one of the engine rooms of the danaged Tirpitz, removed from the ship when it was broken up.
The photograph is reproduced, courtesy of "The Project Purley Journal"
Issue Number 75, September 2007.
You can read the full story by clicking on the link below.