Search

Merchant sailor awarded top honour for his role in D-Day

PUBLISHED: 10:45 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:45 15 November 2017

Roy Goodings from Gorleston with his legion d'honneur medal.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Roy Goodings from Gorleston with his legion d'honneur medal. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

A man who made 10 trips to and from Normandy as part of the D-Day landings has been presented with France’s highest honour.

Roy Goodings from Gorleston with his legion d'honneur medal.
Picture: Nick Butcher Roy Goodings from Gorleston with his legion d'honneur medal. Picture: Nick Butcher

Roy Goodings, 92, who lives in Bateley Avenue, Gorleston, was awarded the Legion d’Honneur medal for his role discharging vitally important cargo to the Allied Forces in Normandy.

He was just 19 years old at the time of the Normandy Landings having joined the Merchant Navy a couple of years before, not long after his father died.

With a crew of 10 aboard a small ship, weighing under 600 tonnes, he helped transport fuel supplies and other cargo to mainland Europe.

Mr Goodings said the cargo was vital, adding: “Nothing is going to move without petrol.”

Roy Goodings from Gorleston with his legion d'honneur medal.
Picture: Nick Butcher Roy Goodings from Gorleston with his legion d'honneur medal. Picture: Nick Butcher

He was involved in the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

On that first crossing from the South Coast, several of the crew were hit by the bombardment of artillery.

He added: “There were quite a few men wounded aboard. The Germans were not standing about. We were really lucky there were not more.”

They landed on Sword Beach and made around 
10 trips back and forth from England and the crew were tasked with discharging the vital cargo safely.

Mr Goodings said on one trip back up the Thames to reload they had a collision with a Norwegian ship during a black out.

He also recalled one moment when he met his future wife’s brother John in Normandy, who had not had any bread for a week.

Mr Goodings asked the ship’s chef to help find some food to feed him and the other hungry servicemen.

The ship’s hull was boarded out with wood 
in Sunderland before making the crossing so it could store barrels of 100 octane petrol.

The wood lining was installed to absorb any sparks from artillery striking the metal hull which could a catastrophic explosion.

The boat was also chosen because it had to have a shallow drift for beaching on the French shores.

Mr Goodings, who was born in Yarmouth, trained aboard the British Merchant Navy school TS Vindicatrix.

Upon returning to Yarmouth he continued seafaring and eventually became a port pilot.

Other News

08:59

Snow could be on its way to Norfolk on Sunday as the temperatures plummet to below freezing overnight.

Yesterday, 19:35

On behalf of most of the general public I am totally fed up with endless roadworks and road closures. I appreciate (some) have to be done but can’t they stagger them out a bit?

Yesterday, 19:19

A main road has been closed as a result of a serious collision.

Yesterday, 17:07

A busy road has reopened to eastbound traffic after a lorry jackknifed on the A47 between Acle and Great Yarmouth.

Most Read

Fri, 08:28

Great Yarmouth is set for a tourism spending boost after it was confirmed cruise ships will be docking with hundreds of passengers at the town’s port throughout the year.

Read more
Europe
Tue, 20:26

A care home in Great Yarmouth has been forced to close after watchdogs uncovered a catalogue of concerns.

Read more
Care Quality Commission
Fri, 11:17

He is a cat who became an internet star by making Great Yarmouth’s Tesco store his second home.

Read more
Facebook
Mon, 15:48

A teacher is feeling a new woman and enjoying time with her children after she lost more than four stone in 26 weeks.

Read more
Tue, 10:50

A woman has been arrested on the suspicion of drug-driving and possession of a class A drug after the car she was believed to be driving crashed into a home in Gorleston.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 0°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter