William Goodenough

Admiral Sir William Edmund Goodenough GCB MVO (2 June 1867 – 30 January 1945) was a senior Royal Navy officer of World War I. He was the son of James Graham Goodenough.

Sir William Goodenough
Born(1867-06-02)2 June 1867
Portsmouth, England[1]
Died30 January 1945(1945-01-30) (aged 77)
Coulsdon, Surrey, England[1]
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service1882–1930
Commands heldHMS Albemarle[2]
HMS Vengeance[2]
HMS Duncan[2]
HMS Cochrane
HMS Colossus
2nd Light Cruiser Squadron
Africa Station
Nore Command
Battles/warsWorld War I
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Member of the Royal Victorian Order

Goodenough joined the Royal Navy in 1882.[3] He was appointed Commander of the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 1905.[3] He was given command of the cruiser HMS Cochrane in 1910 and of the battleship HMS Colossus in 1911.[4]

He served in World War I and commanded the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron from 1913 to 1916, participating in the battles of Heligoland Bight in August 1914,[3] Dogger Bank in January 1915,[3] and Jutland in May to June 1916.[3] In the King's Birthday Honours of 3 June 1916, Goodenough was appointed an Additional Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.). He was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 10 June.

After the War he became Superintendent at Chatham Dockyard[3] and then, from 1920, Commander-in-Chief at the Africa Station.[3] He was made Vice Admiral commanding the Reserve Fleet in 1923 and Commander-in-Chief, The Nore in 1924.[3] He was First and Principal Naval Aide-de-camp to the King from 1929 to 1930.[3] He retired in 1930.[3]

In retirement Goodenough was president of the Royal Geographical Society from 1930 to 1933. He died in 1945.


  • Admiral Sir William Goodenough (1943). A Rough Record. London and New York: Hutchinson.
  • Arthur Marder (1965). From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow Volume II, The war years :To the eve of Jutland 1914–1916. London: Oxford University Press.
  • Robert Massie (2004). Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea. London: Johnathan Cape. ISBN 978-0-224-04092-1.
  • Donald MacIntyre (1957). Jutland. Evans Brothers Ltd.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Edward Fitzherbert
Commander-in-Chief, Africa Station
Succeeded by
Sir Rudolph Bentinck
Preceded by
Sir Douglas Nicholson
Commander-in-Chief, Reserve Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir Victor Stanley
Preceded by
Sir Hugh Evan-Thomas
Commander-in-Chief, The Nore
Succeeded by
Sir Edwyn Alexander-Sinclair
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Richard Phillimore
First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp
Succeeded by
Sir Edwyn Alexander-Sinclair
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