The Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross
Awarded to Men of Portsmouth
- William Goate VC -

Headstone of the grave for William Goate

Location of Grave:
Highland Road Cemetery.
9th Lancers (The Queen's Royal)
Medal won: Indian Mutiny. 6 March 1858.
Gazetted: 24 December 1858.
Born: Fritton, Norfolk, 12 January 1836.
Died: Southsea, 26 October 1901.
Medal: 9/12th Royal Lancers Museum, Derby. It was purchased at Sotheby's on 11 May 1999 for £29,900.
Details of the Award
On 6 March 1858 at Lucknow, India, Lance-Corporal Goat dismounted in the presence of the enemy in order to take up the body of a major, which he then attempted to take off the field, but was forced to relinquish as he was surrounded by hostile cavalry. He did not, however, give up, but went a second time under heavy fire and recovered the body.
Further Information
The Evening News (Portsmouth) 25 OCT 1901, Page 6, Column 3.
'VC Man died at Southsea'
William Goate, aged 64 died at 22 Leopold Street, Southsea, from cancer.
It mentions he had a strong resemblance to Lord Roberts and had the India medal with three clasps.
He came to Southsea in May 1900 having lived in Jarrow-on-Tyne and worked for 22 years in Palmers shipbuilding firm and that for 18 years he was a member of the Jarrow Company of the Volunteers in which he held the same rank as he did in the Lancers.
For some time it was not known why Goate had come to Southsea so late in his life. It now transpires that his son William and wife Catherine were living at 58 Frederick Street, Portsea (1901 Census). Also, Catherine's name is mentioned on the VCs death certificate, and, the son William (d.1904) is buried in the same grave as his father.
The Headstone
On 24th October 2003 the headstone (pictured left) was formally unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. Previous to the ceremony there had been nothing to mark the grave of William Goate VC but this was rectified by the tireless work of Brandon Smith who was instrumental in raising the funds for the headstone.
(The spelling appears to be either 'Goat' or 'Goate').