Lancelot Daniel Edward Gooch came to the Chelmsford area from Berkshire in 1906 when his father purchased the Hylands Estate. He served in the Royal Navy as a Midshipman on board H.M.S. Implaccable and died in Malta in October 1915 from influenza. The following month his body was brought back to England by his parents and interred at St. Mary’s Church, Widford. His home was Hylands House.


Midshipman, H.M.S. Implacable, Royal Navy

Before this sad event, Sir Daniel and Lady Gooch had two sons, the deceased and Robert Douglas aged 10 years, now becomes the heir. There also two daughters.

On Thursday Sir Daniel and Lady Gooch, received the following telegram at Hylands, Chelmsford, from the Keeper of the Privy Purse: '*The King and Quean deeply regret the loss you and the Navy have sustained by the death your son in the service of his country. Their Majesties sympathise with you in your sorrow.

Sir Daniel and Lady Gooch leave to-day for Naples, en route to where their brave son's body lies, to arrange for its being brought England.

It is expected that the funeral will be in Widford Churchyard in about fortnight's time. It is not yet known at home how the deceased received his fatal wounds or injuries."

On Saturday 13th November 1915 the Essex Newsman reported:

“The body of Lancelot D. E. Gooch, R.N.. elder son of Sir Daniel Gooch Baronet, and Lady Gooch. of Hylands, near Chelmsford, arrived, in England on Wednesday, and the interment took place in a brick grave in Widford Churchyard on Thursday.

The deceased officer, who was, in H.M.S. Implacable, had just entered his 18th year. and while in the Eastern waters contracted influenza. Paralysis supervened, and he died at Malta on October 4.

Sir Daniel and Lady at once proceeded to the East to bring the body home, and after various delays the coffin was conveyed to Bordeaux by water, thence overland and across the North Sea to England.

lt was brought by road to Widford on Wednesday evening, and reposed in state in the church all night, watchers keeping a silent vigil. Tall palms and ferns graced the chancel entrance.

Yesterday morning Sir Daniel and Lady attended Holy Communion, conducted by the Rector, the Rev. F. K. Thurlow. Later, the public funeral service was held.

While the large congregation was assembling a powerful aeroplane hovered overhead. This, the presence of few officers in uniform, and the naval ensign which covered the coffin, were the only signs of military or naval show.

The service began with movement from Beethoven the organist, Mr. G. W. Saunders. Then the Rector proceeded with the Burial Service, the lesson being read the Rev. L. W. Wright, St. John's, Chelmsford.

The hymns were "The Saints of God! their conflict past" and "On the Resurrection morning," while Psalm was chanted, the surpliced choir being in attendance. .

The mourners present were Sir Daniel Gooch, Mr. Charles Gooch Hatfield. Kent (uncle of Sir Daniel). Mr. E. A. D. Liebert, Capt. A. H. Stracey and Lieut. E. Lambert."

On 8th January 1916 the Essex Newsman reported that a memorial in remembrance of Lancelot had been erected at Widford:

“This consists of a very fine specimen of the lonic cross in Sicilian marble, most beautifully carved. There is a curb in front, and the monument is. intended to be that for the Gooch family. The inscription under:— In everlasting memory Midshipman Lancelot D. E. Gooch, R.N., His Majesty's Ship Implacable, Born Sept. 18th, 1897; died October 4th, 1915. •" He asked life of Thee, and Thou him a long life, even for ever and ever."

The memorial had been created by Messrs. Wray and Fuller, monumental masons, of Springfield Road in Chelmsford. He is commemorated on the Widford War Memorial at St. Mary's Church.


Lancelot was born in London on 18th September 1897, the elder son of Sir Daniel Fulthorpe Gooch (1869-1926) and Mary Winifred Gooch (nee Munro) (1874-1921). His siblings were Phyllis Evelyn Gooch (born 1900), Robert Douglas Gooch (1909-1989), and Daphne Gooch (1910-1954).

In 1906 Lancelot and his family left Clewer Park near Reading and moved to the Chelmsford area when his father rented and later purchased the Hylands Estate in Widford.

Lancelot's father was a friend of Sir Ernest Shackleton and in 1914 agreed at Hylands to accompany the great explorer on an Antarctic expedition. Lanceslot's father was also grandson of the celebrated engineer, Chairman of the Great Western Railway, and M.P. for Cricklade, Sir Daniel Gooch (1816-1889).

During the First World War Lancelot served in the Royal Navy as a Midshipman on board H.M.S. Implacable.

Lancelot died in Malta from influenza on 4th October 1915, aged 18.

On Saturday 9th October 1915 the Essex Newsman reported:

“On Tuesday Sir Daniel and Lady Gooch

received a cable message from the Dardanelles stating that their elder son. Midshipman Lancelot Edward Daniel Gooch, of H.M.S. Implacable, was very ill, and paralysed in both legs.

They hastened to the Foreign Office on their way to go him, but before they had left London a second message arrived to say that the gallant young sailor had unfortunately passed away.

His parents have now started the voyage to bring the body home for burial at Widford.

The young Midshipman reached his 18th birthday only last month. He was handsome lad. the heir of the house, very bright and very popular, devoted to and very successful in his profession, loving also his home, and much interested in shooting.

He was educated at Wexingford School, near Wokingham, and thence he went to Oxbridge, going from there to the Implacable, which was through the landing at the Dardanelles.

Implacable has been specially mentioned for her good work and Midshipman Gooch bad been complimented more than once upon the services he personally rendered. He twice had a landing boat sunk under him. Only last week a cheerful letter was received from him, stating that be was quite well, and his death occurred on Monday.