Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The criteria for accepting a Great War casualty as being from Portsmouth are varied. One of them is of having employment in Portsmouth without necessarily living in the town. A case in point is that of Philip Godwin.
A characteristic of the Godwin family seems to be a tendency to move around the country between censuses. This was certainly the case with Philip Godwin's father William (b. 1858) who in 1891 lived in Wolverhampton, in 1901 in Reading and in 1911 on the Isle of Wight. He was accompanied by his wife Lily whom he married in 1891 and later by their children Sidney (b. 1892) and Philip (b. 1893).
William's occupation throughout this period was described as a clothier & outfitter, an occupation not normally associated with mobility but the life style seems to have rubbed off on his son Philip who not only followed in his father's footsteps as an outfitter but also adopted his roaming instincts. After leaving home Philip carried on his trade in Bedford before relocating to Portsmouth where he worked for Handleys Department Store at the corner of Palmerston Road and Osborne Road.
There is no evidence to suggest that he actually dwelt in Portsmouth at this time and as his parents were living on the Isle of Wight he might well have commuted from there.
Continuing the theme of movement from place to place, Philip Godwin service career after the outbreak of war was with the Indian Army Reserve, in particular the Jat Light Infantry. There is no other evidence to suggest a connection with India nor any record of why or where he lost his life.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list 2nd Lieutenant Philip Edgar Godwin, Indian Army Reserve of Officers attd. 6th Jat Light Infantry, died on 06/01/1916, aged 24 years. Remembered on the Basra Memorial. Son of William and Lily Edith Godwin, of "Hill Brow," Mount Pleasant Rd., Newport, Isle of Wight.
Philip Godwin is also remembered on the Handleys WW1 Memorial (Debenhams) and the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
February 2014