Major Godwin’s case

We were really thrilled to receive a whole collection of objects and documentation relating to Major Cecil Courtenay Godwin OBE.

150813_Godwin_suitcaseEverything was contained within a wonderful leather suitcase embossed with his initials and a number of exotic-looking luggage stickers.

Major Godwin served with the regiment between 1903 and 1928; spending fifteen years  with the Egyptian Army.

During the First World War he took part in operations in Darfur in 1916 where he was Mentioned in Despatches.

He later served with the Camel Corps in operations in the Nymie Hills, Nuba Mountains, Sudan receiving the Order of the Nile.

Godwin pictureIn 1924 Godwin (pictured back row 5th from left in a photo taken at some point between 1908 and 1910) narrowly escaped death when Sir Lee Stack was assassinated in Cairo.

The suitcase contains an array of paperwork, photographs spanning Sudan, Egypt, Aldershot, Niger and Kashmir, plus memorabilia, letters and maps which give a fascinating insight into military life in the early 20th century.

It also contains a handwritten diary relaying events at Gallipoli in April and May 1915.  You can read the transcript here …


On his retirement Cecil Godwin lived in various villages in the North Riding of Yorkshire, often commissioning pieces of furniture from renowned furniture maker Robert Thompson of Kilburn, and featuring the trademark carved mouse.  A pair of wooden Mousey Thompson bookends were part of the contents of the suitcase which arrived at the museum.

All of the items will now be accessioned into the museum collection.