E.B. Goodacre - Historian and Interrogator at Camp 020 in 1941

Lt. E.B. Goodacre, May 1941  (Imperial War Museum,  HU 66766, Fair Use)
Lt. E.B. Goodacre, May 1941
(Imperial War Museum,
HU 66766, Fair Use)
Digging up information on the elusive Camp 020 interrogators is a bit tricky given that they were generally only referenced by their initials and last name (e.g. E.B. Goodacre). Several sources suggested that Goodacre's first name was Eric but that proved to be a dead end. By cross-referencing the British Army Lists and the London Gazette from 1940 and 1941, we find only one Goodacre being commissioned into the Intelligence Corps, Edward Brereton Goodacre.

Early Life
Edward Brereton Goodacre was born on 26 July, 1901, in Rochdale, Lancashire, northeast of Manchester. He was the first child of Edward Ernest Goodacre and Helena Elizabeth Marsh, both from the Manchester area.

Edward Sr. received a Bachelor of Arts from Cambridge University in 1887 and was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1890. He was stationed in various churches and married Helena on 5 September 1900 in Upholland, Lancashire. From 1902 to 1909, the family was based in Atherton, northwest of Manchester.

In 1903, Edward Sr. and Helena welcomed a son, Randall William into their family. Five years later, the family grew again with the birth of Marjorie Helen. Both children were baptized at St. John's Church in Atherton by their father.

In 1909, Edward Sr. traveled to Jamaica but the following year he passed away on 7 October, in the town of Southport, Merseyside. Edward Sr. was buried in Aughton, Lancashire, just south of Ormskirk.

Helena raised the three children on her own, living off of "private means". At this point, we lose the trail for Edward Jr. and his family. We do know that Edward Jr. went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts from Oxford, probably in the early 1920s. His brother, Randal William was cut from different cloth and in September, 1923, emigrated to Australia. It appears from several academic references that Edward Jr. studied history and wrote several articles on Shakespeare as well historical personages.

World War 2
Signature for Lt. E.B. Goodacre (National Archives KV 2 files)
Signature (of sorts) for Lt. E.B. Goodacre
(National Archives KV 2 files)
In 1941, Edward Jr. was drawn into the war when he was commissioned into the British Army as a member of the Intelligence Corps. He was 40 years old. One of Edward's first jobs was to interview Frau Lily Knips in late February 1941, along with Lt. R.A.F. Short. German spy, Josef Jakobs, had named Frau Knips as a contact in London and MI5 was naturally quite interested in her connection with a capture German spy. In the end, much to her relief, Frau Knips was cleared of any suspicious activity.

In 1943, Sir David Petrie, Director General of the Security Service posted Edward to Trinidad as a security officer. Edward sailed from Gourock, Scotland on 2 June, 1943 and arrived in New York a week or so later. He then made his way to Miami, Florida, where he caught a Pan Am flight to Puerto Rico on 22 June 1943.

Edward didn't stay in the Carribean long. On 12 January, 1944, he arrived back in New York onboard a ship from Trinidad enroute to England. A couple of months later, Edward's mother passed away near Wigan, Lancashire and Edward may have returned to England to probate her will. Edward may have remained in England for the remainder of the war.

Post War
United Nations Flag
United Nations Flag
After the war, Edward joined the United Nations Organization, traveling back and forth between England and New York several times in 1946 and 1947. On 12 May, 1948, Edward married Kathleen Margaret Ashworth in Manchester. That same year, Edward was posted to the UN office in Geneva, Switzerland and two of his children would be born there, one in 1949 and one in 1953.

Edward continued to travel to New York on occasion (1955) but the remainder of his life is a bit of a mystery. He apparently died in 1979, location unknown.

British Army Lists - 1940 & 1941.
Genealogy websites - Ancestry, FamilySearch - births, marriages, deaths, census, passenger lists.
London Gazette - 1940 & 1941.
Stephens, R.W.G. - Camp 020:MI5 and the Nazi Spies (edited by Oliver Hoare). 2000.


Anonymous said…
Edward Goodacre died in Geneva in 1979
GRO Death Abroad Indices (1966 to 1994)

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