Thomas Warner Goddard was born in Maryville, TN, son of James A. Goddard and Marie C. “Mollie”Bowles. He volunteered in 1917 and went to Camp Sevier in South Carolina, then he was sent to a training camp, commissioned a Lieutenant and was one of five officers selected at Camp Green for service in France. He was killed in action at Aisne, France and was initially buried at Cemetery #34 at Montmirail, Marne, Grave #1-A.
Maryville enterprise, June 13, 1918
The brief message received in Maryville Saturday after dinner telling of the death of Thomas W. Goddard, lieutenant in the 7th Machine Gun Battalion, brought home to all of us the fact that we cannot any more ignore the fact that we are at war. Two other Blount County boys, Lieut. Lowe and Corporal Willocks, were taken from us, but neither died in Europe nor in battle.
Because of the close relationship between the family of Dr. S.T. Wilson and “Tom” the Goddard family requested Dr. Wilson to prepare a story of the life of Lieut. Goddard, and we gladly print it below: “the people of Maryville were profoundly move don last Saturday afternoon when the tragic news of the death of Lieutenant “Tom” Goddard was received. The news came in one of thomse laconic and heartbreaking telegrams sent out, in the progress of the war, by our War Department to inform the “nearest of kin” that the supreme sacrifice has been made by a certain loved one – telegrams that, doubtless, we should prepare ourselves to receive with increasing frequency as America takes at the front. The telegram was as follow: “Washington, D.C., June 8. Mrs. James A. Goddard, Maryville, Tenn. Deeply regret to inform you that Lieutenant Thomas Warner Goddard, Machine Gun Battalion, is reported as killed in action, June first. McCain, Adj’t. Genl.”
“The news of the death of their loved son and brother and kinsman war borne with noble fortitude by his immediate family and relatives. They are animated by the same spirit and patriotism that sent Tim across the waters to battle for freedom; and though their hearts are crushed with a load of grief – a load that is shared also by a great host of friends – their resignation in their loss is honoring to both their patriotism and to their Christian Faith; and their pride int he heroic martyr-death of thei kisnman is deep and boundless.
He was born on June 17, 18 , and as we have seen gave up his life on June 1, 1918. He received his earliest education in the public schools of Maryville; his highschool training in the Plytechnic High School in the years 1906 to 1910: and his college training in Maryville college, except that his Sophomore year was taken in West Point Military Academy. He was at West Point during the Scholastic year 1912-1913, but had to leave at the end of the year on account of a small defect in his hearing. He was given an honorable discharge. He entered the College, his father’s Alma Mater in 1910, spent three years and one-half there, and graduated in the Class of 1915, with the degree of B.A. After completing his education Mr. Goddard taught for two years in the Wheat High School in Roane County. The patrons and friends of the school held “Professor Goddard” in very high esteem, and he was exceedingly popular among them. It was a great blow to them when he resigned to enter the army. The fact that he felt it his duty to complete his year at Wheat made him unable to apply for admission to the first Officers’ Training Camp; but he applied for and secured admission to the second Camp. He said to his fathert hat he felt it his duty as a young citizen, unembarrassed by special ties or responsiblilities, to respond to his country’s call for volunteers. With his father’s hearty approval, he first enlisted with Battery C of the First Tennessee Field Artillery. Later on he entered the sercond Officers’ Training Camp pat Fort Oglethorpe. There he made an excellent record as a soldier. One of his officers in speaking to a stranger, pointed out Tom as a model young officer; the only criticism of any kind that he made was that he was so modest – a quality well recognized and admired in him by his Maryville friends. “Mr. Goddard graduated from the Camp with honors, and was one of the few graduated that were offered a captaincy. The fact that a lieutenancy would take him immediately to France led him to decline the captaincy and to accept the lieutenancy. He was eager to get into the fight for freedom. On March 24, he landed in France. He spent four weeks in intensive special training in machine gun drill, and then was put into active service as a first lieutenant in the Seventh Machine Gun Battalion, made up of regular soldiers. This was an honor, indeed, to be entrusted with soldiers usually officers by West Point graduates. He spent the next few weeks in training his men, and he expressed in his letter home his happiness at their progress in the use of the rapid-firing gun, and his pleasure in even sharing their quarters that he might help them the more. Said he “I am certainly proud of our army, and try to do all I can to help the men.”
The third great German offensive of this spring bega non Monday, May 27. Possibly Lieut. Goddard was engaged on Monday, Tuesday, (when the American won their spurs as the French said, at Cantigny), Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; but certainly he was in action on Saturday the first of June, for it was on that day while he was fighting wit his company for the great Cause,t hat his gallant and pecious life was taken by the enemy. Whether killed instantly or dying of wounds, we know he died bravely.
- Rank: First Lieutenant
- Date of birth: 17 June 1893
- Date of death: 1 June 1918
- County: Blount
- Hometown: Maryville
- Service Branch: Army
- Division/Assignment: 7th Machine Gun Battalion, 117th Infantry, 3rd Division
- Theater: Europe
- Conflict: World War I
- Battles: Aisne
- Awards: French Croix de Guerre
- Burial/Memorial Location: Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, Belleau, France
- Location In Memorial: Pillar II, Top Panel
- Contact us to sponsor Thomas W. Goddard
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