Nat Gould

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Charles Robert Gould 1920-1944

Charles Robert Gould
Born: 1920
Died: 1944 Studland Bay, Dorset
Sir Basil Gould 1883-1956
Lorraine Macdonald Kebell 1898-1935
Richard Gould 1922-2014

Charles Robert Gould was born in 1920, the son of Sir Basil Gould and his first wife nee Lorraine Macdonald Kebell.

During the Second World War he served with the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Armoured Corps.

On 4 April 1944 a military exercise (code named "Exercise Smash 1") took place in Studland Bay, Dorset as a preliminary to the invasion of Normandy on D Day 6 April 1944. The exercise involved six Valentine Duplex Drive amphibious tanks of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards. Shortly after launching the weather worsened, the wind increased and the waves grew bigger, and tragically all six tanks sank resulting in the deaths of six crew members, including Lieutenant Gould.

A valuable lesson was learnt in that the tanks were not seaworthy in rough weather, and so on D Day the tanks motored in through in shallow water. The decision not to swim the tanks to shore was to save the day and ensure successful landings in Normandy.

The others who died were Victor Hartley, Albert Victor Kirby, Arthur Jackson Park, Ernest Granville Petty, and Victor Noel Townson.

Lieutenant Charles Robert Gould was buried in St Mark's churchyard, Highcliffe, Christchurch (formerly in Hampshire now in Dorset since 1974). A memorial was erected at Fort Henry on the shore of Studland Bay with the following inscription:

Remembering those who lost their lives
during Exercise Smash 1 in Duplex Drive
amphibious Valentine tanks
C.R. Gould, V. Hartley, A.V. Kirby,
A.J. Park, E.G. Petty, V.N. Townson
and all those brave men and women who ensured
the success of D Day and the liberation of Europe
For Peace and Freedom"