With the centennial of the start of the First World War approaching, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa announced in December that it had acquired the Victoria Cross awarded to New Brunswick native Herman Good.
The Victoria Cross and other medals awarded to Good are part of a collection of memorabilia, including his khaki field jacket and regimental balmoral cap. Also included is an inscribed gold watch which was presented to him by the town of Bathurst, N.B., and photographs of Good and his brother Ernest Robert Good, who was killed in action.
“Medals such as Sergeant Good’s Victoria Cross help us tell the story of Canada’s role in the First World War,” said museum Director General James Whitham in a news release. “As we approach the centenary it is more important than ever to continue telling their stories.”
Good was born in South Bathurst, N.B., in 1887 and served in France during the First World War with the Canadian Expeditionary Force’s 13th Battalion which was made up of members of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada. He earned the VC for his actions Aug. 8, 1918, the first day of what is often called Canada’s 100 Days.
The action began with an attack by the Canadian Corps on Amiens, France. Good’s company was held up by fire from three Germanmachine guns at Hangard Wood, near Villers Bretonneux. As his citation reads, “Realizing the gravity of the situation, this [non-commissioned officer] dashed forward alone, killing several of the garrison and capturing the remainder.
“Later on Corporal Good, while alone, encountered a battery of 5.9-inch guns, which were in action at the time. Collecting three men of his section, he charged the battery under point-blank fire and captured the entire crews of three guns.”
After the war, Good returned to New Brunswick where he became the game, fish and fire warden for the Bathurst area. Later he joined the New Brunswick Travel Bureau.
He married Martha Moore and had three sons. Good was a member of the local branch of The Royal Canadian Legion in Bathurst which was named after him in 1966.
Good died April 18, 1969, aged 81.
His medals were held privately. They were purchased with the assistance of the National Collection Fund which is supported by donors to help the former Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum acquire important artifacts of Canada’s cultural or military history.
The purchase of Good’s VC means the Canadian War Museum holds 34 of the nearly 100 Victoria Crosses awarded to Canadians.