The book is an autobiography of a retired Army officer from his humble childhood in London and Suffolk farms, through the ravages of World War 2, his subsequent civilian career in the Building Industry and latterly his extensive commitment to community service. The broad range of his experiences, talents and interests, together with his engaging and charmingly self-deprecating writing style, underpin the title of the book - ‘Master of None’. It includes entertaining commentary on his sporting activities and holiday adventures.
The Author has previously published the 112th Wessex Field Regiment’s wartime history which sold some 600 copies and is a regular speaker on battlefield tours, with an annual engagement mentoring on the Joint Services Command & Staff College Advanced ‘Realities of War’ course. He has had many papers published, given many TV and Press presentations on the construction Industry, community and military affairs, is a keen sportsman and a dedicated family man.
Douglas Goddard was born in Catford, South East London just after the Great War in 1920 and spent his childhood there with summer vacations on the family farm in Suffolk.
In 1938 he enlisted with the Territorial Army as part of the front line anti-invasion force before regimental duty with the 112th (Wessex) Field Regiment Royal Artillery (RA). During the Second World War he landed on Juno Beach in June 1944 and took part in major campaigns including Hill 112/Maltot, assault crossing of the Seine, Market Garden (Arnhem), breeching the Siegfried Line, the Ardennes offensive, assault crossing of the Rhine and finally through Holland into Germany at Bremen.
In 1946 he was granted a regular commission in the RA serving as an Adjutant (Dortmund), Staff Captain (London), Battery Captain in Egypt during the Suez Canal crisis then Jordan, before returning to Larkhill in the UK as a Gunnery Instructor achieving the rank of Major.
In 1958 he resigned his commission and qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries & Administrators whilst serving in Industry for 5 years and thereafter as deputy Chief Executive of the Institute of Building before retiring in 1985.
During the period 1978-1992 he served on the Wokingham District Council, two years as Chairman. His other community service commitments included Honorary Secretary, then Chairman, of the national Industry Year campaign in Berkshire, organising the Southern Tourist Board 50th Anniversary D-Day Exhibition at the Museum of Berkshire Aviation, Presidencies of the Wargrave Branch of the Royal British Legion, Museum of Berkshire Aviation and Henley Sea Cadets, and serving as a Trustee on five Charitable Trusts.
He was made a Freeman of the City of London in 1978 and awarded an MBE for services to the community in 1997. He has participated as Speaker on Normandy, NW Europe and Market Garden battlefield tours, at the annual Joint Command & Staff College Advanced Course ‘Realities of Conflict’ and in a TV documentary on the human aspects of NW Europe battles. He has chief researcher and co-author of the 112th (Wessex) Field Regiment TA book published in 1998 winning a RA Historical Trust Certificate.
His beloved wife Eve passed away in 2003 and he now lives in Wargrave-on-Thames. He has two married children and four grandchildren.