Memories of WWII from the Good family archives

With VE Day coming up this Friday, in this article we will highlight the journey of the John Good Group and the Good family through the second world war.

letter dated July 1940, from Lloyds Loading List to John Good regarding advertising cancellations due to war

Letter dated July 1940, regarding cancellation of advertising with Lloyds Loading List due to the outbreak of the war

The John Good Group during WWII

In the 1930s, the travel and tourism wing of the business was starting to take off under Ambrose Good. But in 1939, just one year after the company employed its fourth-generation family members, war broke out and all sailings were cancelled.

The company survived on work for the Ministry of Supply, but the High Street premises were completely destroyed as Hull became the most bombed city outside of London.

The company recovered and entered a period of expansion after the war, with the travel agency gaining the first IATA licence, forwarding and haulage added to the company’s list of services for the first time, and a happy workforce – many of whom had served through both wars.

The story of Cyril Good

Capt. Cyril Good was in the 4th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment (nicknamed the “Snappers”) and was part of the British Expeditionary Force sent to France in 1939. His battalion was evacuated from Dunkirk in May 1940, having held the perimeter there to the last. By an amazing coincidence he met his relative, Whittaker

photo of Cyril Good in uniform with war medals

Capt. Cyril Good

Holmes, who was serving in a different regiment, the Gordon Highlanders, on the beach amongst the many thousands waiting to embark on the rescue ships.

In late 1941 the 150th Infantry Brigade, of which the Snappers were part, were sent to the Middle East and encamped in the Western Desert together with other brigades and allies, ready for battle against Rommel’s Afrika Korps.

In May 1942 Cyril was killed at the Battle of Gazala, near Tobruk, Libya. The entire battalion was over-run, lacking essential supplies including ammunition, and most of them were taken prisoner. As Cyril was officially posted “missing, presumed killed”, he has no known grave. His name is commemorated at the El Alamein War Memorial, scene of Montgomery’s famous victory 4 months later.


As we all celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII from lockdown on Friday, we will be taking time to remember the many sacrifices that were made and lives that were affected as a result of the war.


Posted on

May 5, 2020