Sidney Leslie Goodwin was born in Melksham, Wiltshire, England on 9 September 1910.1
He was the son of Frederick Joseph Goodwin (b. 1870), a printer and compositor, and Augusta Tyler (b. 1868), natives of Surrey and Middlesex respectively who had married on 25 December 1894.
He had five siblings: Lillian Augusta (b. 1896), Charles Edward (b. 1897), William Frederick (b. 1898), Jessie Allis Mary (b. 1900) and Harold Victor (b. 1901).
Sidney appears on the 1911 census living at Watson Court, Watson's Yard, High Street in Melksham, Wiltshire. By 1912 it seems the family were back living, at least temporarily in London at 10 Vernon Street, Fulham.
Several of his father's siblings had emigrated to the USA and settled in Niagra, New York. His uncle Thomas Goodwin notified the family of a position for his father at the big power station at Niagra and plans were made for the family to settle there. Funds for travel were borrowed from several of his uncles and aunts.
The family had originally planned to cross on another steamer but the coal strike changed their plans and they were transferred to the Titanic. They boarded Titanic in Southampton on 10 April 1912 as third class passengers (ticket number 2144 which cost £46, 18s).
Like most large families travelling in third class, especially those with teenage boys, the entire family was lost in the sinking. There is a memorial to the family in the Church at Melksham, Wiltshire.
One of the first bodies recovered by the cable ship Mackay-Bennett was of that of a small fair haired boy. The sailors involved in the expedition were so moved that when no relative came forward to claim the child, they personally escorted the child's coffin to Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax and paid for a large monument in memory of the "unknown child". (His was the only burial service that day on 4 May 1912).
The identity of the child remained a mystery for years, with initial speculation identifying him as either Gösta Pålsson or Eugene Rice. In 2002 an American PBS television series identified the boy as Finnish passenger Eino Viljami Panula by means of DNA testing from a bone fragment. Later, however, in 2008 improved DNA analysis by Canadian researchers at Lakehead University soon positively matched the remains to surviving family, proving that the child was indeed Sidney Goodwin.
'The unknown Child'
Photo © Lars-Inge Glad
NO. 4 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 2 - HAIR, FAIR
CLOTHING - Grey coat with fur on collar and cuffs; brown serge frock; petticoat; flannel garment; pink woolen singlet - brown shoes and stockings.
NO MARKS WHATEVER
PROBABLY THIRD CLASS