Eric Goddard

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Eric Norman Goddard
Born 6 July 1897
Died 11 June 1992
Allegiance  British India
Service/branch  British Indian Army
 Indian Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Landi Kotal Brigade
Southern Command, India
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Other work Control Commission for Germany, 1949 to 1953
Director of Civil Defence for North-Western Region of England, 1955 to 1963

Lieutenant-General Eric Norman Goddard CB CIE CBE MVO MC (6 July 1897 – 11 June 1992) was a regular soldier of the Indian Army who rose to the position of General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, India.

Early life[edit]

The third son of Arthur Goddard, a London Chartered accountant, by his marriage to Isabel Catherine Roberts, he was born in London, educated at Dulwich College, then attended Quetta Cadet College in India and was commissioned into the Unattached List for the Indian Army 15 November 1915 and was admitted to the Indian Army 18 November 1915.[1][2][3][4]

Military career[edit]

Goddard saw active service in Mesopotamia, Persia and Kurdistan between 1916 and 1919, being twice mentioned in despatches and receiving the Military Cross. He was a General Staff Officer 3 at Army Headquarters India, from 1923 to 1925. In 1928 he joined the 12th Frontier Force Regiment, passed the Staff College, Quetta, in 1928–29, and was posted as Brigade Major to the Nowshera Brigade from 1932 to 1934, seeing active service in the Chitral relief operation of 1932 (when he was again mentioned in despatches and gained a bar to his MC) and in the Mohmand operations of 1933 (again mentioned in despatches). He was promoted Brevet Major in 1933 and from 1934 to 1936 was a GSO2 in Eastern Command. Appointed Officer in command the King's Indian Orderly Officers, 1936, when he was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (4th class) and the same year became Commandant of the 4th Battalion the 15th Punjab Regiment. In 1939 he was promoted Brevet Colonel and Colonel in command of Administration, Burma Army, then in October 1940 Brigade Commander of the Landi Kotal Brigade. In December 1941 Goddard was promoted Major-General in command of Administration, Army in Burma, and saw service in Burma and on the Eastern front from then until December 1944. In 1943–1944 he was Major-General in command of Administration to the 11th Army Group and to Allied Land Forces in South East Asia, when he was mentioned in despatches a further four times and appointed CIE and CBE. In 1944 he was promoted a Substantive Major-General.[1]

Following the end of the Second World War, Goddard was posted as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Command, India, serving from 1947, when he was promoted an Acting Lieutenant-General, until his retiment with the honorary rank of Lieutenant-General in November 1948.[1] In that role, he was responsible for the Goddard Plan for Operation Polo, the armed invasion by the Union of India of the princely state of Hyderabad, put into effect in September 1948 by Major-General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri.[5]

On his retirement from the Indian Army and the Southern Command in 1948, Goddard was succeeded by Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja, the first Indian officer to take on the post.[6]

Later career[edit]

Goddard returned to Europe from India and next took on a special appointment to the Control Commission for Germany, serving from 1949 to 1953. He was Director of Civil Defence for the North-Western Region of England, based in Manchester, from 1955 to 1963.[1]

Private life[edit]

On 25 May 1939 at Maymyo, Burma, Goddard married Elizabeth Lynch Prioleau Hamilton, daughter of Major Lynch Hamilton by his marriage to Frances Prioleau, and they had one son. At the time of his death in 1992 his address was given in Who's Who as Kent House, Camden Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.[1][2]


  • Eric Goddard, 'The Indian Army – company and Raj', in Asian Affairs, vol. 7, issue 3 (1976), pp. 263–276[7]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k 'Goddard, Lt-Gen. Eric Norman' in Who's Who 1991 (London: A. & C. Black)
  2. ^ a b 'GODDARD Eric Norman. Lieutenant-général d'armée retraité' in Who's who in Europe: dictionnaire biographique des personnalités européennes contemporaines : 1980-1981 (International Publications Service, 1980), p. 1005: "GODDARD Eric Norman. Lieutenant-général d'armée retraité. Né à Londres, le 6 July 1887. F. de Goddard, expert-comptable, et d'Isabel Catherine Roberts. M. : le 25 May 1939, à Maymyo (Birmanie), avec Elizabeth Lynch Prioleau..."
  3. ^ London Gazette 22 February 1916 p1960 & 1961
  4. ^ January 1919 Indian Army List
  5. ^ L. N. Subramanian, 'OPERATION POLO: THE LIBERATION OF HYDERABAD' in Monitor, vol. 2 (3) (November–December 1999), online at, accessed 26 March 2012
  6. ^ Rajendra Prasad, The Asif Jahs of Hyderabad: their rise and decline (1984), p. 380: "Lieutenant-General Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji, DSO, had replaced Lieutenant-General Eric Goddard."
  7. ^ The Indian Army – company and Raj, extract at, accessed 26 March 2012