The Gooding Memorial Cross

The Gooding Memorial Cross

A piece of Cardston’s history returns home after a war hero’s WW1 medal is found across the country.

The Memorial Cross bearing the royal cypher of the reigning monarch During WW1: GRI for King George the Fifth

The Memorial Cross bearing the royal cypher of the reigning monarch During WW1: GRI for King George the Fifth

The Canadian memorial cross is given to the widows or mothers of Canadian service personnel who gave their lives in the service of our country

Cyril Arthur Gooding, son of William and Ellen Gooding, was born in England but emigrated to Canada, specifically to Cardston, with his parents and three other brothers in 1912. On Jan. 10, 1916, at the age of 18, Cyril joined the Canadian army and shipped overseas at the end of that year. He was with the Canadian Corp when they attacked Vimy Ridge on April 9th, 1917. Private Gooding, aged 19, was killed by shellfire on that day. Private Gooding was one of six Cardston and area soldiers killed on or near that date in the attack on Vimy Ridge. He has no known grave and his name is engraved on the Vimy memorial in France..

Cyril Gooding’s mother received a memorial cross, commemorating her son’s life, in 1920. On the back of the cross, Cyril’s name and serial number were engraved. Over the years she must have worn it to Remembrance Day services held here in Cardston. When she passed away in 1949, the Cross probably went to a family member. As the years went by its significance and meaning was lost, and eventually the Cross ended up in a pawn shop in Montreal and was listed on ebay for sale.

The Memorial Cross is an award that has been granted since 1919 to the loved ones of Canadian armed forces personnel who died in service or whose death was attributed to their service. It is granted by the Government of Canada and is frequently referred to as the Silver Cross. In the past it has only been given to mothers and widows.

The Memorial Cross is an award that has been granted since 1919 to the loved ones of Canadian armed forces personnel who died in service or whose death was attributed to their service. It is granted by the Government of Canada and is frequently referred to as the Silver Cross. In the past it has only been given to mothers and widows.

Cyril Arthur Gooding

Cyril Arthur Gooding

Because Cyril was killed on April 9th at Vimy (an important day in Canadian history), and because he was mentioned in a documentary on finding Canada’s lost soldiers, by famed historian Norm Christie, collectors were eager to acquire this medal. A local amateur historian noticed the medal, and upon research, found out about Gooding and his roots to Cardston (he does this sort of research as a hobby). Because he believed that this would be an important part of Cardston’s history, he contacted the Town, and, after some discussion, the medal was purchased by him on behalf of the town and our Legion so that it could be brought back to where it belongs.


The successful bid to purchase Cyril Arthur Gooding’s Memorial Cross went up to $830.55. If you would like to help offset the cost of this medal, you may donate by contacting Lisa Cope, president of the Canadian Legion (403-892-4078), The town of Cardston (403-653-3366)  attn: Jill Heninger, or councillor Tim Court (403-634-8231). Cheques may be made out to the Cardston Legion. Any extra funds will be used by the Legion in further endeavors, such as refurbishing the WW1 artillery piece given to the Legion after the war.