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Flight Lieutenant Hugh Goldie D.F.C. and Bar

Flight Lieutenant Hugh Goldie D.F.C. and Bar
Born: December 5th 1919, Tywardreath, Cornwall. Died: December 23rd 2010 Age 91.

Served as a U-boat hunter with the RAF in the Second World War and winning two DFC’s

The son of a doctor, Thomas Hugh Evelyn Goldie was born on December 5 1919 at Tywardreath, Cornwall. He was a chorister at Exeter Cathedral School before attending King’s College, Taunton.

On leaving school he joined Sheffield repertory company as an assistant stage manager, and was called up in 1940. He volunteered for service with the RAFVR and trained as a pilot.

After a brief spell flying Hudsons on operations over the North Sea, in August 1941 Goldie joined the newly-formed No 200 Squadron, which was sent to West Africa to seek out enemy submarines harassing the Allied convoys en route from the Indian Ocean and South Africa.

On September 28th 1942 he was on patrol when he sighted a lifeboat containing survivors from a ship that had been sunk. Despite failing light, appalling weather and a shortage of fuel, Goldie circled overhead until rescue arrived.

For the rest of that year he flew constant convoy patrols and reconnaissance sorties, after which he was awarded his first DFC.

In February 1943 he returned to England and converted to the Liberator before joining No 86 Squadron early the next year. From Northern Ireland and Iceland, he flew numerous anti-submarine patrols over the North Atlantic, some longer than 16 hours.

Following the German capitulation on May 5th 1945, U-boat commanders were ordered to surface and display a black flag of surrender.

Coastal Command crews had orders to attack those that remained submerged.

For the next few days the RAF sent their anti-submarine aircraft to patrol the Baltic and the approaches to the North Sea to prevent fanatical German submarine commanders escaping.

On May 6th Goldie and his crew:
Fl/Lt. T.H.E. Goldie D.F.C. Pilot
P/O. S. Hedley, 2nd Pilot
Fl/Sgt. E W. Payne, 1st Navigator
Fl/Sgt. W.G. Tarr, 2nd Navigator
Fl/Sgt. R.S. Ash, Flight Engineer
P/O. J.K. MacKenzie, R.C.A.F. W/Op/Air/Gnr
W/O. N. Robinson, W/Op/Air/Gnr
Fl/Sgt. H P. Plant, W/Op/Air/Gnr
Fl/Sgt. D R. Gould, Air/Gnr
P/O. N. Mather, W/Op/Air/Gnr

Took off from an airfield in northern Scotland to patrol the Kattegat. A few hours later the radar operator picked up a contact 12 miles away, and Goldie headed his Liberator for the area. The schnorkle and periscope of a U-boat heading for the open sea was seen and Goldie attacked. He straddled the submarine with six depth charges before circling the area. Wreckage and oil rose to the surface and U-3523, on passage from Kiel, sank with all hands.

It was Goldie’s last operation, and shortly afterwards he was awarded a Bar to his earlier DFC.

In 1946 he returned to the theatre, joining the West Riding Theatre Company. He made his professional debut as a director in 1949 at the Sheffield Playhouse with Hobson’s Choice, with a cast that featured Paul Eddington and Patrick McGoohan.

After a spell as director at the Liverpool Playhouse, in 1950 he was appointed associate producer at the Oxford Playhouse, where the company included Ronnie Barker.

Goldie worked on the original production of Christopher Fry’s A Sleep of Prisoners, and in 1953 directed his first London production, Love’s Labour’s Lost, at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre.

From 1954 to 1957 he was resident director at the Theatre Royal Windsor, and when he took Mrs Gibbon’s Boys to the West End in 1956 it was described by Kenneth Tynan “the best acted and directed American play since Arsenic and Old Lace”.

Goldie then spent three years as artistic director at the Alexander Theatre in Johannesburg.

On his return to Britain the plays which he brought to the London stage included Signpost to Murder (1961), starring Margaret Lockwood; Alibi for a Judge (1965), with Andrew Cruikshank; The Waiting Game (1966); Lady Be Good (1968); and A Woman Named Anne (1970), starring Moira Lister.

In 1974 he returned to the Theatre Royal Windsor, where he later became executive director. Productions included Laburnum Grove (1977), starring Arthur Lowe, and The Business of Murder, which opened at the Duchess Theatre in 1981 and ran for more than a decade.

Goldie retired in 1986, but remained on the board and worked freelance with the Derek Nimmo British Airways Playhouse.

Goldie was passionate about cricket, playing in the minor counties for Oxfordshire whilst working at the Oxford Playhouse. He devoted much time to Richmond CC — as chairman in the late 1980s he was partially responsible for the arrival at the club of the 17-year-old Adam Gilchrist, who went on to be an outstanding Australian Test wicketkeeper/batsman and a family friend.

In later life, Goldie revealed his talent as a watercolourist, enjoying considerable success at local exhibitions and galleries.

He married his wife Janet, a Viennese refugee, in 1946. She survives him with their two sons and a daughter.


Reprinted with the kind permission of the Daily Telegraph obituaries column.
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Article prepared by Barry Howard of the Spixworthonian Language School.

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 • Last Modified: 01 January 2014, 00:00