Valentine Goodyear (Val) was born either on the 8th or 9th of September, 1892. Note that there is some discrepancy as his passport reads September 8th while his certificate book reads September 9th. His place of birth is Carmenville, Fogo and he moved to St. John’s to join the Royal Navy Reserves when he was 19 years old. Valentine learned to read and write aboard the H.M.S. Calypso, which was the main reason he initially joined up. Note that many of his documents found in the diddy box (a box used to keep his possessions) have misspellings as he was in the learning process, the most famous of these being his last name GOODYEAR being spelled as it sounds “Gudger.” His earlier documents have this incorrect spelling. During his naval career he served on the Calypso / Briton, Niobe, Pembroke, Davis II, and the Queen.
Valentine also worked as a Qualified Seaman during the First World War, from which he received three medals: the Star (1914-1915), the British War Medal (1914-1918) and the Victory Medal (1914-1918).
In 1917 Valentine traveled to Greece aboard the H.M.S. Queen, a battleship in the Mediterranean Sea. During the visit Valentine removed the golden bell of the ship and took it ashore to sell to the merchants in the dead of night. The next morning he alerted the captain that the bell was stolen, thus he was not suspected for the crime. No one ever did find out where the bell had disappeared to and it was years before he told his story.
Valentine learned to swim while traveling in the Mediterranean Sea and his shipmates tossed him overboard with a thick rope tied around his waste. They proceeded to drag him along with the ship until he could stay afloat on his own.
Upon returning in 1919, he married his long time girlfriend Elsie Hallett (24) on June 24th. They later took up residence at 6 Walsh’s Square where Val became an engineer and worked with Harvey’s Butterine Company.