Death of a Rhodesian Pioneer
Intelligence has just come to hand from Buluwayo of the sudden death there of Mr. Will Gooding, who was one of the three men of Major Wilson's party who escaped the Shangani massacre, and whose services to the cause of civilization in Rhodesia had been acknowledged and rewarded by the Imperial authorities, as well as fully appreciated by the British pioneers in that country. Mr. Gooding, who was a native of New Barnet, was a Volunteer in a small force under Major Wilson and Captain Borrow, which pushed forward from the main body of the British troops operating against the Matabeles, and, crossing the Shangani river in pursuit of Lobengula, found itself in dire peril of annihilation. It was important to communicate with the main body and hasten the arrival of reinforcements. Three men, of whom Mr. Gooding was one, were specially selected for the task because of their known pluck and daring, their knowledge of the country, and their reputation as fearless and accomplished horsemen. The venture was regarded as a forlorn hope.
The trio rode safely through the cordon of hostile natives, and managed to cross the Shangani; though the river had become so swollen as to be almost impassable. They were repeatedly attacked by natives, but escaping death miraculously, reached the main body unscathed, and shared in the terrible privations which the main force endured after the abortive attempt to relieve Major Wilson's smaller party, which was massacred to a man. In the punitive operations against rebellious natives after the Jameson raid, Mr. Gooding again volunteered for active service, and did good work as a scout. He had since held an important post in the Willoughby Consolidated company, but the privations and exposure which he had undergone during his campaigning had undermined his health, and his death, now recorded, was due primarily to pneumonia. The London officials of the Willoughby company notified to Mrs. Gooding, at New Barnet, the fact of her son's death, and the event has evoked general sympathy in the neighbourhood.