Born in 1917, Charles Godden joined the Communist Party in the 1940s. He was in the army in World War Two and served as a NCO. After the war he pursued a career as school teacher and became a highly respected English teacher, with a particular warmth and appreciation of Shakespeare. Charles also penned theatre reviews for the Morning Star, being particularly well placed to send reviews of RSC productions from Stratford upon Avon, residing as he did for an extensive period in Nuneaton
He was a staunch Communist throughout his life, an accomplished amateur actor, and a genial and pleasant mannered individual, in fact a gentleman of the old fashioned English variety. He had a great sense of humour and was extremely well read.
He was resident in Nuneaton and active in the NUT throughout his career, being a delegate from the East Midlands to NUT national conferences on countless occasions, as well as being a trusted and experienced activist on the executive of the Warwickshire area of the NUT for many years, including a spell as the secretary.
He was a member of the East Midlands District Committee of the CPGB, a committee that strongly resisted the increasingly anti-Soviet line of the Party leadership from the 1970s.
Charles was also active in the collective of CPGB teachers, led by the late Ian Gunn latterly, but with major contributions from many others, who produced the regular and well respected `Education for Tomorrow’. He was also Secretary of the Midlands Association of Trades Councils and a member of the executive of the Midlands CND.
In his mature years, he became very actively involved with the Summer Courses for English teachers, held over a number of years as an act of solidarity with education in the GDR in Potsdam at the Padogogische Hochschule Karl Liebknecht. By the mid 1980s Charles was the leader of the British teaching team.
He particularly enjoyed organising the choral singing which commenced every day’s activity on the summer course, which catered for well over 130 GDR English teachers each year. In the mid 1980s Charles settled into a new life as a resident of Dresden in the DDR, where he died on August 21st 2004 aged 87.