Goodwin was one of fourteen children born to his parents Thomas and Elizabeth at Durham, England.  He served eight months with the RFA at Liverpool before coming to Australia at the end of 1912.  

At the age of twenty four Goodwin enlisted at Holsworthy NSW in November 1914. On his enlistment form he stated he was a Boundary Rider on the property Heywood at Delungra NSW.  His Mother, living at Stella, Blaydon-on-Tyne, Durham, England, was listed as next of kin.

He joined the 6th Light Horse Regiment, 3rd Reinforcement and in February 1915 left Australia on the ship HMAT A6 Clan Mccorquodale.  Goodwin was sent to Gallipoli where he became ill and was sent to Malta for hospital treatment. After further treatment in England he returned to Egypt in March 1916 where he served until the end of the War.

Goodwin returned to Australia in 1919. He married and lived in Sydney NSW.