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John William Pilbean Goffage MBE (1909 - 1971)

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John William Pilbean Goffage MBE aka Chips Rafferty
Born in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australiamap
Husband of — married 28 May 1941 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australiamap
[children unknown]
Died in Sydney, New South Wales, Australiamap
Profile last modified 14 May 2019 | Created 6 Feb 2019
This page has been accessed 191 times.


John William Pilbean Goffage [1] (1909-1971), actor, was born on 26 March 1909 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, son of John Goffage, an agent from England, and his native-born wife Violet Maud Edyth, née Joyce. Nicknamed Chips by his schoolmates, he was educated in country towns and at Parramatta Intermediate Boys' High School. He learned to ride and to box, and developed a lifelong love of painting.
Apprenticed as an ironmoulder at the Clyde Engineering Co. Ltd, Sydney, he left to roam through the eastern Australian bush as a drover, shearer and boundary rider; he later worked as a deckhand in coastal boats and as an assistant in a Sydney wine cellar. He sold poems and stories to newspapers and magazines, and the occasional water-colour painting. At St Stephen's Presbyterian Church, Macquarie Street, on 16 November 1935 he married Colina Jean Stewart Ferguson, a 19-year-old dental nurse; they ran an ice-cream parlour before they were divorced in March 1941.

With his thin build and height of 6 ft 6 ins (198 cm), and an irreverent sense of humour, Goffage first entered show business as a magician's assistant, then was hired as an extra in a film, Come up Smiling (1939), produced in Sydney. He attracted attention in a small role as a gangling member of a slapstick bushfire-fighting team in Dad Rudd, M.P. (1940), and was promptly cast as the comic lead in Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940), [2] Charles Chauvel's much-publicized tribute to the Australian Light Horse in the Sinai desert campaign of World War I. An outstanding commercial success at home, the film screened favourably in Britain and the United States of America, bringing Chips Rafferty (the screen-name Goffage adopted) instant fame in Australia. . . . more . .

People - LifeTree (Links)


NSW Births Search Results [3] Registration
Name | Number/Date | Father's and Mother's Given Name(s) | District
Goffage John W P | 12485/1909 | John | Violet M E | Broken Hill

  1. A. F. Pike, Goffage, John William Pilbean (1909–1971), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,
    published first in hardcopy 1996, accessed online 7 February 2019.
  2. Visit VWMA Battle of Beersheba (World War 1, November 1917)
  3. NSW Registry of B M and D

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