William Golding was born in his grandmother's house, 47 Mount Wise, Newquay, Cornwall, and he spent many childhood holidays there. He grew up in Marlborough, Wiltshire, where his father (Alec Golding) was a science master at Marlborough Grammar School (1905 to retirement). Alec Golding was a socialist who advocated science-inspired rationalism, and the young Golding and his elder brother Joseph attended the school where his father taught. His mother, Mildred (Curnoe), kept house at 29, The Green, Marlborough, and was a campaigner for female suffrage. In 1930 Golding went to Brasenose College, Oxford, where he read Natural Sciences for two years before transferring to English Literature.
Golding took his B.A. degree with Second Class Honours in the summer of 1934, and later that year a book of his Poems was published by Macmillan & Co, with the help of his Oxford friend, the anthroposophist Adam Bittleston.
He was a schoolmaster teaching Philosophy and English in 1939, then just English from 1945 to 1962 at Bishop Wordsworth's School, Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Marriage and family
Golding married Ann Brookfield, an analytic chemist,(p161) on 30 September 1939. They had two children, Judith and David.
During World War II, Golding joined the Royal Navy in 1940. He fought (on board a destroyer) and was briefly involved in the pursuit and sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. He also participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, commanding a landing ship that fired salvoes of rockets onto the beaches, and was in action at Walcheren at which 23 out of 24 assault craft were sunk.
In 1985, Golding and his wife moved to Tullimaar House at Perranarworthal, near Truro, Cornwall. He died of heart failure eight years later, on 19 June 1993. He was buried in the village churchyard at Bowerchalke, South Wiltshire (near the Hampshire and Dorset county boundaries). He left the draft of a novel, The Double Tongue, set in ancient Delphi, which was published posthumously. His son David continues to live at Tullimaar House.