||Gonin was born at Towcester in Northamptonshire and entered the Navy in 1914. He was a midshipman on board the battleships HMS HIBERNIA and HMS RAMILLIES during the First World War. Following his promotion to sub-lieutenant, he was appointed to the coastal motor boat base HMS Osea in Essex. He served on the destroyers HMS THANET, HMS VISCOUNT and HMS DANAE in the Baltic during 1920-1921. The defence expenditure cuts in 1922 put an end to the first part of Gonin's naval career. He lived and worked in Belgium during the 1930s. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was appointed to the staff of the Naval Control Officer at Antwerp. For his successful role in co-ordinating the evacuation of merchant shipping from the Scheldt he was mentioned in despatches. Later he was in charge of a sub-section of the Naval Intelligence Division (NID) at the Admiralty, providing intelligence for operations against German-occupied Belgium, Holland and France. These included the commando raids on the radar installation at Bruneval and the docks at St Nazaire in 1942. Gonin was then part of the Theatre Intelligence Section (TIS), planning for the invasion of Normandy in 1944. After the liberation of Belgium, he was appointed to the naval section of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) Mission in Brussels. He was awarded the decoration of Officer of the Order of the Crown by the Prince Regent of Belgium in 1949.