Monday, October 27, 2014

Harry Wood, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Harry Wood was born in Chailey in 1893, his birth registered at Lewes in the September quarter of that year.  He appears on the 1901 census with his three brothers: Edward Wood (aged 15), George Wood (aged 14) and Charles Joseph Wood (aged 11).  His parents were Edward Wood (aged 45 on the 1901 census but 30 on the one taken ten years earlier) and Mary Wood (aged 29 in 1891).  Mary does not appear at the family home address, (a farm in Chailey – unclear on the census), but Edward Wood is still noted as being married rather than a widower. 

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in October 1914 that Harry Wood is serving his King and Country and, twelve months later, notes that he is a private soldier with the 2nd King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in England.  The following month it reports that he is now a lance-corporal and serving with the 1st KOYLI in France.  By the following April it reports that he is in Salonika. 

Harry Wood appears to have served throughout the war, his name appearing for the last time in the magazine’s final roll call published in July 1919. 

In October 1914 the 1st KOYLI was en route from Singapore and did not arrive at Southampton until 9th November.  On 16th January 1915 the battalion landed at Havre as part of the 83rd Brigade in 28th Division.  It sailed from Marseilles for Salonika on 26th October 1915, arriving there on 7th December 1915. On 20th June1918 it left the 28th Division for France and was attached to the 151st Brigade in the 50th Division from 16th July 1918. 

Harry's brothers Charles and George also served their King and Country during the First World War.  Like Harry, Charles Wood also served with The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and was killed in action whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion in October 1914.  It seems likely that both Harry and Charles were regular soldiers before the outbreak of war (although the KOYLI number listed above would not appear to be that of a pre-war regular soldier) and their brother George was also a career serviceman having joined the Royal Navy in 1904.

No comments: