Name: WILLIAM RICHARD WOOD
Service Number: 2446
Units Served: 27th & 10th Battalions AIF
Personal Details: William Richard Wood was born 27th October 1892 at Mt. Torrens to Sydney William and Elizabeth (nee Packer) Wood. He was one of four children and the eldest son. His father deserted the family when William was four years old and his mother raised the children alone. He was a butcher by trade and at the time of his enlistment he had belonged to the Blumberg Rifle Club for 6 months.
Enlistment Details: William enlisted on the 29th June 1916 at Keswick. He was 22 years and 8 months of age.
Details about his role in War: William’s casualty service records show he embarked from Australia aboard the HMAT ‘Ballarat’ on the 14th September 1915 as part of the 27th Battalion and went to Egypt. He was transferred to the 10th Battalion at Serapeum on 28th February 1916. In March he sailed for France and the Western Front.
From the Battalion History: From then until 1918, the battalion took part in bitter trench warfare. The battalion’s first major action in France was at Pozières in the Somme valley in July. After Pozières the battalion fought at Ypres in Flanders before returning to the Somme for winter. In 1917, the battalion returned to Belgium to take part in the major British offensive of that year - the Third Battle of Ypres.
In March and April 1918 the 10th Battalion helped stop the German spring offensive and was then involved in the operations leading up to the Allied counter-stroke.
William would have been involved in the fighting at Pozieres in July to September 1916. He would have seen action at the 2nd Battle of Bullecourt in April 1917. Later in 1917 he would have fought in both the Battle of Messines in June and July, and would have also been involved in battles that made up the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). He had leave in England in January 1918, returning to the battalion in Belgium.
W R Wood died of a gun shot wound to the neck which severed an artery on April the 17th 1918.
He died as he wished.
He helped to bring Australia into fame,
To build for her a never-dying name.
Foremost was he in thickest of the strife,
For King and Country he laid down his life.
Age at Death: 25 years and 6 months
Memorial Details: Arneke British Cemetery, Nord, France, Grave Reference I.C.7
Image from the Virtual War Memorial of Australia