Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill, Park & St Luke’s; Le Fouret Memorial
Regiment: Duke of Wellington’s
John Wood was born in 1878 in Eccleshill the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Ann, nee Witton.John had lost both his parents by 1901 when he was boarding at 57 The Bank, Eccleshill, and working as a carter on a farm.On the 2nd of December 1902 John enlisted for three years as Private 7244 in the 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. He was 24 years and 8 months in age and he described his occupation as a labourer. At the
end of three years he was placed in the Army Reserve. In 1911 at 33 years of age he was boarding with his maternal grandmother at 25 Nuttall Road and working as a door porter at a picture palace. Later that year John married Clara Holdsworth and they lived at 5 Mount Road, Eccleshill. They had one daughter Irene who was born in 1913. As a result of being in the Army Reserve he was re-called on the outbreak of war on the 4th of August 1914.
John’s Battalion landed at Le Havre on the 16th of August 1914 and he fought in the Battle of Marne 7th to the 10th September which halted the German advance into France. He was then involved in the Battle of the Aisne 12th to the 15th when both sides had to dig in and this action became the root of trench warfare. It was at the Battle of Le Bassee 10th October to the 2nd of November 1914 when John was killed in action on the 28th of October 1914. He was 36 years of age.He is remembered on the Le Touret Memorial which commemorates
men who were killed in this sector of the Western Front from the beginning of October 1914 to the eve of the Battle of Loos in September 1915 and who have no known grave. This part of the Western Front was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting in the first year of the war, including the Battle of Le Bassee.John left his effects to his widow and child. Clara received £1.19.1d on the 1st May 1915 and his daughter Irene £3.18.0d on the 22nd July 1915. Clara received his War Gratuity of £5.0.0d on the 18th June 1919.
Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks
The following piece appeared in the Shipley Times & Express on 25 December 1914, page 6:Another Eccleshill soldier, Pte John Wood, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regt, has yielded his life for King and country.Wood was within a fortnight of finishing his time with the reserve when war was declared. He was called to the colours and sent to Dublin.While stationed there, he wrote home to say that “the General commanding the force is giving us a stiff time for we are route marching twelve miles a day with full pack.”
Going with the original Expeditionary force, Wood took part in the historic fight at Mons. Here he and others were cut off from the main body for four and a half hours and had to travel 18 miles before regaining the lines of the Allies.Their impression at the time was that they were the only survivors of their regiment but after crossing the French border they were put in touch with other stragglers.It was in this battle that Wood’s officer Col Gibbs, received injuries which proved fatal. Pte Wood had been servant to his colonel for
three out of the eight years he was in the army. The photograph shows Wood in servant’s dress.Wood also fought at Cambrai. For eight weeks after that event no news was sent and then his wife, who resides at Mount Road, received word from the War Office that her husband had been killed in action on October 28th.His army papers testify to an excellent character and also show he was a first-rate shot.Inspector Raistrick of the Bradford City Police Force was brother in law to the dead hero.