Biography of Private George Thomas Wood, (27170)
1st Battalion, King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
Formerly 23136 7th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment
Died 11th March 1917
- Name: George Thomas Wood
- Date of birth: 1895
- Place of Birth: Tongue End, Lincolnshire, England
- Date of Birth Registration: July – September 1895
- Place of Birth Registration: Spalding, Lincolnshire, England
- Name: Thomas Wood
- DOB: 1861
- Place of Birth: Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, England
- Occupation: Farmer
- Name: Georgina Simmons
- DOB: 1861
- Place Of Birth: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England
- Marriage: 23rd December 1889 Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, England
Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)
- Harry Wood, 1890, Tongue End
- George Thomas Wood, 1895, Tongue End
- 1901: George is living with his parents in Baston Fen, Lincolnshire.
- 1911: George is living with his parents in Baston Fen, Lincolnshire. The census gives him an age of 15 and he is listed as a farmer’s Son working on farm.
- None found
- No marriage for George has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.
- None found
- These records show that George Wood, 27170 1st Bn King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment was killed in action on 11th March 1917 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.
Effects Left To
- Mother Georgina
- The British Medal
- The Victory Medal
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
Military Service Timeline
George was born in the summer of 1895 in the small village of Tongue End, Lincolnshire. The second son of Thomas Wood a farmer from Deeping St Nicholas and his wife Georgina Simmons of Melton Mowbray. The couple were married in 1889, the marriage being registered in the Spalding District.
In 1901 the family were living in Baston Fen where Thomas was a farmer living with his wife Georgina and and sons Harry b 1890, age 11, and George, born 1895, age 5, both listed as being born in Tongue End.
Ten years later in 1911 the census return now identifies the family as living in White House, Baston Fen. Thomas is still a farmer and employer and both Harry and Gerorge Thomas are working on the farm. Georgina and Thomas have now been married 21 years and also living in the 7 room house are Isabella Chamberlain from Pinchbeck, a domestic servant and Ernest Hibbins from Deeping St Nicholas who also worked on the farm.
It is not known when George left his father’s farm and joined the army as the original army records were destroyed in a warehouse fire in the London Blitz during World War Two. The folloing has been pieced together from the remaining sources.
The war gratuity payment paid to George’s mother following his death was £3 signifying that he served less than 1 year in the Army meaning that he joined after March 1916. In January 1916 a bill of Parliament had been passed to allow conscription to the Armed Forces for any single man aged between 18 and 41. This conscription came into force on 1st March 1916 and therefore we must assume that George was conscripted into the Army.
Initially George had served with the 7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (23136) before eventually serving with the 1st Bn., King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (27170).
It was quite usual for men to attest and then train with their local regiment and as the need for men during 1916 was so great, they could then be posted to a Battalion or Regiment that was most in need of men. The other reason for posting would be that the man had been wounded and then after convalescing would then be posted to a Regiment that desperately needed reinforcements. It is not known which scenario saw George posted to the Royal Lancashire Regiment but a lack of casualty records would indicate that he was most likely posted following completion of his training.
As we have no records with confirmed dates then we can only look at George’s last few weeks with the Royal Lancashire knowing that he would have been serving with them at that time.
During February 1917, the 1st Battalion King’s Own Regiment was removed from front line trenches around Bouchavesnes and moved firstly to huts at Camp 117 and then to Corbie.
For the rest of February the Battalion continued training before eventually being moved to Vitz-Villeroy, where along with Villeroy-Sur-Authie they were billeted on the 7th March. The Battalion immediately went back onto training and was receiving replacements to bring it back to Battalion strength. The Battalion moved to Marquay by bus on 22nd February and continued training until it was moved on April 6th for final preparations for the battle of Arras.
It is not yet known how George Wood died, whether this was in training or as a result of earlier action this is yet to be discovered. The Soldier’s Effects Register just simply states “in Action”.
The commonwealth War Graves Commission Records may give us one clue as to what happened to George Wood. Their index to Rancourt Military Cemetery also states that George Wood was attached to the 178th Company Royal Engineers.
Diary of 178th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers offers the following information: –
February 1st 1917
Detachment of No 2 Section under 2nd Lt Morgan to CLERY dugouts for work on intermediate line Machine Gun emplacements. 1 other rank to Hosp, 3 other ranks from hosp.
February 2nd 1917
Work as before, 1 other rank to Hosp, 2 other ranks from Hosp
February 3rd 1917
Work as before, 2 other ranks to Hosp
February 4th 1917
2 other ranks to Hosp
February 5th 1917
Work as before , 5 other ranks to Hosp
February 6th 1917
No 1 section to C1c.d.h and start work on dug outs at C7a.0.5, under 4th Division, 3 other ranks to Hosp
February 7th 1917
Work as before. 2 other ranks from Hosp
February 8th 1917
Work as before. 2 other ranks to hosp
February 9th 1917
Work as before, 1 other rank to hosp, 1 other rank from hosp
February 10th 1917
The diary continues with this information through February and March and so the following are dates where the routine changed. Most days there are men coming from and to Hosp (we assume to be Hospital).
February 16th 1917
No 3 section take over work on Battalion HQ at from RENFREW FIELD Company
February 18th 1917
Camp 117 finally vacated. Thaw precautions came into force.
February 19th 1917
8th Division (1st Royal Irish Rifles) relieve working party of 4th Division temporarily attached to company
March 1st 1917 – Company HQ B26 Cent – MAUREPAS-CLERY
Once again we see men being sent to and from Hosp as a daily occurrence throughout March but now we will include these entries to try and work out what happened to George.
March 5th 1917
No 1 Section returned from SUZANNE, take over XV Corps line from No 2 section. 2 other ranks to Hosp
March 6th 1917
13 other ranks joined for duty from R.E. base Depot
March 7th 1917
Work as before
March 8th 1917
Work as before, 1 other rank wounded, 1 other rank from Hosp.
March 9th 1917
Work as before, 2 other rank to Hosp. Work stopped on ROAD WOOD WELL, B20c.5.4, water being reached at 111 feet.
March 10th 1917
Work as before. Capt G.C. Harrison to England for duty in India. 2 other ranks to Hosp
March 11th 1917
2 Other ranks killed in action, 4 wounded, 3 other ranks to Hosp
March 12th 1917
4 other ranks to Hosp, 1 other rank from Hosp, 3 other ranks from R.E. Base Depot
March 13th 1917
1 other rank to Hosp. No 2 Section to Company HQ from SUZANNE
March 14th 1917
Evacuated No 1 Section with 80 attached Infantry to B23a, to repair and occupy old artillery billets. 150 attached Infantry from 8th Division re-join their units. Work temporarily stopped on Intermediate Line til billets complete for No 1 & 2 Sections. Work abandoned on platoon dug outs, C9d. No 4 section start new dug outs at B30d
It would look like George Wood of the 1st battalion King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, attached to no 178 Tunnelling Company of the Royal Engineers was one of two men killed in action on the 11th March 1917.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
In memory of Private G wood, 27170, 1st Bn, King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) who died on 11 March 1917. Remembered with honour, Rancourt Military Cemetery.
Also remembered on the memorial in St John the Baptist Baston Lincolnshire.
- WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
- British Newspaper Archive.
- Fold 3
- Find My Past
- Forces War Records
- British Army Service Numbers
- War Gratuity Calculator
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- National Archives – Battalion War Diaries
- General Registry Office