Sgt Moses Wood, 1st Batt, Gordon Highlanders
Moses Wood was born at 66 High Street Stonehaven, Kincardineshire on 7th November 1883 the son of fisherman, George Wood and his wife Elizabeth. On leaving school he engaged in farm work and in the Census of 1901 Moses is found in the Bothy at Newmains of Fetteresso.
A pre 1914 photo of Pte Moses Wood in tropical uniform, possibly taken c 1905.
aged 21, he joined The Gordon Highlanders and saw service in India
and Egypt. On leaving the army, probably after seven years with
the colours, Corporal Wood found employment with the General Post
Office and it was this work which brought him to Kennethmont.
The 1st Gordons had been alternating between billets at La Clytte and front line trenches near Vierstraat since January 1915 being relieved by the 2nd Suffolk Regiment. The battalion received new drafts at the beginning and end of January. On 27th January 166 men arrived at the front with " very little training ".
From the 1st
Gordons 1915 War Diary
- moved up to trenches near Vierstraat
The Sergeant killed on 26th February was, without doubt, Moses Wood. He was struck in the head by a rifle bullet as he got out of a dugout or shelter. It is quite likely that Moses and the private who also died that day were victims of an enemy sniper. During the early months of 1915 the Vierstratat section of the front was relatively quiet. New arrivals unaccustomed to trench duties, which involved moving about bent double and avoiding the temptation to look over the parapet, did not often get a second chance if they provided the slightest target for an enemy sniper. It is known they were active in the area at the time and most often their unfortunate victims received a head wound.
Records show that only two men from 1GH died that day. The other man was 3/5916 Pte Wiliam Gray of Methlick.
The section of Voormezeele Cemetery where Moses and Pte Gray are buried was created after the Armistice by concentrating burials from battlefield cemeteries in the surrounding area. Moses will have been originally buried by his comrades to the rear of the front and the grave clearly marked with his name, service number and unit details.
It was the practice of the time to commemorate a death on a Memorial
or Death Card.
The following accounts are from local newspapers of the time.
Moses's parents George and Elizabeth Wood
Date Mar 12th 1915
THE MEARNS LEADER
was in the trenches with his company and was struck in the forehead
with a rifle bullet just as he was getting out of a dug-out. The poor
fellow was killed instantaneously, and suffered no pain. I would be
so glad if you would find his father and tell him how deeply grieved
I am at the loss of his son, who was a gallant man and a good soldier.
much regret to tell you that your son, No. 9630, Sergeant M. Wood,
was killed in action on the 26th February while the Battalion was
on duty in the trenches. He was shot through the head by a rifle bullet,
and died about 15 minutes later. He was quite unconscious from the
moment he was hit.
who was well known in the Stonehaven district, was with his regiment
in Egypt and India. After serving his time in the Army he was employed
as a postman in the Kennethmont district, where he was exceedingly
popular. He was unmarried, and is the first Stonehaven man to be killed
was awarded these medals for serving his King and Country in The
is also commemorated on the War Memorial of his home parish of Dunnottar.
Dunnottar War Memorial
The granite block within the columns of the memorial bears the names of the Fallen on it's sides.
of those with the surname Wood.