WOOD, James
(Service number 8/957)

First Rank (1) Private; (2) Rifleman Last Rank Private


Date 17 February 1882 Place of Birth Oamaru

Enlistment Information

Date (1) 25 August 1914; (2) 30 October 1916 Age (1) 32 years 6 months; 34 years 8 months
Address at Enlistment (1) Empire Hotel, Christchurch; (2) Wairau Hospital
Occupation (1) Shepherd; Labourer (Wairau Hospital Board)
Previous Military Experience South Canterbury Mounted Rifles - 3 months
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin John WOOD (father), Highfield, Timaru; John WOOD (father), C/o P. W. Dept, Whangarei (deceased), Mrs Jessie WOOD (mother), 35 Seddon Street, Timaru, then Lyndhill, Albury
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information (1) Height 5 feet 8 inches. Weight 65 lbs. Chest measurement 34-38 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair fair. Sight, hearing & colour vision all normal. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movemnt of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. Teeth fair. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily & mental health. No slight defects. Scar on upper end of sternum. Two pigmented moles on left groin. Requires dental attention. (2) Height 5 feet 7½ inches. Weight 10 stone 12 lbs. Chest measurement 35-38 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair fair. Sight - both eyes D 6/20. Hearing & colour vision both normal. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily & mental health. Slight defect but not sufficient to cause rejection - old fracture wrist. No fits. Fit.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation (1) Main Body; (2) New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship (1) Otago Infantry Battalion; (2) Reinforcements H Company
Date (1) 16 October 1914; (2) 16 February 1917
Transport (1) Ruapehu or Hawkes Bay; (2) Navua
Embarked From (1) Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago Destination (1) Suez, Egypt; (2) Devonport, Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns Balkan (Gallipoli); Egyptian; Western European
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date (1) 27 April 1916; (2) 4 June 1918 Reason No longer physically fit for war service on account of illness contracted on active service.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 3 February 1929 Age 47 years
Place of Death Timaru Public Hospital, Timaru
Cause Acute toxaemia following peritonitis which originated from a ruptured gastric ulcer.
Notices Timaru Herald, 4 February 1929
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 39, Plot 645
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

James Wood was the youngest son of Scottish parents, John Wood of Highfield, Timaru, and Jessie née Laing, and the only one of their four sons to be born in New Zealand. He arrived back in New Zealand on 3 February 1916 per the Rotorua and was discharged, being unfit for the military forces on account of a broken wrist. He was a labourer at the Wairau Hospital when he enlisted at Blenheim for a second time on 30 October 1916. After another stint at the front, J. Wood, 8/957, Timaru, returned to New Zealand in March 1918 per Draft 149. He had given a total of three years and 98 days of service in two stints and in three campaigns - Egypt, Gallipoli and Western Europe. Attained rank of lance corporal, James came home to Lyndhill Farm, Albury. It was to this address that his 1914-1915 Star was to be sent in June 1920. James married Sarah Winter in 1919, and together they had four children before James' death in 1929 - John Laing, Jessie Laing, William Winter and Cynthia.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [05 February 2017]; NZ Defence Force Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5557 0124872) [07 February 2017]; Otago Daily Times, 16 & 22 September 1914, 12 October 1914, Dominion, 15 & 24 September 1915, Timaru Herald, 25 April 1916, 4 March 1919, Evening Post, 13 March 1918, Press, 7 February 1929 (Papers Past) [05 & 07 February 2017]; Probate record (Archives NZ/FamilySearch) [06 February 2017]; Timaru Herald, 4 & 5 February 1929 (Timaru District Library) [07 February 2017]

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