Allan Wordsworth WOOD

Badge Number: S8973, Sub Branch: PT LINCOLN
S8973

WOOD, Allan Wordsworth

Service Number: 31703
Enlisted: 28 September 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 36th Heavy Artillery Group
Born: Richmond, Victoria, 1889
Home Town: Port Lincoln, Port Lincoln, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Saddler
Died: Paget's disease, Port Lincoln, South Australia, 22 May 1954
Cemetery: Happy Valley Cemetery, Port Lincoln
Section: RSL - Plot: 5 - Row: C
Memorials: Edwardstown District WW1 Roll of Honor, Port Lincoln & District Honor Roll WW1
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World War 1 Service

28 Sep 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, SN 31703, Adelaide, South Australia
23 Dec 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 31703, 25th Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
23 Dec 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 31703, 25th Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade, RMS Orontes, Melbourne
5 Apr 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 31703, 36th Heavy Artillery Group

Background on Allan Wordsworth Wood

Allan Wordsworth Wood's immediate family were from South Australia though earlier generations of his family originated in England and are linked to the poet, William Wordsworth. His uncle, Walter Ernest Wood, was the first person to establish the link between the clearing of land and the increased salinity of water courses.

His father, William Wordsworth Hosken Wood, was a master saddler who had grown up mostly on the west coast of South Australia around Elliston and Port Lincoln, and also at Maitland on Yorke Peninsula His mother, Sophia Jane (nee Mellen), was of Cornish family origins and hailed from the copper mining town of Moonta on Yorke Peninsula. His father operated a saddlery business in Port Lincoln and trained Allan in that craft.

Allan and his first sister, Ellen Maitland Wood, were born in Victoria (Richmond and Hawthorn respectively). It is evident his father and mother lived for a time in Victoria but why they did so is not clear. Possibly they wanted to see another way of life in a major city. but by 1892 they were in Adelaide, and in 1894 at Elliston on the west coat of Eyre Peninsula. Thereafter William and Sophia lived at Port Lincoln before retiring and moving to Adelaide in the 1920s. In all they had four sons and two daughters, though Ellen died as a girl in 1899.

Allan grew up in Port Lincoln and attended school there. He was musical and a good sportsman. His youngest brother, Louis Clive Wood, enlisted very early in October 1914 and later served at Gallipoli as a stretcher bearer. Allan seems to have finished his apprenticeship before joining the AIF.

The key dates that apply in his life were as follows:
28/09/1916 Enlisted AIF, Royal Australian Artillery, trained at Maribynong, Victoria
23/12/1916 Embarked RMS Orontes 9th reinforcements 25 Howitzer Brigade
c. Feb 1917 Trained in England. Re-allocated to 36th (Aust.) Heavy Artillery Group (later Brigade) 338th Siege Bty
Apr? 1917 Training at Lydd Camp, Isle of Wight And reallocated to 55th Siege Artillery Bty
24(?)/10/1917 Wounded 3rd Battle of Ypres, Flanders. Gunshot wounds to both thighs
Oct 1917 -? Rehabilitation and traveled in England
By Jun 1918 Reallocated to 55th Siege Battery RAA
By Sep 1918 Reallocated to the 2nd Siege Battery RAA
5/04/1919 Discharged, Keswick Barracks, SA Resumed trade of saddler and became a businessman and prominent Freemason in Port Lincoln
4/02/1922 Married Cecilia Veronica Dollard
22/05/1954 Died aged 65 of Paget's Disease

Allan was discharged from the AIF in April 1919. He returned to Port Lincoln and resumed his occupation as a saddler. He also resumed his sporting life and captained the winning “Rovers” Australian Rules football team in 1920. Allan also coached a girls hockey team.

He married his sweetheart, Cecilia (Cissie) Veronica Dollard, in February 1922. She was a Roman Catholic and he was Church of England. It seems likely the sectarian differences of the times made matters difficult for them so they eloped to Adelaide. Cecilia was estranged from the Roman Catholic Church until after Allan's death.

Cecilia had kept a lolly shop in the town and was an excellent cook and was known for her Cornish pasties and many fine cakes. After they married they initially had no children of their own. They raised the niece, the daughter of Cecilia's brother before having two daughters and a son of their own.

Allan built up his saddlery business and later also undertook car upholstery. He first lived above his shop and later built two homes on the outer parts of the bay in Port Lincoln. These were modern houses that were much remarked at the time. He did much of the excavation work himself by pick and shovel. Allan became very well known and had a large circle of friends that called him 'Ned Kelly'. He led these friends on many fishing holidays to Coffin Bay

Allan always wore the badge of Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (later the RSL). However he would not participate in the march and the subsequent drinking which he was firmly against. Nonetheless he enjoyed his football and the horse racing but he did not wager. He also became the senior Freemason on Eyre Peninsular and traveled widely to conduct lodge affairs.

When he died in May 1954 of Paget's disease his funeral was attended by a very large number of people and was thought to be the largest seen at Port Lincoln to that date.

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Biography

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

 

"Death of a Well Known Businessman     

The death occurred last Saturday of Mr. Allan Wordsworth Wood, who had been in ill health some months. He was 64. The late Mr Wood was a saddler by trade, and succeeded his father in a business which he conducted first in Tasman Terrace and in later years in Lewis Street. Before the tractor and motor car had come to popular use, Mr. Woods catered for the harness needs of the public of Port Lincoln and district. He took a keen interest in the various orders of the masonic craft, and held office in all three Port Lincoln lodges, as well as the Grand Lodge. He served with distinction in the artillery in World War 1. As a young man he was a prominent footballer in Port Lincoln. He leaves a widow, three daughters, Betty, Bernice and Dallas, and one son, Colin. The funeral was held at the Happy Valley cemetery on Monday after a short service conducted by Rev. A. C. Blaxell at the Church of St. Thomas. A large gathering of people paid their last respects at the graveside, and there were many floral tributes. The president of the Port Lincoln sub-branch of the R.S.L. (Mr. R. D. Whait) recited the Ode to the Fallen." - from the Port Lincoln Times 27 May 1954 (nla.gov.au)

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