James Park WOODS VC

WOODS, James Park

Service Number: 2344A
Enlisted: 29 September 1916, Perth, Western Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Two Wells, South Australia, 4 January 1886
Home Town: Gawler, Gawler, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Vigneron
Died: Natural Causes, Western Australia, 18 January 1963, aged 77 years
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery & Crematorium, Perth, W.A.
Memorials: Adelaide B1 Torrens Training Depot*, Adelaide MG3e* North Terrace Sesquecentenary Pavement Plaques WW 1 VC Winners, Caversham and Districts, Gawler HB1* WW1, West Swan, Caversham, Beechboro Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

29 Sep 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2344A, 48th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
29 Sep 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Perth, Western Australia
23 Dec 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, HMAT A35 Berrima
12 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2344A, 48th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
8 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2344A, 48th Infantry Battalion, "The Last Hundred Days"
10 Sep 1919: Discharged AIF WW1
Date unknown: Involvement 48th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

Awarded the Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross Citation: For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty near Le Verguier, north-west of St. Quentin, on the 18th September, 1918, when, with a weak patrol, he attacked and captured a very formidable enemy post, and subsequently, with two comrades, held the same against heavy enemy counter-attacks.
Although exposed to heavy fire of all descriptions, he fearlessly jumped on the parapet and opened fire on the attacking enemy, inflicting severe casualties. He kept up his fire and held up the enemy until help arrived, and throughout the operations displayed a splendid example of valour, determination and initiative. [London Gazette issue 31082 dated 26 Dec 1918, published 24 December, 1918.]

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The first time James Park Woods tried to enlist in the AIF in his native South Australia, he was rejected as being ‘too short’. He moved to Western Australia and was eventually accepted in September, 1916.

Click here to see his ADB entry - James Park Woods (adb.anu.edu.au)

Embarked on the HMAT Berrima A35 23 December 1916 with the 8th Reinforcements of the 48th Battalion and disembarked in Devonport, England, 16 February 1917. 

Admitted to hospital, Codford, 26 March 1917; rejoined Bn, 13 April 1917 (no further details recorded).Sick to hospital, 18 April 1917 (mumps); transferred to King George's Hospital, 29 April 1917.

Transferred from King George's Hospital to 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 27 June 1917; discharged to balance of leave, 2 July 1917, to report to Training Depot, Codford, 5 July 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 1 September 1917; taken on strength, 48th Bn, 12 September 1917.

Admitted to 13th Australian Field Ambulance, 23 January 1918 (pericarditis); transferred to 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, date unclear; to 54th General Hospital, 27 January 1918, and allotted 'A' to Regimental Number; to England, 22 February 1918, and admitted to 2/1 Southern General Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham,22 February 1918; to 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, 11 March 1918; discharged to No 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 13 March 1918; proceeded overseas to France, 22 May 1918; rejoined unit, 30 May 1918.

Admitted to 20th Casualty Clearing Station, 23 July 1918 (dysentery); transferred to 12th Casualty Clearing Station, 25 July 1918; to 55th Casualty Clearing Station, 31 July 1918; to Australian Corps Rest Camp, 5 August 1918; rejoined unit, 16 August 1918.

On 18 September, 1918, Private J.P. Woods, 48th Battalion captured and then defended a German post near Le Verguier, France. Private Woods was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions.


Returned from Brussels leave, 3 April 1919.

Marched out to England for return to Australia, 21 April 1919.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Konigin Luise', 21 June 1919; disembarked Fremantle, 3 August 1919


For a time he was President of the Caversham sub-branch of the Returned Sailors', Soldiers' and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia.