Reginald Ormond Henry (Rex) WOOD

Poppy

WOOD, Reginald Ormond Henry

Service Number: 916
Enlisted: 2 February 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Clifton Hill, Victoria, Australia, June 1892
Home Town: Ascot Vale, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk
Died: GSW to side, France 1/2 Sth Midlands Field Ambulance, 28 July 1916
Cemetery: Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension
Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension (Plot VII, Row A, Grave No. 20), France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

2 Feb 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 916, 22nd Infantry Battalion
10 May 1915: Involvement Private, SN 916, 22nd Infantry Battalion
10 May 1915: Embarked Private, SN 916, 22nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne
2 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 916, 22nd Infantry Battalion
1 Mar 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 6th Machine Gun Company
28 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout
 
On the peaceful fields of the Somme which undulate in red waves under the poppies which grow between the innumerable rows of the graves of thousands of young men who had as only youth, the mud of the trenches and the hell of the war in which,alongside their friends and comrades, gave their all, their lives for our tomorrow, for the peace in which we live and in which they rest side by side, always united in the comradeship with which they lived, served and fell for their country and for France which will always keep them in the greatest care and will always watch over them to bring them back to life, so that they are never forgotten.

Today, it is with the deepest respect and gratitude that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme. I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 916 Reginald (Rex) Ormond Henry Wood who fought in the 6th Machine Gun Company of the Australian Machine Gun Corps and who died of his wounds 105 years ago, on July 28, 1916 at the age of 24 on the Somme front.

Reginald (Rex) Ormond Henry Wood was born in 1892 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and was the son of Francis and Elizabeth Frances Wood, of 75 Railway Place, Flemington, Melbourne, Victoria then lived at 434 Queens Parade,Clifton Hill,Victoria. Before the outbreak of the war Rex worked as a clerk.

Reginald enlisted in Melbourne, Victoria on February 2, 1915 in the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion, D Company, 6th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division and after a three month training period at Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria, he embarked with his unit from Melbourne, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on May 10, 1915 and proceeded to join the MEF (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force) on the Gallipoli peninsula where he was disembarked on August 30, 1915 and fought with great courage then was evacuated to Egypt and arrived in Alexandria on January 7, 1916.

Two months later, on March 1, 1916, while at Moascar Camp, Egypt, Reginald was transferred and taken on strength in the 6th Australian Machine Gun Company of the Australian Machine Gun Corps and on the 19th March, proceeded to join the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) in Alexandria and embarked the same day with his unit for France and was disembarked in Marseilles on March 24.

After arriving in Marseilles, Reginald and his unit were sent to the Somme and experienced, with the Australian army, their first major engagement which was also the deadliest in Pozieres and where 23,000 Australian soldiers were killed.

Unfortunately, it was at Pozieres on July 28, 1916, five days after the start of the battle which began on July 23, 1916 that Reginald met his fate and was wounded by a gun shot wound on the side and was immediately evacuated to the 1/2 South Midlands Field Ambulance in Warloy-Baillon, a few miles from Pozieres but died of his wounds a few hours after being admitted, he was 24 years old and was buried by Reverend William Tait Strahan.

Today, Reginald (Rex) Ormond Henry Wood rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at the Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "His duty nobly done".

Reginald, Rex, you who were so young but already so brave and devoted to your country, it is with determination and hope in your heart that you have answered the call to duty to join your comrades and friends, a whole young generation who without hesitation followed their hearts and carried the flag and colors with honor and fought for each other with pride in the sands of Gallipoli, in the mud and blood of the Somme where you bravely did your duty and give your life so that others can live, and for all that you have done for us, for Australia and for France, I would like, from the bottom of my heart to say thank you, to express my gratitude and my eternal respect that I have in my heart for you and your brothers in arms who live in my heart and who here, in these sacred lands, fought and fell among the poppies on which so much blood and tears were shed and who were the witnesses of the bravery and sacrifices of millions of men who fought beyond courage in these fields of death and who are today fields of peace where thousands of graves stand in silence in the white and peaceful cities of the Somme where grow remembrance roses and poppies.These young men left together to join France and the quagmires of the Somme which mowed so many lives, they knew that many of them would not return home but not a single one remained behind and all did their duty with bravery to a country they knew little but for which they gave so much and which will be eternally grateful to them, not a single one of them will ever be forgotten.1,300,000 of them fell in the Somme, the deadliest battle of the 20th century, an entire generation was lost but will never be forgotten.We will never forget who they were and what they endured in the trenches and the battlefields where they lived an endless nightmare for four years under the fire of shells and machine guns that shattered in an instant, dreams, the hopes and lives of so many young men in the turmoil of a world at war.They were young but knew the value of life, the value of the men by their side and lived by the side of death which day after day took the lives of their friends, their brothers and fathers under hurricanes of fire and steel, surrounded by the heart-rending howls of horses and men who lay side by side in no man's land and who helplessly awaited death in the shell holes and under the barbed wire in which they were stopped by hailstones of bullets.In this hell on earth, these young men went beyond their limits, they remained strong and brave for each other and held their positions without ever backing down, without ever losing hope or the convictions that guided them and gave them the strength to overcome the horrors they faced in the trenches and in the battles, they fought for their loved ones, for their country,because for them, in their hearts, it was the right thing to do and that on their actions and their courage depended the future of the world.They fought in the most beautiful spirit of mateship watching over each other and in the darkness, in the inhumanity of war, they kept their sense of humor, a light in the dark that kept them united, they shared the joys and the sufferings, the tears and the hopes, they were more than brothers in arms, they were a family and it is in this spirit of unity that they went over the top, united to move forward under the fire of the machine guns and marched in step, in the calm face of their destiny and the death which awaited them but nothing stopped them and it is while advancing behind their officers, their brothers that they fell but none of them died in vain because thanks to them we live today in a world in peace and this thought always accompanies me when I walk in their footsteps on the battlefields and in the cemeteries, we owe them so much and my words, my actions are nothing compared to what they did for us but it is with c my heart, with love and gratitude that I would watch over them and that I would share the stories of their lives, the stories of men, of heroes for whom I would give my life, my heart and my energy so that their lives are never forgotten.Thank you so much Reginald,for everything.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.We will never forget Australia.

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Enlisted and served as  Rex Ormond Henry Wood True name Reginald Ormond Henry Wood (See Father's note in AWM Circular)

Birth Details

Name: Reg Ormond Hy Wood
Birth Date: Abt 1892
Birth Place: Clifton Hill, Victoria
Registration Year: 1892
Registration Place: Victoria, Australia
Father: Francis Wood
Mother: Elizth Frances Willis
Registration Number: 21658