Arthur Wood (1890-1918)
Son of Frank and Margaret Ann Wood.
Frank Wood, from Elland, a book-keeper, married Margaret Ann Summers, the daughter of a builder and contractor, living at Cliffe End, Lindley, in St. Stephen's Church on 17 November 1886.
Margaret was born in Leyburn in North Yorkshire and came to Huddersfield as a servant and in 1881 was working, at the age of 17, as an undermaid at the home of Godfrey Crowther a woollen cloth manufacturer, on Birkby Hall Road. She recorded no occupation in the parish register when she married but was probably still working as a servant until her betrothal.
Arthur, the Woods' first child, was born about May 1890 by which time they were living on Leeds Road, Huddersfield and consequently Arthur was baptised in St. Andrew's Church on 29 June. At this time Frank worked for a corn miller.
Ten years later the family were living at 16 Prince Royd, on the Halifax Road, Birchencliffe. Harold had a sister, Elsie, born on 1 February 1895 and baptised on 27 March at All Saints, Paddock when the Woods were living at South Street, Paddock. At this time Frank described himself as a commercial traveller. In 1901 he would narrow this down to explain he was a traveller in flour, perhaps having built on his earlier connections with corn milling. By then, Arthur was attending Longwood Grammar School.
In 1911 Frank was still working as a commercial traveller selling flour. The family had moved to Stanley Terrace, on Elizabeth Street in Elland, a modest through terraced house that boasted seven rooms — probably including two in the attic — which suggests Frank was doing quite well. He eventually moved to 66 Holly Bank Road in the centre of Lindley.
Arthur, aged 20, was an "Apprentice Pianoforte Builder" at a piano makers and on the way to becoming a very skilled worker. His sister, Elsie, was a music student. Both children's occupations point to a musical family. By the time he enlisted in August 1916 he was in business as a music and piano dealer.
He may have enlisted under the Derby or Group Scheme, which delayed actual call-up. On enlistment, he was taken into the West Riding Regiment, the Duke of Wellington's.
In the German spring offensive of 1918, the 1/6th Battalion, part of the 49th (West Riding) Division, were in action in northern France in the Battle of Bailleul. Arthur died on the first day and is buried in the little village of Steenwerck along with over 1250 other Allied servicemen.
Arthur is remembered in the East Street Methodist Church. Arthur's mother, Margaret Ann passed away in March 1919, just a few months after his death. She had spent her last days in a nursing home on Trinity Street. She was 55 years old. Margaret is buried in the churchyard on East Street and on the same cross Arthur is also remembered.
Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922
The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:
- WOOD, ARTHUR. Private. No 300139. 1/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Born Leeds Road North, Huddersfield, 19.5.1890. Son of Frank Wood, 66 Hollybank Road, Lindley, Huddersfield. Educated Longwood Grammar School. In business as a music and piano dealer. Single. Enlisted 1.8.1916. Killed in action 13.4.1918, aged 28. Buried TROIS-ARBRES CEMETERY, STEENWERCK. Grave location:- Plot 2, Row J, Grave 37.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Private ARTHUR WOOD
- regiment: Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding)
- died: Saturday, April 13, 1918
- age: 28 years
- record ID: 204256
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission (ID #204256)
- Imperial War Museums: Lives of the First World War (ID #4845517)