Images courtesy of Niki.
image 1917 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper
Born: 7th September 1896, 12, Redan Street, Ipswich.
Died: 23rd April 1917; age 20; KiA – during the battle of the Scarpe, The regimental history records, ‘… Part of ‘D’ Coy., having been cut off, withdrew across country in rear of the support trench, where 2 Lt. H. W. Woods was killed.’
23rd April Second Battle of the Scarpe “Zero Hour 4.45 a.m. troops attack on a nine mile front. 4th Battalion the Suffolk’s make a frontal attack on the Hindenburg line. “The maze of communication trenches between the front and support line , which it was impossible to guard or even watch, afforded the enemy excellent cover during his advance.” 4th Battalion “the enemy counter-attacked vigorously. Two companies being unsupported on their flanks were compelled to fall back.” 350 casualties to the Battalion, with the loss of 10 Ipswich men.
On the outbreak of the war Harold joined the Suffolks with several old schoolfellows, serving with the 5th Battalion. A bad attack of bronchitis in the early Spring of 1915 prevented him going to Gallipoli. He obtained his commission in January 1916, and transferred to the 4th Battalion. At the end of July he went to France, where he saw considerable fighting for nearly a year.
Date of Entry Therein: 26th July 1916 – France.
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant; Service Number: 2198
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment: 4th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory & British War.
Pas de Calais,
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of William Hunter Woods & Rosa M. Woods of ‘Ellingham’ 121, Hatfield Road, Ipswich.
Brother to EDWARD HUNTER THURTELL WOODS.
1901 16, Redan Street, Ipswich.
Harold was 4 years old and living with his parents & brother.
William Hunter Woods, 33, a Coal Merchant – own account, born Walton, Suggolk.
Rosa Maria Woods (Thurtell), 32, born Mettingham, Suffolk.
Edward Hunter Thurtell Woods, 8, born 12, Redan Street, Ipswich.
1 governess & 1 domestic servant.
1911 121, Hatfield Road, Ipswich.
Harold was 15 years old, student. He was living with his parents & siblings.
William, 43, a Coal Merchant – own account.
Edward, 16, a Junior Clerk in Public Body – Ipswich Dock Commission.
Adelaide Anthea Muriel Woods, 6, born 121, Hatfield Road, Ipswich.
1 domestic servant.
Harold’s paternal grandfather, Edward Hunter Woods and his first wife Lois Elizabeth Woods nee Cordy (sister to Edward’s paternal grandmother Adelaide Cordy), resided at Sparrow’s Nest, Henley Road. Here Edward was a farmer of 168 acres, and in 1861 employed 8 men.
Harold was educated at Ipswich School – entered 1899. He was a member of the School O.T.C. Harold was an all-round athlete, especially at cricket, football and boxing.
Rosa applied for her late son’s medals in February 1922.
Harold’s Victory & British War medals were sent to his mother, Rosa at ‘Ellingham’ 121, Hatfield Road, Ipswich on the 27th February 1922.
Harold is also remembered on the Chapel war memorial at Ipswich School, and on the war memorial at St. Bartholomew’s Church. Harold and Edward are also commemorated either side of the Altar by panels erected by their parents.
An extract from one of the many letters of consolation his parents received:-
“He was as brave as his clever brother …. he was killed in the forefront of the greatest battle in the history of the world, and one in which his battalion took over 600 prisoners.”
Ipswich School Magazine June 1917
Suffolk Regiment: 4th Battalion