Lieutenant Cyril Gordon Wood


Cyril Wood

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Cyril Gordon Wood was born on the 16th of September 1893 in Dorking to wine and spirit merchant and clerk accountant Charles Herbert Wood and Susannah/Susanna Grace Wood nee Shearburn.

Cyril’s father Charles Herbert Wood was born about 1855 in Dorking to grocer and tallow chandler Thomas Wood and Fanny Wood. At the time of the 1861 Census, the family lived at North Side of High Street and Charles’ father Thomas was employing 7 assistants and 3 boys in the Grocery and 3 tallow chandlers. The family also had three servants.

Cyril’s mother Susannah/Susanna Grace Shearburn was born on the 30th of November 1856 to builder William Joseph Shearburn and Mary Shearburn. Susannah Grace was baptised on the 14th of January 1858 at St Paul’s church in Dorking. At the time of the baptism the family lived at South Street in Dorking. During the 1871 Census, the family still resided there and employed 2 servants.

Charles Herbert Wood married Susannah/Susanna Grace Shearburn in the 3rd quarter of 1886 in the Strand in London.

Cyril Gordon Wood had three siblings: Frances Grace Wood, Herbert Edward Wood and Gladys May Wood.

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at 96 High Street in Dorking and comprised of Charles Herbert, who worked as a wine and spirit merchant, Susannah/Susanna Grace, who was a grocer and looked after their children Frances Grace Wood and Herbert Edward Wood. The family also employed a servant.

Cyril Gordon Wood was born on the 16th of September 1893 in Dorking and was baptised on the 19th of October 1893 at St Martin’s church in Dorking. At the time of his baptism the family still lived at 96 High Street in Dorking and Cyril’s father was working as a wine and spirit merchant.

Thomas Wood Licence Application ©
Thomas Wood Licence Application ©

Charles Herbert seemed to run a joint business with his father Thomas: as a Thomas Wood, grocer and wine seller, of 96 High Street, in Dorking, applied in 1893 for an additional excise licence to sell beer to be consumed off the premises.

Cyril Wood 1901 Census ©
Cyril Wood 1901 Census ©

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family still lived at 96 High Street, in Dorking. Apart from Charles Herbert, a wine and spirit merchant and his wife Susannah/Susanna Grace the household consisted of their children, France Grace Wood, Cyril Gordon Wood and Gladys May Wood. The family employed also one servant.

Cyril Gordon was educated at the Christ’s Hospital School.

Cyril Wood Apprentice Merchant Navy ©
Cyril Wood Apprentice Merchant Navy ©

Sixteen years old Cyril Gordon Wood, signed on the 28th of April 1910 in London, a 4 years apprentice indenture in the merchant navy. Cyril Gordon was bound to Andrew Weir & Co, Glasgow.

Thornliebank ©
Thornliebank ©

Firstly, Cyril served on the Thornliebank owned by Mr Weir, as an apprentice and 3rd mate. He commenced on the 28th of April 1910 until the 28th of November 1913.

Cyril Wood 1911 Census ©
Cyril Wood 1911 Census ©

By the time of the 1911 Census, the family moved to 38 Rollscourt Avenue, Herne Hill, Lambeth in London. Charles Herbert was working as a clerk accountant; his wife Susannah/Susanna Grace was at home; their daughter Frances Grace was working as a secretary to an electrical engineer; their son Herbert Edward was working as a clerk for insurance brokers; and Gladys May was still at school. The family was looked after by a servant. The accommodation had 9 rooms.

Since the 17th of January 1914 until the 6th of June 1914, Cyril Gordon served as the 4th mate on the SS Luceric.

On the 5th of August 1914 Cyril Gordon Wood received the Masters and Mates Certificate issued at the port of New York, USA. It was a Certificate of Competency as second mate of a foreign going square rigged ship in the Merchant Service. Cyril served at sea for three years, eleven months and twenty days. At the time of receiving the certificate Cyril lived at 31 Holmdene Avenue, Herne Hill, South East of London. He was 6 feet and 3 inches tall, had grey eyes, brown hair and fair complexion.

According to the 1915 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, at the outbreak of the war, Cyril Gordon Wood was first on the list of volunteers at the British Consult Office, NY, where his vessel was in port. Once in England he was given commission as Lieutenant of the 6th Battalion the East Lancashire Regiment. His brother Herbert Edward Wood was the Captain of the same 6th Battalion the East Lancashire Regiment.

Cyril Gordon left Aldershot for Dardanelle on the 13th of June 1915. He disembarked in Gallipoli in June 1915. Cyril Gordon was wounded on the 9th of August 1915 at Sari Bair in Gallipoli, Dardanelles. He died either on the 19th or 20th of September 1915 from his injuries in Malta.

He is buried at the Pieta Military Cemetery in Malta. His grave registration number is: B.XIII.2.

Cyril Gordon Wood is also commemorated at the Dorking South Street Memorial and the St Martin’s Church Memorial.

Around the time of Cyril’s death his family lived at 3 Fairholme Road in West Kensington and at 16 Stanwick Road at West Kensington.

Cyril Wood Soldiers Effects ©
Cyril Wood Soldiers Effects ©

In 1915, Cyril’s father received £59, 16s and 6d and £10, 7s and 11d in Soldier’s Effects.

Cyril Gordon Wood was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star.


Born Dorking, Surrey
Son of Charles Herbert and Susannah Grace (nee Shearburn) Wood of 96 High Street, Dorking
Regiment 6th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment
Date of Death 19th September 1915
Place of Death Malta
Cause of Death Died of Wounds
Age 22
Cemetery Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta
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