William John Belcher Wood

QX11071, Gunner, 2/10 Field Regiment. Royal Australian Artillery.

Died on the 5th October 1943 aged 31.

William was born on the 31st March 1912, the son of William & Martha Wood. His brother, Peter was killed on active service on the 12th April 1941. William was the first boy from Benington school to achieve a scholarship to Alleynes grammar school. Whilst at Alleynes he gained the captaincy of the cricket XI and had won himself a place in the football XI.  After leaving school he went to work for F Bracey a well known agricultural engineer and, at that time, a county councillor. In 1929 William left the shores of England to become a dairy farmer in Australia. Later he was employed in the lumber trade and, on one occasion, single handed, performed the task of felling, squaring, ripping, sinking and erecting the timber for a ninety post stockade. All this was achieved in just one day, a truly amazing feat.

At the outbreak of war William tried to enlist for air crew duties but was prevented from doing so by the loss of a finger. This, in fact, he had shot off himself after being bitten by a snake. Eventually, on the 4th July 1940 he was accepted into the Artillery and served with the 2/10 Field Regiment as a Gunner. In 1941 William was posted to Malaya and served with his unit until it’s capture at Singapore in February 1942. He endured the hardships of captivity for over 20 months, then, in October 1943 he contracted dysentery and died.

William is buried in the Thanbyuzayat war cemetery, Burma. (A1.A.1.)

 

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