Wood, Charles Harald

Charles Harald Wood was the only son of Charles Frederick Wood of Glebe House, Hayes, Kent and Ellinor Appert Wood, daughter of Herman Hoskier. Born in Cheyne Gardens, London he came to Winchester from St Peter’s Court, Broadstairs. He represented his House at cricket and soccer and in Burne Cup. He was on dress for OTH XV in 1913 and was a Commoner Prefect.

He obtained his commission direct from school on 12th September 1914 and was gazetted to 8th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps where he was joined by another OW, Hopperite Lieutenant Roger Wentworth Watson (I, 1907-1912) who was killed in action on 30th July 1917 (see individual entry). He went with his Battalion to the front in May 1915. On 23rd July 1915 they moved to the Sanctuary Wood area, near Hooge where they endured their first real taste of battle.  On July 30th 1915, 41 Brigade (of which 8KRRC formed part) was involved in a costly action at Hooge, in which several Wykehamists were killed. One was Watson in 8KRRC; from 7KRRC, 2nd Lieutenant Gerald Francis Carter (D1910-1913); in 8RB, Captain William Mackworth Parker (E1900-1905); in 7RB, Lieutenant Gilbert Walter Lyttelton Talbot (H1904-1910).

8KRRC saw action throughout 1915, and the following year, in August 1916 the battalion was warned to be ready for offensive operations on the Somme, with 14th Division to take part in the fighting around Delville Wood. By the time 8KRRC arrived Delville Wood was just a series of shell craters surrounding splintered and felled trees and the official historian of the 17th Division wrote: “Positions where every marked feature by which a map can be set has been beaten flat and the outlook is amongst shattered woods and orchards and over ground churned up by weeks of shell-fire into a stretch of craters, with trench lines hardly distinguishable from the chaos around them – this forms a very different prospect from the trim legibility of neatly squared maps full of clearly-shown detail, some of which had ceased to exist in reality…” On the afternoon of Thursday 24th August A and D Companies participated in the attack which finally cleared Delville Wood of the enemy but Wood was one of four officer casualties that day, two wounded and two killed. Although he was taken to No 13 Casualty Clearing Station, Dernancourt, he died there on the evening of 25th August.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Wood
  • Forenames or initials: Charles Harald
  • House: I
  • Years in School: 1909-1914
  • Rank: Second Lieutentant
  • Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps
  • Date of Birth: 30th August 1895
  • Date of Death: 25th August 1916
  • How Died: Died of Wounds
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer F3
  • Decoration: NA