59572 Private Wilford Kingston Wood – Otago Infantry Regiment  

Wilford Kingston Wood was born on 27th November 1892 in Bedminster, Bristol, Gloucestershire one of eleven children born to Annie Maria (nee Taylor) and Edward Garrett Wood[i]. Three children died in their infancy so about 1913/14,
Annie, Edward and the eight surviving children immigrated to New Zealand.

The family settled in the Wellington area with Wilford and his younger brother Sidney Hollis Wood dairy farming together
in the Makara Valley[ii].

On 13th June 1917 Wilford entered Trentham Military Camp as part of the 30th Reinforcements. Wilford is recorded as a self employed dairyman and his next of kin was his mother, Mr A M Wood, Tawa Flat[iii].

After basic training at Trentham 59572 Private Wood, D Company, 30th Reinforcement left on 13th October 1917, from
New Zealand for overseas service. While on the troopship Private Wood
was admitted to ships hospital suffering from influenza.  The 30th
Reinforcements were landed at Liverpool on 8th December 1917 and
were then moved by train to the Sling Military Training Camp.

                                                              Sling Military Camp - 1919 

At Sling Private Wood was attached to the 4th Reserve Battalion,
Otago Infantry Regiment. Private Wood was admitted to the Tidworth
Hospital where he spent Christmas. Private Wood returned to
Sling Camp remaining at the camp until 10th August 1918 when he was
admitted to No 3 NZ General Hospital, Codford. The note on Private
Wood’s file simply notes ‘deafness.’  Private Wood remained in hospital
for a month there is no medical board report on file but it appears that he was considered not fit for active service so was returned to Sling to await repatriation to New Zealand.

On 19th December 1918 Private Woods left Liverpool on the SS Oxfordshire for New Zealand. While at sea Private Wood was examined by a medical board and the deafness was attributed to infection in the ears following the influenza
onboard the troopship there was infection which resulted in deafness sufficient to warrant discharge from the NZEF.

Private Wood arrived back in New Zealand on 3rd February 1919 and was given a month’s leave being discharged on 2nd March 1919 ‘on termination of period of engagement.’

Wilford initially returned to the family home in Tawa Flat and was a groomsman, in 1920,
at the wedding of his younger brother Sidney Hollis Wood to Hilda Evelyn Hook.
The Hook family were also from Tawa Flat, there is another connection with Wilford's 
sister Alma Dorothy Wood marrying, in 1924, Frederick Leonard Hook.

                                                                                                   Wilford Kingston Wood  1920 

By 1921 was farming at Rongokokako, Eketahuna where Wilford, in 1923[iv] married
Zara Myrtle Reeve. The couple had moved to Wainuiomata by 1937[v] and were still living
in the district when Wilford died on 20th May 1964 his address was 48 Moore Valley Road,

Wilford’s younger brother  35184 Private Sidney Hollis Wood served with the Wellington Infantry Regiment.
Archway Archives New Zealand: Military Files
Wood / Hook wedding photo: Ancestry.com
Sling Military Camp: private collection

[i] www.geni.com
[ii] Civic Cases, 4th October 1916, Manawatu Standard
[iii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 59572 Wilford Kingston Wood.
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 59572 Wilford Kingston Wood.
[v] Hutt Valley News – Wainuiomata RSA Dance, 14th July 1937, Evening Post
[vi] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 59572 Wilford Kingston Wood.​
Sling Camp with the Kiwi 1919