Private Ian John WOOD was killed in action ,North of Noreuil France on 6 May 1917.
15 June 1917 -The Soldier’s Death Certificate was issued .
16 August 1917 – War Pensions were granted to the Soldier’s Mother, Annie WOOD and Brother James Roy WOOD, both of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
9/03/1918– Soldier’s belongings were posted to Next of Kin, Annie WOOD.
21/07/1919– Soldier’s Uncle, John McKechnie, of Uddingston, Glasgow Scotland wrote to the Army on behalf of Annie WOOD ( Details as follows ) :- ” Re. No. 4011 Pte. Ian J WOOD, 11th Battalion ” B ” Coy, 3rd Brigade AIF reported killed in action on 6th May 1917 ( at Bullecourt ). I, the Uncle of the said Pte. Ian J WOOD, who would like to visit his grave, would feel grateful if I could be furnished with a photo of the grave, and all necessary particulars. His mother ( my sister ) writes me from Australia stating that she is most anxious to visit the grave of her son, but from the other side cannot get any definite information and wishes me to see what I can do. She says, when her boys effects were returned to her, they consisted only of 3 handkerchiefs, his pocket book – much tattered- 2 or 3 letters ( old ) and 2 small brass drinking cups. Those must have been in the kit bag, which I understand is always left behind when going into action. The things he would have on him – photos, letters ( recent ) and wristlet watch , have not been sent back, which leads his mother and me to think he was not buried at all. News ( not official ) has reached his mother that he was wounded and he was being carried by the stretcher-bearers when a shell caught the lot of them and nothing more is known of him. If this soldier has a grave , please let me have its number and whereabouts and if possible , a photograph of it”.
25/06/1920- The AIF wrote a letter to Mrs Annie Wood, desiring to learn whether the Soldier had any nearer blood relations than herself. Is his father still alive? If so please advise his name and address.
3/07/1920 – Mrs Annie WOOD did not take kindly to the wording of the AIF letter of enquiry, and extracts from her response are as follows:- ” You ask for a nearer blood relative than I, his mother, can there be a nearer blood relative ,than I, the mother that bore him and suffered and am still suffering. Yes, his father is still alive and living here at this address. His name is James WOOD ( N0. 875 – Sgt. 5th ABGROC ). This son was for years my mainstay, his father being a heavy drinker and a wanderer “.
“I am in ill health, as also is my daughter aged twenty who is unable to do anything to support herself and I want to tell the Dept. that the loss of my son ( one of the best ) is the greatest blow that has befallen me in my fifty two years “.
” I do not know why I should be asked such a question. His father also spent nearly two years in Belgium, was sent home gassed “.
” I shall be glad to answer any questions , but I wonder do the Military ever think that all this opens up wounds and sorrow that we are trying to bare “.
29/11/1921- The Army wrote to Mr. C. Martin, Kalgoorlie , who had written on behalf of Annie WOOD, re. the fate of her son. The letter referred to advice from the Australian War Graves Register London who had advised that there was no trace of a grave. The Army’s reply included :- ” Re. the Late No. 4011 Pte. I.J. WOOD, 11th Battalion AIF. I regret to state that it has not been possible to find the last resting place of that soldier. The only information held is to the effect that he was killed in action on 6 May 1917 just North of Noreuil France. The Noreuil engagement was a particularly heavy one and the Australian casualties were very severe. Unfortunately the nature of the ground , combined with the severity of the conditions in which the Noreuil operations were carried out , has rendered difficult the identification of many Australian soldiers who were killed there. It is quite possible that Pte. Wood’s remains have been located but owing to there being no means of identification on the body , it has been interred in one of the numerous cemeteries in the vicinity of Noreuil, as that of an Unknown Australian Soldier “.
Memorial Inscriptions – 4011- Pte. WOOD, Ian John
Panel No. 64 – Villers – Brettoneux Memorial France
Australian War Memorial Canberra – Panel No. 64
Bunbury War Memorial, Western Australia.