William Andrew Wood

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: N/A
  • Rank: Engineer Lieutenant
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: H.M.S. Bulwark
  • Unit/Ship: Royal Navy
  • Place of Death: Lost at sea
  • Age at Death: 26
  • Date of Death: 26.11.1914
  • Burial Country:
  • Cemetery: Portsmouth Naval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 1

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth: 1888
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address:
  • Occupation:
  • Mother:

    Margaret Masson Wood, 62 Polworth Tce, Edinburgh

  • Father:

    Alexander Wood (J.P.) 62 Polworth Tce, Edinburgh

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about William Andrew Wood

H.M.S. “Bulwark” was anchored of Sheerness 0n 26 November 1914 when she was destroyed by a large internal explosion with the loss of 736 crew members. There were only 14 survivors of the explosion with 2 of these dying later in hospital. The explosion was believed to have been caused by the overheating of Cordite charges which had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead.

In terms of loss of life, the explosion on H.M.S. Bulwark remains the second most catastrophic explosion in the history of the UK, killing 738 sailors. The most deadly explosion in British history was that of H.M.S Vanguard, caused by a stokehold fire detonating a magazine, at Scapa Flow in 1917.

William Andrew Wood   Engineer-Lieutenant   H.M.S. Bulwark

Wormit has a more than ordinary interest in the tragic disaster which befell the Bulwark.  Amongst those who perished was Engineer- Lieutenant W. Wood, son of Captain Wood, Wormit.  In the Wormit U.F. Church on Sunday touching reference was made to the Lieutenant’s kindly personality.  He was beloved of all who knew him.  His cleverness was never obtrusive.  His modesty made people like him at first sight.  There was a winsomeness and charm about him which his intimate friends felt and admired.

Dundee People’s Journal 5th December 1914

William A Wood was the son of Alexander Wood JP and Mrs Margaret Masson Wood of 62 Polwarth Terrace, Edinburgh and entered the Royal Navy as an Engineer Cadet in 1903. After four years at the Engineering College at Devonport he was promoted to Engineer Sub Lieutenant and served in HM Ships Majestic, Caesar, Achilles,Venerable and Dreadnought. He was promoted to Engineer Lieutenant in 1909. In July 1914 he was appointed to the battleship HMS Bulwark for the Test Mobilisation and remained in this ship. A powerful internal explosion ripped Bulwark apart just before 8am on 26 November 1914 while she was moored west of Sheerness in the estuary of the River Medway. All of the ship’s officers were killed in the explosion and only nine ratings survived. A total of 741 men were lost. Only about 30 bodies were recovered after the explosion. In terms of loss of life, the incident remains the second most catastrophic accidental explosion in the history of the United Kingdom. William Wood is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Southsea Common, Hampshire.

Information supplied by Gary Thomson, additional information kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell, Ian Stewart & Ian Birnie

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