Private Edward Webster Wood

Edward was born on 27/12/1879 at 39 Wentworth Street, Everton, Liverpool. He was always known at ‘Web’. Prior to enlisting  as a regular soldier, he worked for Thoroughgoods Brewery, Waterloo, Lancashire. He first enlisted in the 3rd Battalion of the Scots Guard, aged 20, in October 1900. He served in South Africa during the Boer War with the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards and No. 1 Mounted Infantry Company.

He received the Queen’s South African Medal, with Clasps in 1901 and 1902 and the Cape Colony Medal before being discharged on 29th October 1902. His name is shown as ‘Webster Wood’ on the Sefton Civic Memorial. Edward married Lizzie Bell (nee Black) in 1905 but sadly she died in 1906 during the birth of their twin sons Edward Webster Junior and Harold.

Edward re-married in 1909 to Nellie Lilian (nee Lunt) and they had three children; Nellie, Hilda and William Walter. In 1911 he was a brewer’s carter. At the outbreak of war Edward re-enlisted in the Scots Guards at Seaforth, Lancashire and was amongst the first to go off to serve in France and Flanders. He was killed in the first Battle of Ypres on 11/11/1914. His brothers, Stanley Wood and William Wood, also fell.

Private Stanley John Wood

Stanley, who is also listed on the Bootle memorial,  was born on 15/06/1894 in Netherton, Lancashire. In 1911 he worked as a horseman at Manor House Farm. Stanley was also a prominent athlete, being a member of the Sefton Cricket Club and he also played football for the Westfield and Marsh Lane clubs.

He enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the Scots Guards at Seaforth, Lancashire in September 1914 aged 20, soon after the outbreak of war. He went to France in 1914 where the 1st Battalion were in the trenches at Vermelles. He was home on leave only a fortnight before he was seriously wounded on 27/09/1915 in the Battle of Loos and he died on 14/10/1915 at the Rouen Military Hospital. His brothers Edward Webster and William also fell.

Private William Wood

William (Willie on the Sefton Civic Memorial) was born on 06/10/1888 at Sefton, Lancashire . Prior to the war William worked at Mellors Farm at Netherton Green, mostly with horses. He was very fond of them and was still able to work with them whilst in the Army. Bill was of a happy disposition, always joking. He was unmarried but had a lady friend.

Despite the loss of his two brothers, Bill joined up although really he was exempt due to his farm work. He joined, 19th Battalion of the King’s Liverpool Regiment which was billeted at Knowsley Park where he drilled and trained. Bill’s battalion was one of the battalions which Lord Derby had initiated the recruitment for, and which were known as the Pals Battalions. William was killed in action during an assault of the German trenches, south of Montauban, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

In the autumn of 1915 on his last home leave to Pear Tree Cottage, Netherton Green, his mother, already with two sons killed in the War, was very distressed to see him go. As he left he turned and said “Don’t turn to see me go, Mum” and on reaching the door sang “When the fields are white with daisies I’ll be home”. This was very appropriate as winter was approaching and their home was surrounded by fields. “His brothers Stanley and Edward Webster also fell. A comrade wrote to William’s parents: ‘William’s death came as a terrible shock to all who knew him, as he was very well liked and his loss will be keenly felt’. William’s body was initially buried in the Maricourt area (where he was killed), but was re-interred in 1925 or 1926 in the Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery.