The superb Great War Western Front Staff Officers December 1919 Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, June 1917 Distinguished Service Order and April 1916 Legion d-Honneur, Reconquest of the Sudan 1898 anti-Mahdist Tribal Levies Commanding Officers Mention in Despatches and Fourth Class of the Turkish Order of the Medjidie; Occupation of Crete 1898 and Boer War Mention in Despatches group awarded to Colonel C.M.A. Wood, Northumberland Fusiliers and General Staff, the son of Field Marshal Sir Henry Evelyn Wood, V.C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G. Following in his father’s footsteps he led a distinguished career in the British Army, serving between 1892 and 1929. Seconded to the Egyptian Army as a Bimbashi, Wood was one of only two British officers to command the anti-Mahdist Tribal Levies during 1898, and was present at the Battle of Omdurman. After service later that same year during the Occupation of Crete, his ability to instruct and command local levies led to a posting to China between 1898 and 1899 to assist with the creation of The Wei-Hai-Wei - or 1st Chinese Regiment. This force of 1,000 men, created in 1898, was raised purely from the men of Shantung Province to fight for and defend the British enclave of Wei-Hai, and it was led by British officers and Colour Sergeants only. Awarded another Mention for the Boer War, he earned his greatest recognition during the Great War, being four times decorated in his roles as Assistant Adjutant-General to Australian Headquarters, and Assistant Adjutant-General to the British Armies in the Field out on the Western Front.
Group of 10: The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Companion, C.M.G., neck badge, gold, silver-gilt and enamels; Distinguished Service Order, GVR cypher, silver-gilt and enamels, complete with top bar, this with modified slider to reverse; Queen’s Sudan Medal 1896-1898; (LT. C.M.A. WOOD. 1/NORTHD. FUS:); Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902, 3 Clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal; (CAPT: & ADJT: C.M.A. WOOD. NORTH’D FUS:); British War Medal and Victory Medal with copy Mention in Despatches Oakleaf; (LT.COL. C.M.A. WOOD.); Coronation Medal 1911; Turkey - Ottoman Empire: Order of the Medjidie, 4th Class with Rosette, gilt, silver and enamel, of Turkish manufacture, the reverse engraved: ‘LT. C.M.A. WOOD. 1/NORTHD: FUS:); France: Legion d’Honneur, 5th Class Knight’s Grade, gilt, silver and enamels; Egypt: Khedive’s Sudan Medal 1896-1908, 1 Clasp: Khartoum, engraved naming; (LT. C.M.A. WOOD. 1/NORTHD: FUS:)
Condition: slight loss to red enamel faces on second and seventh; light contact wear overall, Good Very Fine.
Charles Michell Aloysius Wood was born on 2nd April 1873, the son of the future Field Marshal Sir Henry Evelyn Wood, V.C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G. then serving in the 90th Regiment. Receiving his education at Beaumont College and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Northumberland Fusiliers on 19th November 1892. Soon afterwards Wood was promoted to Lieutenant during a period of secondment to the 4th Battalion Egyptian Army between October 1894 and November 1895, with the rank of Bimbashi.
Wood was then appointed Aid de Camp to Sir Alfred Milner, the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Cape of Good Hope, in April 1897. In 1898, Wood witnessed active service during the reconquest of the Sudan and was present at the Battle of Omdurman on 2nd September 1898, and the subsequent taking of Khartoum. He was one of just two officers seconded to the Egyptian Army to command the anti-Mahdist Tribal Levies. For this, he was awarded a Mention in Despatches in the London Gazette for 30th September 1898, and appointed to the Fourth Class of the Turkish Order of the Medjidie.
Later that year, he also took part in the occupation of Crete. Having evidently shown his ability to instruct and command local levies, he was sent to China between 1898 and 1899 to assist with the creation of The Wei-Hai-Wei, which was otherwise known as the 1st Chinese Regiment. This force of 1,000 men, created in 1898, was raised purely from the men of Shantung Province to fight for and defend the British enclave of Wei-Hai, and it was led by British officers and Colour Sergeants only. In the book ‘Fists of Righteous Harmony: A History of the Boxer Uprising in China in 1900’ by Henry Keown Boyd, Charles Wood is mentioned as part of this unit’s early history: ‘Among the first British officers to join it was Captain Charles Wood, son of the celebrated Field-Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood VC, a former Sirdar of the Egyptian Army. Wood Junior was no stranger to unconventional soldiering as he had fought at the Battle of Omdurman as one of only two British officers with the anti-Mahdist tribal levies.’ Although Wood left to take part in the Second Boer War after roughly one year training this regiment, it would later serve during the Boxer Rebellion with some distinction.
Having then been advanced to Captain and appointed Adjutant, Wood then served in South Africa during the Boer War, participating in operations in the Cape Colony, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal, and was again awarded a Mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette for 10th September 1901. Between October 1901 and December 1904, Wood served as Aide De Camp to the Commander of 1st Indian Army Corps, in Southern Command, and was promoted to Major in December 1910, upon taking up duties as a General Staff Officer at the War Office until May 1911.
Upon the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914, he was serving as a Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General, where he remained until his appointment as Assistant Adjutant-General to Australian Headquarters at Salisbury Plain, in the summer of 1916. The appointment was however short-lived, as just over a month or so later he was posted out to the Western Front to serve as Assistant Adjutant-General to the British Armies in the Field, in which role he remained until early 1918.
For his Great War service he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in the London Gazette for 15th April 1916, for ‘distinguished services in connection with the War’; a third Mention in Despatches in the London Gazette for 15th May 1917; a Distinguished Service Order in the London Gazette for 4th June 1917; and appointed a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George ‘for services rendered in connection with the War’ in the London Gazette for 12th December 1919.
Wood, who was promoted to Colonel in April 1919, was placed on the Retired List in March 1929. He married Olive, daughter of Major Herbert Miles, R.A., in 1915, and died at his home in Bude, Cornwall, in April 1936.