Percy John Wood
Regiment: Royal Naval Reserves
Ship: HMS Celtic & HMT Olida
Mother-in-Law: Mrs H Hodd
Brother-in-Law: Henry Hodd
Address: 4 Oxford Terrace, All Saints Street, Hastings
Other Info: ‘Now in Alexandria’ reads: We received the above photograph last week, and with it the following letter: “Sir, I am sending you a photograph of two well known Hastings men from the old town whom I have had the please of talking to out in Alexandria. They are P Wood and James Spice. Wood told me how he came to be up. He said he volunteered on his discharge papers on the first day of the Reserve were going away, and he was sent away to Portsmouth with them on the 2nd August 1914, practically the first volunteer in Hastings, I presume, if not in the British Isles. If you were to apply to Mrs Wood, 67 Milward Terrace, Ore, she would let you see his discharge papers to prove his words. I think his is a very interesting case, not many like it in England and not very well known in Hastings only by a few fisherman friends. He has practically been on foreign service ever since he has been up. Left England 10th December 1914 for South America, went all round there far North, and from there to South Africa, being 13 months on this trip. He came home soon enough for Christmas leave, having 10 days, and was coming out to Alexandria on 24th January 1916 on a trawler. He has been here 16 Months. James Spice has been out here 17 months, and just two years in a trawler here and in the North Sea, after having seen service in the Grand Fleet. Spice is a Seaman Gunner. He has had some unpleasant experiences; helped to save a ship’s crew which had been torpedoed, picking up 24 survivors, and had the unpleasant site of a ship being sunk when she was being escorted for four trawlers, not one of them seeing the submarine. Jim’s ship picked up a lot of the survivors. They were only 20 miles from here. They are unpleasant and arduous duties these trawlers have to perform”.
Published: February 1915 & May 1917
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