Pte Robert Wood of Amington

The story of Pte Robert Wood, a coal miner from Amington who served in WW1, was captured by the Germans, and was later a canal worker.

Pte Robert Wood of Amington
Photo by Bart Ros / Unsplash

This is an incomplete piece of local WW1 and canal history research which I hope to add to in due course.

Robert was born on 12th Nov 1884 in Amington. In 1901 he was working in the coal mines as a pony driver. By 1905 he was working as a carter.

Robert joined the Grenadier Guards in 1905 at the age of 20.

Later, he married Sarah, and they had two children, Robert junior in about 1910, and Constance Mary in about 1914.

Robert was probably recalled to service early in the First World War. On 12th Sep 1914 the Tamworth Herald reported that he had joined the Army. Thrown into the thick of things from the outset, he was among the many experienced soldiers who were taken prisoner by the Germans in the first few months of the war.

The Tamworth Herald reported on 14th November 1914:

Mrs Wood, of 2 School Street, Glascote, has received intimation that her husband, Private Robert Wood, 12214, 1st Grenadier Guards, is a prisoner at Wahn, Schiesyplatz, Germany. He says he is safe and well, but was captured on October 24, "with a lot more of our fellows.

An updated record was added by the Herald on 31st July 1915:

Private Robert Wood, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards — 5789 E. Gefangenenlager, Wahn (Rhld), Field 2, Resthaus B.K. [His wife lives at Glascote].

Thankfully, Robert survived his imprisonment.

In 1921 Robert and his family were living at 2 School Street, Glascote, and he was working as a coal miner in Pooley Hall Colliery.

In 1939 the family were living at 1 School Street, Glascote, and Robert was working as a canal cargoman carrying coal.

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