publication of this list we received the following e-mail:
My name is Edward Wood and I am the son of Bert (Herbert) Wood whose parents and then brother Fred (and my Auntie Joe) farmed at Priory Farm in Helmdon for many years.
My father and many of his brothers and sister are buried in Helmdon churchyard.
A couple of things :-
1. My father was not a private during the war in the Middlesex Regiment, but was a Second Lieutenant in the 1st battalion East Surrey's.
I know this because we have the original document from King George V appointing him to this position.
2. He is buried in Helmdon churchyard with his "Sam Brown", his Officers' cross shoulder and waist band belt he wore whilst in uniform.
As children, we used to visit Uncle Fred's farm a lot to help with haymaking, harvesting, and then thrashing the ricks of corn. I was born at Syresham in 1942 so you can tell that I know much about Helmdon from the past and from the many members of the family. In those days, the Woods' were everywhere in the village.
And subsequently we received the following addendum from another relative, Cora Russell...
Concerning the Roll of Honour of Old Boys of Helmdon School (published in Aspects of Helmdon no. 4)...
My Uncle Bert, Herbert Wood, was commissioned on the field and was a 2nd Lieutenant at the end of the war. He was a corporal, I believe, when he brought a group of men out of the mud and blood of shell holes after his officer and sergeant were killed. Bert survived a battle where twenty thousand died died in a day, and he acted as a leader to save the lives of a handful of men who had been through hell, and had had no food and water for two days. He trained at Sandhurst as an officer after that and served at Staff Headquarters as he suffered from poison gas and ill health.
His brother Arthur Wood joined up when he was only seventeen and spent his eighteenth birthday in the trenches. He was also commissioned on the field and ended the war as 1st lieutenant, acting captain. I believe a Mr Cleaver living in Helmdon was also commissioned in the field.