Monday, 8 June 2015

BIOGRAPHY - Brigadier Lionel Johnson Wood, CBE, MID (1907-1977)

Relationship: Father


Lionel Johnson Wood C.B.E. MID

Born in Cheam, Surrey, England
Son of George J. Wood and Ada L. (Salmon) Dix
Brother of Enid Wood  
Husband of Dorothy M. Hart — married 27 August 1937
Father of Michael J. Wood, Sheila M. Wood, Richard (Dick) G. Wood and Gillian (Gilly) M. Wood
Died in Glenfield, Auckland, N.Z.
 
English Immigrant to New Zealand


Flag of EnglandLionel Wood C.B.E. MID migrated from England to New Zealand.Flag of New Zealand



Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Commander of the order of the British Empire (CBE)
Mentioned In Dispatches (MID)

Biography

Lionel was trained at the Royal Sandhurst Military Academy. He was commissioned into the Dorset Regiment in 1927. After five years at home with the 2nd Bn. and five years with the 1st Bn. in India he was Adjutant of the 4th Bn. from 1937-40. A staff job at the War Office preceded the Staff College in 1941, followed by two staff jobs, first as D.A.A.G. British Troops in Northern Ireland and then as Brigade Major 201 Inf. Bde.

At the end of 1943 he became 21.C. 4 Dorset and took over as C.O. for a short time in 1944 before being wounded. From the end of 1944 until mid 1946 he was in Burma, first as A.A.G. H.Q. L. of C. and then Burma District and 12th Army, both as A.A.G. At the end of 1946 he was 21.C of the 2nd Dorsets in Japan and Malaya coming home in advance of the Battalion to command 39 Primary Training Centre at Dorchester, prior to the re-forming of the Depot. He commanded the 1st Bn. The Dorset Regiment 1948-52 whilst the Bn was in Germany and Austria. His next appointment was Assistant Military Secretary at G.H.Q. Fareif until taking up his final appointment in 1953 as Deputy Director of Public Relations at the War Office. He retired in 1957.

Lt.-Col. The Rev. Douglas Gaye writes:- 'All those who knew Lionel Wood, known as 'Tim' to his many friends, will have been very sad to learn of his death in Auckland where he made his home after his retirement. We served together for some five years as subalterns in the 2nd Bn. the late 1920s and early 30s. They were happy days of hard training combined with many opportunities for playing games. A keen cricketer throughout his life, a good hockey player and 1/4 miler. Lionel took his part in them all. We became great friends, and after his marriage I was godfather to his eldest son, as many years later he was to be mine. So when our ways parted we kept in touch.
Our next meeting was after my return from West Africa when I joined 4 Dorsets shortly before F. Day as a Company Commander and he was 21.C. He was first class and showed the same qualities, friendly, quietly efficient, thoughtful and reliable as 21.C. as he was a subaltern and quite imperturbable during the fighting near Caen.

We next served together with the 2nd B. in Japan and Malaya, myself as C.O. and he as 21.C. The years had never changed him and he brought the same characteristics of confident and thoughtful efficiency to the problems then as he had all his life. He was posted to the Depot from Malaya and it was he who made all the arrangements for the final welcome home of the Battalion at Dorchester when we returned for the final disbandment.

On his retirement he became Secretary of the North Shore Golf Club but had to give up after a fall which lamed him. He took the greatest interest in the Regiment and all its news. His last illness was, I am afraid, long and distressing but he faced it with the greatest courage. We extend our deep sympathy to his wife Marielle and to his family, Michael, Richard (Dick), Sheila and Gillian (Gilly).
In 1957 after being awarded the C.B.E. and upon tendering his resignation to the War Office Lionel was advised that if he remained in office for another year he was to be knighted. To his credit, Lionel explained his decision to resign was unchanged because his wife's father was gravely ill in New Zealand and he intended to take his family over there. In the event his wife's father lived for another four years.


C.B.E.



 
 

Two simultaneous bullets had penetrated Lionel's helmet one either side of his head.

Sources

1.Lt.-Col. The Rev. Douglas Gaye 2.Gilly wood

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