WOODS, Bertram

No. 40060, Private, Bertram WOODS
Aged 35

9th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
formerly 43435 Sherwood Foresters
Killed in Action on Monday 25th September, 1916

Born in Woodditton on 21st November 1880,[Newmarket 3b:529] the 2nd son of Harry and Emily A. WOODS of Ditton Lodge Farm Cottage, Woodditton.

1881 census...At 2 Ditton Lodge Farm Cottages, Woodditton were Bertram [4 months] with father Harry [28] groom on farm, born Norton, mother Emily A [28] born Newmarket, brothers Albert E [8]born Hundon, George J [5] born Disley, Cheshire, and Charles [3] born Woodditton, and sisters Kate E [6] born Norton and Emily A [3] born Woodditton and servant Eliza Everett [23].

1891 census...At 6 Eleanor Terrace, Burwell Road, Exning were Bertram [10], his parents (father now a gardener) brothers George James [15] a waiter in hotel William [9] born Woodditton and Harry [4] born Newmarket, and his sister Emily Annie [12], Rose Miriam [2] born Exning and Maud Ethel [1] born Exning.

1901 census...At parsonage Lane, Burwell were Bertram [20] Royal Navy seaman, his parents, brother Harry, sisters Rose and Maud and brother Frederick [9] born Exning

1911 census...All that were left at home at 1 Ash Terrace, Laceys Lane, Exning were Bertram's parents, brother William WOODS ( a Reservist) and niece Katherine Elizabeth JONES [14] a nursemaid, born Fulham SW. No sign of Bertram in this census. If his time in the Navy mentioned below is correct he would not be in the Navy in 1911 which could have explained his absence.

"Soldiers Died" gives his residence as Cropwell Bishop, Nottinghamshire, and he enlisted in Nottingham.

The 9th Leicesters assembled in front of Guedecourt at New Trench and Gap Trench on 24th September, spent the night deepening trench as New Trench was only one foot deep. On 25th they attacked, "C" and "D" Coy leading with "A" and "B" following. They ran into the German barrage early in the advance before taking Goat Trench. All of "D" Coy officers were lost, leading waves all killed or wounded from enfilade machine gun fire on the right. A defensive flank was formed along Watling Street (the sunken part of the Ginchy-Guedecourt road). Tank cleared Gird Trench at 6 am on 26th.
The Leicestershire Regiment lost 188 killed that day, of these 73 were from the 9th battalion. Of these, Bertram is one of only 10 with an identifed grave, the rest are named on the Thiepval Memorial.

Bertram's entry in "Our Exning Heroes" reads as follows:
Woods, B.   Private in the Leicestershire Regiment
Bertram Woods, an elder brother of William Woods, was born on November 21st, 1880. He also received his education in the Exning school and was a member of the Church Sunday School. For six years he was a sailor, and afterwards worked at Mr. Stephenson's Cement Works. He was killed on September 26th, 1916, at the battle of the Somme, but no particulars as to his death have been received.

Bertram's original grave, (marked with a cross), was found, with several others,
during a search of the indicated area, and they were re-interred in A.I.F.Burial Ground

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bertram is buried in A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers, France Ref: III.G.7

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details