The tragic suicide of 3828 Company Sergeant Major Thomas Wood from Sheffield

On the 4th October 1915 at Belton Camp near to Grantham

Thomas was a 38 year old clerk when he enlisted into the 6th Reserve Battalion, the Sherwood Foresters in Chesterfield on the 2nd May 1915. Thomas had previously served over 18 years with the 2nd Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and rising to the rank of Colour Sergeant.

Service Record for Thomas Wood recording that he had served in South Africa and Hong Kong and has passed numerous courses of instruction.

Attestation of Thomas Wood witnessed by Major C Harold Heathcote
Thomas was immediately posted to the 3/6th Battalion and promoted to the rank of Acting Company Sergeant Major. He was subsequently promoted to Acting Sergeant Major in June 1915.
In October 1915 Thomas took his own life
Newspaper article

Captain William Seaton, who had known him for a month, described Thomas as a very good man indeed and an excellent sergeant-major. Thomas left a wife and four sons who received a pension.

It would appear from Captain Seaton’s testimony and Thomas’s final letter that he was under considerable pressure “Try and think as well as you can of me. I have tried to do my best, but when there is only man, what are you to do? I cannot bear the strain any longer”

Thomas wrote to Major Towler stringing that “my accounts are in an awful muddle”, but on examination “so far as he knew the accounts were alright”.

The History of the 3/7th Reserve (Robin Hood) Battalion Sherwood Foresters, written in 1921, records that there were a shortage of Officers and NCOs in these early days of the Reserve Battalions.

Thomas’s widow Catherine and their four young sons were awarded a pension.

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