Biography

Birth date: 08 November 1885
Birth place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Death date: 05 January 1937
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Final rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Service number: 85 - First World War, 1914-1918
Units:
  • 3 Battalion
  • 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 8th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 58th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • No. 4 Australian Command Depot

Percy William Woods was born in Sydney on 8 November 1885. After leaving school he worked as a decorator and was also commissioned as a lieutenant in the senior cadets of the Citizens' Forces. The 28-year-old enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 27 August 1914 and, having been allotted to the 3rd Infantry Battalion, departed Sydney on HMAT Euripides on 20 October 1914.

Woods took part in the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915. In a letter to a friend he wrote of the battle of Lone Pine, in which he had participated, and recalled the details of the attack. He was Mentioned in Despatches for his actions at Lone Pine and for his bravery and devotion to duty throughout the entire Gallipoli campaign. After the evacuation in December Woods was transferred to the newly formed 55th Infantry Battalion, with which he would serve for the remained of the war and would temporarily command.

Woods continued to distinguish himself on the Western Front. By June 1917, the man who had left Australia with the rank of sergeant was a lieutenant colonel. By the end of the war, Woods had been Mentioned in Despatches four times, had been awarded the Military Cross for his actions at Fromelles in 1916, and had received the Distinguished Service Order with Bar for his actions at Doignies in 1917 and Peronne in 1918 respectively.

In October 1918, Woods returned for Australia and in February the following year was discharged from the AIF. He died of cerebrovascular disease in Sydney on 5 January 1937, survived by his wife, Annie.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Date of embarkation: 20 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Bar to Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: No. 4 Australian Command Depot
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Bar to Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mentions

  • Unit: 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: No. 4 Australian Command Depot
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Officer of the Order of the British Empire

  • Unit: No. 4 Australian Command Depot
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Bar to Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : French Legion d'Honneur

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Bar to Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Cross

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Bar to Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 8th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 58th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Military Cross

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 55th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Private Record

Woods, Percy William DSO (and bar) MC MID (Lieutenant, later Lt-Col. b: 1885 d: 1937)

Letter written to Mr Frederick Grace in August 1915 describing the situation at Gallipoli, opinion of Turks as fighters, the battle for the Lone Pine trenches, need for reinforcements. Also a newspaper cutting of his death in 1937. After serving with 3rd Battalion on Gallipoli where he was... Maker: Woods, Percy William

PR00050 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Collection relating to Percy William Woods, 1915-1937

Collection relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Colonel Percy William Woods, 55th Infantry Battalion. This collection of material includes a letter from Woods as well as newspaper cuttings relating to his death in 1937. The letter details the situation at Gallipoli and includes an...

RCDIG0001002

Timeline

Date of birth 1885-11-08
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1914-09-04 Enlisted as a sergeant with the 3rd Battalion.
Date of embarkation 1914-10-20
Date commissioned 1915-05-19 Appointed 2nd lieutenant.
Date promoted 1915-08-07 Appointed lieutenant.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08-31
Other units 1916-02-13 55th Battalion.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-02-15
Date promoted 1916-03-12 Appointed captain.
Other units 1916-06-19 Joined the British Expeditionary Force - Alexandria.
Other 1916-09-06 Appointed Adjutant.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-10-12
Date promoted 1917-01-01 Appointed temporary major.
Other units 1917-01-10 Temporary Commanding Officer of 55th Battalion.
Date promoted 1917-04-14 Appointed major.
Date promoted 1917-06-19 Appointed lieutenant colonel.
Other 1917-06-19 Commanding Officer of 55th Battalion.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-09-20
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-01-20
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-03-08
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-08-30
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-07
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-08
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-22
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-10-16
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-10-18
Other 1919-02-22 AIF appointment terminated.
Date of death 1937-01-05