Harry Wood was born in London in 1923 and died in February 2008.

Lt Col H Wood
Lt Col H Wood

He originally trained for an engineering career attending the British Engineering Institute before being called up in 1941.

After commissioning from Sandhurst he was posted to the 1st Recce Regiment King’s African Rifles (KAR) in Mombassa before embarking with them for service in India.

In 1946 he married in Bihar Barbara Atjumand, his wife for over 60 years. At the end of the war, he returned to England and in 1948 transferred to the British Army joining the 8th Hussars in Leicester and sailed with the Regiment to Korea as the second captain of ‘A’ Squadron.

On Operation Commando Harry had a very lucky escape when the aerial of his tank touched a booby trap wire slung between two trees which detonated a grenade. His beret was riddled with shrapnel but by some miracle, he escaped with only superficial injuries.

After the Korean War, he attended the Staff College and held various Staff appointments in the United Kingdom before returning to the Regiment in Luneburg as ‘A’ Squadron Leader for a short period and then attended the General Staff course at the Military College of Science.

In 1963 he rejoined the Regiment, now QRIH, as second in command to Maj Gen John Strawson, who writes:-

‘Harry Wood was my 2ic in Malaysia and later in Wolfenbuttel when I was commanding the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars from 1963 to 1965. He did his work with great conscientiousness, commitment, attention to detail and a determination to overcome any obstacles or difficulties which might be encountered.

In short, he carried out his duties most satisfactorily and I was able to leave routine administrative matters to him, while I concentrated on the well-being and advancement of our officers and men, and during my frequent absences from Ipoh necessitated by operations in Borneo, organising and running our collective training and field exercises.

During these absences, I was able to leave Major Wood in charge of affairs at Ipoh with full confidence in his ability.’

After Regimental duty, Harry served on a number of staff appointments retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel GSO 1 Berlin.

In civilian life, he was employed in the Arbitration and Conciliation Services before finally retiring to live in Spain.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  3. Korea 1950-51
  4. Malaya and Borneo 1962-64