Wood/O'Neill Family History
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WOOD William King

Male 1867 - 1921  (53 years)


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  • Name WOOD William King 
    Born 1 May 1867  Malligaum, India Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Education Attended Dollar Academy in Dollar, Scotland, from 1882 to 1884/5  
    Died 27 Jan 1921  Teheran, Iran Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I148  Wood/O'Neill
    Last Modified 25 Jul 2015 

    Father WOOD William,   b. 9 Nov 1832, Glencorse, Midlothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Aug 1884, Bombay, India Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years) 
    Mother KING Louisa Anne,   b. 21 Oct 1845, Bycullah, Maharashtra, India Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 May 1867, Malligaum, India Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 21 years) 
    Married 15 Jul 1861  St Mary's Church, Poona, Bombay, India Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Married by the Rev G L Fenton
    Notes 
    • St Mary's Church, Pune is the oldest established church in the area.

      William was a bachelor living at Sholapore and of age, Louisa is listed as a minor, spinster, and living at Poonah. Her father is William King; witnesses are R Wartenbey, Ann E Pegg, Ann J Knott, and J Hodgson.
    Family ID F61  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family ADCOCK Daisy Grace,   b. Abt 1880,   d. 18 Sep 1954, Monksdene Nursing Home, Weymouth, Dorset Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 74 years) 
    Married 7 Sep 1904  Farnborough, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. KING-WOOD Hugh [Rayner],   b. 13 Mar 1906, Teheran, Iran Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Mar 1976, Melcombe Regis, Dorset Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
     2. KING-WOOD Elizabeth [Joyce],   b. 25 Apr 1908, Teheran, Iran Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jun 2000, Amsterdam, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years)
     3. KING-WOOD Edward John,   b. 25 Apr 1908, Teheran, Iran Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Dec 1940  (Age 32 years)
     4. KING-WOOD Oliver [David] Charles William,   b. 12 Sep 1913, Teheran, Iran Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Sep 2003, New York City, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
    Last Modified 15 Nov 2013 
    Family ID F110  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • In 1909, by deed poll, William's middle name of King was added to his surname and hyphenated to King-Wood.

      William King Wood after attending Dollar Academy in Dollar, Scotland, from 1882 to 1884/5 returned to India and prepared to become an officer in the army, however the sudden death of his father in 1884 left him without the funds to purchase a commission. His uncle urged him to apply to the Indo-European Telegraph Dept, a new and rapidly expanding dept where he was engaged as Clerk to the Director of the Persian Division. He moved to Tehran on 16 October 1886 under Colonel Wells RE, Director of the Persian Division.

      Willy quickly learnt Persian, and it was noted that he spoke and wrote flawless French, which reinforces the family story of his writing to John Charles (in Australia) in French. He was selected for the Inspectorship of the Meshed (Mashhad) Telegraph Line.

      1st March 1894 he became Asst Superintendent in charge of the line.

      22nd April 1897 he was transferred to be in charge of the Shiraz sub division.

      4th September 1898 he performed special duties to survey and report on a route for the telegraph line from Ardestan in Central Persia to the Indian Frontier. This was published as The Preliminary Survey of the Roads for the Central Persian Telegraph Line in 1899 and he is reported as being Asst Superintendent IET Depot, and is held in the British Library's Office of India Records.

      In January 1900, while on leave in the UK, he joined the Imperial Yeomanry and went to South Africa to fight in the Boer War. He gained a commission to Lieutenant and was mentioned in dispatches. He was awarded the Queen's Medal with 3 clasps.

      In 1902 he started work in Kashan, finishing in 1904. In 1905, he was listed as a Superintendent of the IETD.

      In 1904, he married Daisy Grace Adcock, the eldest daughter of Sir Hugh Adcock, Physician to the Shah of Persia, and had four children.

      He served as Director of the Indo-European Telegraph Department for 10 years and 8 months, from May 1910 to his death in Jan 1921, including throughout the 1914-1918 War, a period of significant instability in the area. During this period he also forwarded to the British Home Office secret intelligence on the arming and volatility of local tribes.

      His sudden death in January 1921 aged 54 seems to have been surrounded in some controversy and caused continuing distress and financial problems for his widow and children because his death in office appears to have denied them the benefits of a pension.

      There also appeared to be disagreement about the cause of death. He apparently fell and hit his head on the way home from work, but this fall may have been due to a heart attack and this led to delay in calling for medical assistance until it was too late. Comment is also made to the effect that he had put on weight, and that the food and lifestyle lived by foreigners in Persia was not very healthy.

      In his personnel file, in the British Library there are touching letters from Daisy and friends and colleagues putting the case for special consideration to provide his pension as expected, especially given his extensive and distinguished service over most of his life. It is suggested that he was expecting to retire in the near future. His older sons were in private, expensive boarding schools, eg Rayner was at Cheltenham. His death and subsequent funeral also appears to have delayed an anticipated group IETD departure from Tehran causing extra expenses and problems. The letters were one-sided, without replies from the authorities. They did indicate that authorities had suggested that Daisy look to her relatives (she replies that her father had remarried late in life and left a young family), or to Willy's relatives (which is where it is indicated in response that Willy had been orphaned at 19 and that his sister had trained as a nurse and married an RAMC officer) or use their savings (where it is pointed out that after all debts and costs are cleared their savings will amount to £xxx, because of the high cost of living, the required lifestyle in Tehran, schooling costs etc), however they did give clues about other members of the family in India.

      William King Wood was awarded the CIE (Commander of the Indian Empire) in 1909, and the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 1919.

      In his listing in Who was Who, it lists his recreations as tennis, shooting and fishing and his club as the Junior Naval and Military.

      He was succeeded as Director of the I-ETD (Persia) by his cousin, Mr [George] New.

      Probate was granted on his will in 1921 to Rayner Childe Barker CIE Esquire (his former superior) and Major-General Samuel Guise-Moores (his brother-in-law). His effects were valued at 2906 pounds, 1 shilling and 7 pence.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1] .