Wood Family History

George's War Service

George Stanley Wood served as an engineer in the British Navy during the first world war. Here are some of the details of the ships he served on, and extracts from his interview with Eddie in 1974, and an extract from Reminiscing: Hilda's story by Anne Couch.


An extract from Reminiscing: Hilda's story by Anne Couch.

"George spent ten months on the destroyer Llewellyn escorting troops from England to France and patrolling the English Channel. He spent the remainder of the war on the Princess Royal, a battle cruiser, stationed around Scotland. ... After the war he transferred to the mine sweeper, Hambledon, sweeping the coast from Aberdeen, in the north of Scotland, to as far south as Portsmouth"

An extract from George's story, by Bernadette Camish.

"George wanted to join the navy as an apprentice Engineer. After making application, he was sent to the Naval dockyard to do a trade test, in which he passed and accepted into the Royal Navy (5/2/1917). He was in the Navy till December 1919, during this time he served on a Destroyer HMS "Llewellyn" as a fifth class engineer. This boat was on patrol in the English Channel. After ten months he was drafted to HMS " Princess Royal" a battle cruiser of the main fleet in the North Sea. George served on several ships during the war and was on the "Princess Royal" when the war came to an end and saw the German Fleet surrender in the North Sea, and escorted them to the Firth of Forth which is in Scotland , and later this German Fleet was escorted to Scarpa Flo in the north of Scotland. He then left this ship and returned to Portsmouth but was returned to Scotland to join in sweeping mines. The minesweepers were of a fleet which had to clear the North Sea of mines that had been laid to protect the British Coast. For this job they called for volunteers and George applied and served in the clearing service for about 8 months, he was then discharged."

Oral History

Parts of the transcript of the interview of George as told to Eddie in 1974. ?? means unclear on the tape.

".. I desired to join the Navy. The war was on, I made an application to the navy, and they sent for me to go to York which was about twenty miles from where I lived. From here was I sent to Portsmouth, and at Portsmouth I did my trades test. I passed my trade test and I joined the Navy as an ERA?? That was an Engineer ?? as an apprentice. That was in 1917. I did my trade test. I did two or three courses on oil fuels and boiler assistance ... and then I was sent onto a destroyer called the Llewellyn. In 1917 I joined the Llewellyn, and I was on that boat, which was a destroyer for ten months, and during that time we escorted troops from England to France, and patrolled the English Channel during the war."

"Well I heard the Llewellyn was going to be transferred to the North Sea, and the North Sea was a very out of the way place, and I thought I would rather get out of it. And I made application to leave the destroyer - for as I suffer from sea sickness, so I made application to leave the destroyer due to sea sickness. And the captain saw me, and asked me what I would like to do, would you like to shore base, or would you like to go on a big ship? I said I’d like the big ship. I went to Portland Depot, and after about two weeks I was on the Princess Royal, which was a battle cruiser, up in the Firth of Forth in Scotland. There I stayed on that boat for - until the end of the war. I was on that boat when the German Fleet was handed over to the British fleet - I saw the German fleet handed over."

"... I was sent back up to Edinburgh, and I volunteered for minesweeping in the North Sea, and I worked for ten months on minesweeping, on HMS Llewellyn, no Hamilton was the boat, not Llewellyn. Llewellyn was the destroyer, Hamilton was the minesweeper. I was the engineer on there. There were four engineers, and I was the most junior one, but I did a lot of the work, most of the work on it as I was the most junior. I stayed on that boat for ten months until the end of the minesweeping service."

"... when I first went was sent to the minesweepers, the war was still on, and while I was there, the war finished and they called for volunteers with x amount of money for those who would volunteer for the minesweeping and it came out that those days I got an offer of one guinea a day, that was seven guineas a week for my services in the Navy, which was quite a lot, and also an accumulated leave - for every month I had four days accumulated leave to go when you finish your time, and it was on the destroyers - the minesweepers, for ten months then I got discharged."

George Stanley Wood served on several ships during his time in the British Navy. Below are the ships and the time period he served on each. Click on the ship name for more details