George Wood

M, #8466, b. 7 June 1892, d. 11 September 1940
     George Wood was born on 7 June 1892 at 132 Seatown, Cullen, Banffshire, Scotland.1 He was the son of John Wood and Jane Hay. George Wood was a fisherman. He married Helen Ann Smith at Mission Hall, Portessie, Banffshire, Scotland, on 4 April 1919.2 George Wood was the skipper of the steam trawler 'Beathwood' A 442.3 George died on 11 September 1940 at sea, near Montrose Bay, Angus, Scotland, at age 48. He perished as a result of an attack on the Steam Trawler 'Beathwood', A 442. See the article ST Beathwood and the Fate of her Crew. His body was never recovered.4,5


  1. [S7293] George Wood, Register of Births in the Burgh of Cullen in the County of Banff, "George Wood, 1892, June Seventh 5h 0m A.M. at 132 Seatown, Cullen, Male. Father: John Wood, Fisherman. Mother: Jane Wood M. S. Hay, married 1890 November 16th in Cullen. Informant: Jane Wood, Mother. Registered: 1892, June 23rd at Cullen, Geo. Ross, Registrar."
  2. [S7295] George Wood to Helen Ann Smith, Marriage entry, "1919, on the Fourth day of April at Mission Hall, Portessie, Buckie. After Banns, According to the Forms of the Christian Brethren. George Wood, Fisherman (Bachelor), age 26, usual residence 118 Seatown, Cullen, parents John Wood, Fisherman (deceased) and Jane Wood M.S. Hay. Helen Ann Smith, Fishworker (Spinster), age 21, usual residence 12 Burnside Street, Findochty, parents George Smith, Fisherman and Ann Smith M.S. Bruce. William Geddes, Minister, Mission Hall, Portessie, Buckie. John Wood Witness. Isabella Jane Wood Witness. Registered 1919 April 7th at Buckie, John W. Gordon Registrar."
  3. [S7299] George F. Ritchie, The Real Price of Fish, Aberdeen Steam Trawler Losses 1887-1961, "11 September 1940 Beathwood A 442 209 Tons / 1912
    Built by Halls in 1912 for the Strouds Steam Fishing Co. Ltd. as the Osborne Stroud, this trawler had an interesting history. With her sister ship Daniel Stroud (A 438) (later Loch Esk), the Osborne Stroud was purchased by the Admiralty in July 1914 for conversion to a minesweeper and was allocated Pennant No. 3. Sold by the Admiralty in 1920, she was bought by J.R. McBeath and others, and renamed Beathwood. She was bombed and sunk by enemy aircraft one mile east of Montrose with the loss of six of her crew. Those lost were:-
    Skipper: George Wood (48), 146 South Esplanade West.
    Chief Engineer: James N. Ruddiman, 15 Hilton Street. (A crewman on the Dorothy Gray when she rammed and sank U18 in Scapa Flow in 1914).
    Second Engineer: John Milne, 15 Nelson Street.
    Deckhand: A.G. Mair, 62 Prospect Terrace.
    W. Findlay.
    W.G. Findlay.
    The Beathwood had rescued the crew of the Avonglen, which was lost in September 1934."
    Note: This publication is in error as seven of her crew were lost and one survived. Those lost included Alexander Pirie, Deckhand. The survivor was Alexander Gardiner Mair, Mate.
  4. [S7298] Debt of Honour Register and certificate, Casualty No 2794441, "In memory of skipper George Wood, Steam Trawler Beathwood (Aberdeen), fishing fleet, who died on 11 September 1940 age 48. Son of John and Jane Wood; husband of Helen Ann Wood, of Torry, Aberdeen. Remembered with honour. Tower Hill Memorial. Panel 123. Commemorated in perpetuity by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission."
    All but two of the crew of an Aberdeen trawler were lost when the ship was attacked by a Nazi plane off the east coast last week.
    The vessel was lying at anchor, completely blacked-out, when at about ten o’clock a German plane spotted it by the light of the moon. Engines switched off, the plane dived down and dropped one bomb which hit the trawler amid-ships and went clean through the bottom.
    Most of the crew were below, some were in bed, some at tea, and one man on deck was near the point of the explosion. The only survivors were the mate, Mr Alex. Mair (sen.), who formerly resided at Deskford Street, Cullen; and the engineer, an Aberdeen man.
    Among those lost were:- Skipper George Wood, formerly of 118 Seatown, Cullen, now residing at Aberdeen; second fisherman Alex. Mair (jun.) son of the mate, who is 25 years of age; cook Wm. George Findlay (37), 217 Seatown Cullen, only son of Mr and the late Mrs John Findlay; and Mr Alex. Pirie, 28 Seafield Street, Portknockie."