LANCE CORPORAL JOHN WOOD
SHERWOOD FORESTERS NOTTS AND DERBY REGIMENT
13TH JULY 1917 AGE 27
BURIED: VILLERS-FAUCON COMMUNAL CEMETERY, FRANCE
John Wood was killed in action near Epehy during a trench raid on the British lines, which began with a heavy barrage at midnight on 12 July. The barrage lifted at 1.15 am when the Germans were observed in front of the British wire. The British opened up with rifle and Lewis gun fire at which, in response to two green lights sent up from the German lines, the hostile barrage recommenced. It slackened at 2 pm and finished at 2.30. By this time twenty-three members of the 15th Battalion Sherwood Foresters had become casualties, among them John Wood who was dead.
His wife, Lilian, chose his inscription. It comes from, A Jacobite's Epitaph by Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859). The exiled Jacobite laments the fact that he has lost everything by his support for the Stuart kings in the 1715 and 1745 rebellions. From Italy he pines for his native land and dreams each night of home:
Till God, who saw me tried too sorely, gave
The resting-place I'd ask'd, an early grave.
O thou, whom chance leads to this nameless stone,
From that proud country which was once mine own,
By those white cliffs I never more must see,
By that dear language which I spake like thee,
Forget all feuds, and shed one English tear
O'er English dust. A broken heart lies here.