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Wood, Sir Henry Evelyn

WOOD, SIR HENRY EVELYN (1838- ), British field marshal, was born at Braintree, Essex, on the 9th of February 1838, the youngest son of Sir John Page Wood, Bart. Educated at Marlborough, he entered the Royal Navy in 1852, and served as a midshipman in the Russian war, being employed on shore with the naval brigade in the siege operations before Sevastopol, mentioned in despatches, and severely wounded at the assault on the Redan on June 18, 1855. Immediately afterwards he left the navy for the army, becoming a cornet in the 13th Light Dragoons. Promoted lieutenant in 1856, he exchanged into the i?th Lancers in 1857, and served in the Indian Mutiny with distinction as brigade-major of a flying column, winning the Victoria Cross. In 1861 he became captain, in 1862 brevetmajor, exchanging about the same time into the 73rd Highlanders (Black Watch), but returned to the cavalry three years later. Having meantime served as an aide-de-camp at Dublin, he was next employed on the staff at Aldershot until 1871, when he was appointed to the goth (now and Scottish Rifles) as a regimental major. In 1867 he had married the Hon. Mary Pauline Southwell, sister of the 4th Lord Southwell. In 1873 he was promoted brevet lieutenant-colonel, and in 1874 served in the Ashanti War (brevet-colonel); in 1874-1878 he was again on the staff at Aldershot, and in November 1878 he became regimental lieutenant-colonel, the poth being at that time in South Africa engaged in the Kaffir War. In January 1879 he was in command of the left column of the army that crossed the Zulu frontier, and shortly afterwards he received the local rank of brigadiergeneral. Under him served Colonel Redvers Buller and also the Boer leader, Piet Uys, who fell at Inhlobana, but the repulse at that place was more than counterbalanced by the successful battle of Kambula. At the close of the war Sir Evelyn Wood, who received the K.C.B. for his services, was appointed to command the Chatham district. But in January 1 88 1 he was again in South Africa with the local rank of majorgeneral, and after Sir G. P. Colley's death at Majuba it fell to his lot to negotiate the armistice with General Joubert. Remaining in Natal until February 1882, he then returned to the Chatham command, having meantime been promoted substantive major-general. In 1882 he was made a G.C.M.G. and commanded a brigade in the Egyptian expedition. He remained in Egypt for six years. From 1883 to 1885 he was Sirdar of the Egyptian army, which he reorganized and in fact created. During the Nile operations of 1884-85 he commanded the forces on the line of communication of Lord Wolseley's army. In 1886 he returned to an English command, and two years later (January 1889), with the local rank of lieutenant-general, he was appointed to the Aldershot command. He became lieutenant-general in 1891, and was given the G.C.B. at the close of his tenure of the command, when he went to the War Office as quartermaster-general. Four years afterwards he became adjutant-general. He was promoted full general in 1895. He commanded the II. Army Corps and Southern Command from 1901 to 1904, being promoted field marshal on the 8th of April 1903. In 1907 he became colonel of the Royal Horse Guards. After retiring from active service he took a leading part, as chairman of the Association for the City of London, in the organization of the Territorial Force. Sir Evelyn Wood published several works, perhaps the best known of which to the soldier are Achievements of Cavalry (1897) and Cavalry in Ike Waterloo Campaign (1896). He also wrote The Crimea in 1854 and in 1894; an autobiography, From Midshipman to Field Marshal; and The Revolt in Hindostan.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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