Woods, Frederick James

Woods, Frederick James (Fred)

Royal Marines Police Officer

Royal Marines Police

Died as the result of an accident on Thursday 28 December 1939 (aged 46)

Buried:

Dundonald Cemetery, Co. Down (Grave D.1. 477)

Commemorated:

Lunn Family Grave Headstone in Dundonald Cemetery

BIOGRAPHY

The death of Frederick James Woods (known as Fred) was reported in the 13 January 1940 edition of the County Down Spectator under the headline Gallant Self-Sacrifice.  Described in the report as a former Comber man, it was reported that Fred J. Woods had ‘lost his life on active service in a gallant, if futile, attempt to save the life of a badly injured boy at Devonport Dockyard.  On hearing the cries for help coming from the depths of a dry dock Mr Woods, after telephoning headquarters, proceeded to clamber down the side of the dock, but in the inky darkness must have missed his footing and was, as far as is known, killed instantaneously by the fall.  The boy who was 16 years of age, died from injuries received, on the following Saturday’.

It was reported that Fred Woods had served for twelve years in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) and for four years as an A-Special in the Ulster Special Constabulary.  At the outbreak of the Second World War, he volunteered his services and became a member of the Royal Marines Police at Devonport Dockyard.  He was 46 when he died on 28 December 1939, and he was buried in Dundonald Cemetery on 5 January 1940.  Interestingly, the date of death for Frederick J. Woods has been inscribed as 2 January 1939 on the headstone.  The full inscription on the headstone is:

LUNN

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

DUNCAN

DIED 7 JANUARY 1933

WOODS

FREDERICK J.

DIED 2 JANUARY 1939

Duncan Lunn (aged 42) lived at 35 Lorton Street, Belfast.  Two other men are buried in the same grave – William John Clarke (aged 58) of 163 Cupar Street, Belfast who died on 18 May 1939 and Albert Victor Moorehead (aged 72) of 11 Beverley Street, Belfast who died on 12 January 1965.

Frederick James Woods and Hester (Hessie) Lunn were married on 18 August 1917 in St. Anne’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Belfast.  Frederick James Woods (aged 20), a Private in the R.M.L.I. from 35 Lawton Street, Belfast was a son of Robert James Woods, a labourer.  Hessie Lunn (aged 20) from 35 Lawton Street, Belfast was a daughter of John Lunn, a gamekeeper.