H. J. R. Woodcock
Service no. 6951
Private, London Regiment (London Scottish), 1st/14th Battalion
Killed in action on 9 September 1916, aged 21
CWGC: “Son of Mrs Eliza Woodcock, of 15 Meadow Place, South Lambeth Road, London.”
Remembered at Serre Road Cemetery No 2, France
British Army WWI Service Records 1914-1920
The file for Henry James Robert Woodcock contains few details (and some pages relating to another soldier). He enlisted in the Territorial Force on 28 February 1916 and was posted on the same day.
Information from the censuses
When I come across women who are designated head of the household but who are not widowed, I have suspected that they have been abandoned by their husbands. However, in the case of the household that Henry James Robert Woodcock was part of, I wondered whether his father was absent on business, possibly as a travelling salesman. In the 1901 census he is described as a “master bookseller.” On the other hand, Henry’s mother Eliza Woodcock, 41, described herself as a charwoman, which suggested that times were hard for the family. In most cases, women did not give an occupation. The puzzle merited a quick search for Henry Woodcock. He was a patient in the Wandsworth Union Infirmary on St. John’s Hill, Battersea.
Henry James Robert Woodcock, 16 in 1911, was one of eight children of Henry Woodcock, 44, from Gorleston, Norfolk, and Eliza Woodcock, 41, from Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire. He lived with his family at 125 Lavender Hill, Battersea, and worked as a book assistant. Six of Henry’s siblings are on the census return: Gertrude Marion Woodcock, 18, a scullery maid; Godfrey Randall Woodcock, 13; Gordon Harold Woodcock, 10; Gwendoline Woodcock, 8, Walter Herbert Woodcock, 5; Marjorie Woodcock, 1. All but Gertrude, who was born in South Lambeth, were born in Battersea. Blanche Woodcock, 17, was a domestic servant in Mayfair. In 1901 the family lived at 26 Grayshott Road, Battersea.