Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


Dr Wood in the National Portrait gallery

WOOD, Thomas
MA, DMus (Oxon); Hon. RAM; Hon. ARCM

Born: 28 Nov. 1892; o c of Thomas Wood, RNR, Master Mariner, and Hannah Lee;

Married: 1924, St Osyth Mahala Eustace Smith, OBE, o c of Thomas Eustace Smith, JP, CC, and Katherine St Osyth Howard; died 19 Nov. 1950

Composer: Hon. Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford; Member Executive Committee and Chairman Music Panel, Arts Council of Great Britain, since 1949

Education: The Grammar School, Barrow-in-Furness; Exeter College, Oxford; Royal College of Music Career

Volunteered: for active service, Aug. 1914; was rejected (poor eyesight)and served in Admiralty;
Director of Music, Tonbridge School, 1919-24;
Lecturer and Precentor, Exeter College, Oxford, 1924-29; and quondam Examiner for Degrees in Music, Oxford;

Travelled: extensively in Australasia, Ceylon, and the East, 1930-32, and in Canada, including the NWT, 1937; OC Bures Home Guard, 1940; principal war work in England, 1939-44, broadcasting; went again to Australia by invitation of HM Govt to tell of Gt Britain in wartime, and visited the fronts in New Guinea and Burma, 1944-45.
Member since 1921 (Chm. 1946-48) Royal Philharmonic Soc.; member of BBC Central Music Advisory Cttee, 1947-50; liveryman Worshipful Company of Musicians, 1947; FRGS

Music: Men's Voices and Brass Band: The Rainbow, 1951 (commissioned for Festival of Britain); Chorus and Soloists (unaccompanied), Chanticleer, 1947; Over the Hills and Far Away, 1949; Dogwatch, 1950; Chorus and Orchestra: Forty Singing Seamen, 1925; Master Mariners, 1927; The Ballad of Hampstead Heath, 1927; Merchantmen (words and music), 1934; Daniel and the Lions, 1938; Norwich Fair, 1951 (commissioned for Norwich Triennial Festival); Orchestra: St George's Day, 1949. Theatre: Incidental music to Clemence Dane's Will Shakespeare, 1921; over sixty smaller works for voices, piano, organ, military band, brass band.

Books: Music and Boyhood, 1925;
The Oxford Song Book, Vol. II, 1928;
The Tonbridge School Song Book, 1928;
Cobbers, 1934;
True Thomas, 1936;
Cobbers Campaigning (all proceeds being given to Australian Red Cross), 1940

Travel, photography, ships, books, growing trees; making and keeping friends

Athenæum, Savile, Chelsea Arts (hon.)

Parsonage Hall, Bures, Suffolk


The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Who Was Who

Wood, Thomas (1892-1950), the English composer, visited Australia 1930-32 and published a delightful record of his travels, Cobbers (1934), in which he printed the words and music of 'Waltzing Matilda' without realising copyright might be involved but percipiently praised it as being 'Good enough to be the unofficial National Anthem of Australia'. Further impressions of Australia are recorded in his autobiography, True Thomas (1936). Cobbers, which owes a great deal to Wood's gregarious qualities, includes graphic descriptions of Australian landscapes and ways of life and work, both urban and rural. Enlivened by his personal, easy style, it includes numerous original comments on the national character, language and humour and distinctive summations of regional differences. Victoria is described as having sobered down 'after a riotous youth … It creases its trousers and goes to Church'; Hobart 'has the air of an English country town which has shed its old houses and wandered down to the sea for a rest'; Sydney is 'an exotic: a lovely and petulant spend-thrift, going its own wilful head-strong vivid way; self-centred, yet open-hearted; absurdly vain, yet very likeable'. Wood's later book, Cobbers Campaigning (1940), is a tribute to Australia's part in the First World War.

Ref:: http://www.oxfordreference.com/pages/Subjects_and_titles__t182