Wood, Thomas (Rev)

Date of Birth/Death:


Principal occupation=Church of England priest

Reverend Thomas Wood was born in 1854 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. He attended St Aidan’s Theological College, Birkenhead, Lancashire and served as a Church of England priest there and in Madras, India before arriving in Australia in March 1884 on the steamship Sorata with his family. He had married Margaret Charlton in 1878 in Cheshire. A son, Tom Percy Wood was born in 1880 in the Blackburn district in England. Rev Thomas Wood was also an amateur watercolour artist from 1882 in India and later in South Australia with some of his works surviving today.

In 1887 he became incumbent at Robe and Kingston. In 1902, as the rector at Paskeville, he was described as ‘an energetic and social member of the community. [He had] worked hard to improve the district and the church. …when Mr. Wood took charge of the parish the debt on the church was over £200, but owing to the pastor’s energy this had been cleared off, the church thoroughly repaired, and debt extinguished.’ Seeking a change of climate that would improve his wife Margaret’s failing health, the family sought a transfer from the Paskeville parish to St Stephen’s Church Willunga, where his enduring involvement in community and church affairs continued. Unfortunately, Margaret died about eight months after they moved to Willunga and is buried in St Stephen’s Cemetery.

Later, Rev Wood married Emily Maud Mellor on 9 September 1903 at All Souls Church, St Peters. She became the ‘Mrs T Wood’, who, with her husband, enjoyed local dances and exhibited successfully in a variety of classes at the Willunga Show. Rev Wood was a member of the Show Committee and president in 1910. During his time as Rector at Willunga, the second church of St Stephen was consecrated, on 3 July 1902, by Bishop John Reginald Harmer, Bishop of Adelaide. As a trusted member of the community, he became a member of the Board of Advice for the Willunga Public School, a local body that ensured that aspects of the Education Act were applied in schools. During World War 1, Rev Wood frequently featured as a speaker at patriotic gatherings and was central to the farewells and returns of many of the local men who served in the war, acting as Cheer Up Society chairman. In this capacity, he unveiled the Cheer Up Society Collage of Willunga men who left for the war. Rev Wood left Willunga in 1921 for the Adelaide Diocese.

He died on 12 November 1937 at Walkerville aged 83 years. His second wife Emily had pre-deceased him on 23 October 1937 at Walkerville. They are both buried in North Road Cemetery, Nailsworth. He was survived by his son Tom Percy Wood who also became an Anglican minister, married and had four children.


“England, Cheshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1606-1900”, , FamilySearch(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FBDT-KYL : Thu May 23 15:34:20 UTC 2024), Entry for Thomas Wood and Margaret Charlton, 22 Jun 1878

Genealogy SA, https://genealogysa.org.au/

Chris Horsman,  A Picture of Fortitude: Honouring Willunga’s Cheer-Up ‘Girls’ and the soldiers they supported,  Willunga, Willunga Recreation Park, 2016, page 83.

1884 ‘SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.’, South Australian Register, 17 March, p. 4. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47079836

1884 ‘Coming Events’, The Narracoorte Herald, 15 April, p. 2. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146553890 [The Rev. Thomas Wood]

1884 ‘TELEGRAMS.’, The Narracoorte Herald18 April, p. 3., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146554901

1884 ‘GENERAL NEWS.’, Adelaide Observer, 19 April, p. 28. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160095609 [Church of England News]

1902 ‘THE COUNTRY.’, Adelaide Observer, \ 5 April, p. 22. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162351865 [Paskeville]

1902 ‘Family Notices’, The Register, 13 November, p. 4. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56597337 [Death of wife Margaret Wood]

1908 ‘THE COUNTRY.’, The Advertiser, 30 June, p. 5. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5156312 [Willunga, June 26]

1910 ‘Country Shows.’, Chronicle, 5 November, p. 12. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89743049

1912 ‘WILLUNGA.’, Chronicle, 2 November, p. 13. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88748615 [Includes photo]

1914 ‘WILLUNGA.’, Daily Herald, 11 September, p. 8. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105640979

1923 ‘BEFORE THE PUBLIC’, News, 18 October, p. 1. (HOME EDITION), http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129847091[Includes photo]

1930 ‘PERSONAL’, The Advertiser, 2 April, p. 18. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29019663 [Tom Percy Wood]

1937 ‘DIES SHORTLY AFTER WIFE’, News, 13 November, p. 5. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131567191

1937 ‘Death Of Rev. Thomas Wood’, The Advertiser, 15 November, p. 20. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36387298

T T Reed excerpt from ‘Anglican Clergymen in South Australia in the Nineteenth Century’ Gould Books Gumeracha 1986 in Folder 36-20 DeCaux Collection Willunga National Trust Branch

Rev’d Tom Percy Wood, https://strathalbynanglicans.org.au/history/rectors-of-the-parish/the-revd-tom-percy-wood/

Rev. Thomas Percy Wood (1854-1937) South Australian Artist, https://fairviewofsubiaco.com.au/maritime-life/

Findagrave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/248976628/e-m-wood

State Library of South Australia, Thomas Wood: Summary Record [PRG 1344] Artwork, https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+1344

  • Painting, From Back of Rectory Willunga (Watercolour) 1904, PRG 1344/14 SLSA

Design & Art Australia Online, Noel Wood b. 1912, https://www.daao.org.au/bio/noel-wood/biography/ [Refers to his grandfather producing watercolours from 1882 in India]

FlickrID=27357330180 – Rev. Thomas Wood, From Martin Dunstan

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