Captain John Robinson Woods was born in Toronto on March 20th, 1892, as the youngest son of the Woods family. His father, Sir James Woods KBE, was a prominent industrialist and president of both Gordon MacKay and Company Ltd., and York Knitting Mills Ltd., and was knighted in 1919 for his own wartime service as Director of Purchases for the British War Mission in the United States.

After graduating from Upper Canada College, John attended the University of Toronto; during which time he spent five months as a reservist with the Queen's Own Rifles. He attested to the regular force on September 7th, 1915 and went overseas as part of the 35th Battalion with his elder brother William Blakeney Woods.

John was transferred to the 4th CMR on June 20th, 1916, following the battalion's huge losses at Mount Sorrel on the 2nd. He was with the battalion through the Battle of the Somme, commanded its Signallers during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and served briefly as the battalion adjutant in mid-1917.

On the night of October 24th, 1917 - as the 4th CMR began relieving the 1st CMR at the front during the Battle of Passchendaele - Captain Woods and Lieutenant J.D. Campbell were killed instantly when a shell struck their dugout in the support line. He was 25 years old.

After his death, his grieving fiancé became a de facto member of the Woods family - several generations of which have felt his loss deeply in the years since the war.

At the family plot (right) in Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery, he has an additional marker beside the graves of his parents and amongst the family who although never saw him again in life, now symbolically rest together.

Captain John Robinson Woods is buried at the White House Cemetery at St. Jean-Yves, just outside Ieper (Ypres), in Belgium. Click here to see an image of John's headstone there.

Thanks and credit for the biography, images of John and the family grave plot go to Iain Faulkner, and to Marg Liessens for the headstone photograph.