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My grandfather William Wood
Photo: Sheryl B
Views: 1,202
Item #: 18646
The following is a transcript of part of this article written by his former student to the Newspaper of the time in Wigan, circa 1945 following the death of my great-grandfather.
An Appreciation by Professor William Wright DSc, F.R.C.S., Dean and Professor of Anatomy in the London Hospital Medical College was an "old boy" of the old Wigan Institute, of which the late Mr William Wood was Principal, writes:
‘Perhaps I may be allowed to supplement your admirable and sympathetic account of the late Mr William Wood by a few reminiscenses of his personal character. It is more than a half a century ago since I made Mr Wood's acquaintance being one of the last pupils to be admitted to his school when it was situated in King Street, Wigan. The premises consisted of a single, large barely furnished room with a cupboard in one corner in which was kept an assortment of canes for use in the early days at any rate. Mr Wood was a stern advocate of Solomon's view as to the eficacy of the rod. The only form of relaxation permissible in the narrow passage leading to the school, was a game called "Trust", which instead of leaping like troutlets in a pond, we leapt on the backs of each other with complete indifference to a risk of serious consequences which in the light of more exact anatomical knowledge, might very easily I believe have occurred.
The removal of the school to Standishgate opened a new era - the new premises providing a residence for Mr Wood and his family, separate rooms available for teaching purposes and a special amenity in the form of a large old-world garden bounded on one side by a high brick wall, edged by wide herbaceous borders and leading down by a succession of terraces almost to the right bank of the River Douglas. It was in this school that undoubtedly Mr Wood did his most effective work and obtained the numerous and remarkable successes at the Cambridge Ideal examinations to which you have referred. The successes in my opinion were mainly due to his constant insistence on hard work, an insistence which would have been fruitless had he not adopted in no uncertain manner the doctrine for himself. Often at certain periods of the year he might have been found teaching Latin grammar at 8 oclock in the morning, and on the same day teaching scripture at 8 oclock at night. He was clearly a schoolmaster of the old school who relied more on energy and example that on powers of exposition or on efforts to stir the imagination. While all these and other attributes are desirable in a teacher, there is perhaps a tendency at the present time to depreciate the value of the first two, although it is these, as it seems to me which are most influential in producing moral effects. However this may be, it was in these attributes that Mr Wood was pre-eminent, and it is for these that he will always be gratefully remembered by those who were priveleged to sit under him in his palmiest days.
In the list of old pupils who have reached a certain degree of eminence, I missed the name of the Rev John Grierson MA.BD(?) who was senior chaplain (Presbyterian)? of the British army in France during the later years of the Great War.’"

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