Kokoda connections: Ken Wood

Ken Wood

Kenneth Wood was born in Petersham, Sydney in 1906.

He began his first-grade career with North Sydney in 1928 and finished with Norths in 1934. He played seven years with ‘The Shoremen’ (as they were known before adopting the Bears nickname), scoring 15 tries in 68 games as a centre-three-quarter.

Wood played representative football for Metropolis against New Zealand in 1930 and was selected to play in the NSW tour of QLD, however, did not appear in the interstate clash.

He enlisted in the Army in mid-1940 when he was living at Gregory Terrace, Brisbane working as an auctioneer’s clerk.

After army training, he embarked in early 1941 for the Middle East with 2/25th Battalion and served for eight months there. During this time he was promoted to Sergeant, before being returned to Australia.

Wood returned home for just 10 days before heading off to New Guinea to face the Japanese.

In September, the 2/25th was thrown headfirst into the battles on the Kokoda Track and participated in the withdrawal to Imita Ridge before the Australians then turned the tables and began to push the Japanese back at Templeton’s Crossing in October and then Gorari.

On the final day of that fierce battle, November 11 – Remembrance Day, Ken Wood was killed in action. He is buried at the Bomana war cemetery in Port Moresby.

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This article originally appeared on NRL.com on