Yorkshire Chess History
Gabriel Jacquin Wood
He seemingly tended not to use the “Jacquin” in day-to-day life.
Gabriel’s mother was Mary Edith Wood, who was born on 28/11/1881, at Penshurst, Kent (per 1891 census), or Chiddingstone, Kent (per 1901 and 1911 censuses). Penshurst and Chiddingstone are about two miles apart as the crow flies. Mary Edith Wood’s parents were Thomas Wood (born 1842, allegedly at “Ratcliffe-on-Trent, Derbys.”, per 1891 census, but this probably meant Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Notts.), a butler, and his wife Isabella Wood (born 1856/57, Devonport, Devon).
In 1891, 9-year-old Mary E. Wood was a scholar living with her married 34-year-old mother, Isabella Wood, of no stated occupation, at the Blacksmith’s House, Catsfield, 2 miles SW of Battle, Sussex. Her father was then a butler living nearby at his employer’s abode in Catsfield.
In 1901, 19-year-old Mary Edith Wood lived in Bexhill, with both her parents, at Manor House Cottage, Hastings Road, Bexhill, Sussex. Her father Thomas Wood was a butler, presumably in the employment of the occupants of the Manor House, who were Gilbert George Reginald Sackville, 8th Earl De La Warr, peer of the realm, his wife, the countess, and their family. Though no occupation was specified, Mary was described as a worker and hence probably also in service in the household of the Earl and Countess De La Warr.
It is evident that, around September 1902, Mary Edith Wood conceived out of wedlock, resulting in the birth of Gabriel Jacquin Wood on 23/06/1903 (per 1939 Register), at Bexhill-on-Sea. Given that Mary was apparently in service, there is the possibility that the father of her child was the son of the Earl, or perhaps even the Earl himself, as he and his wife got divorced in 1902! The Earl, however, had stopped co-habiting with his wife since 01/06/1901, and was most probably in London at the time of Gabriel’s conception. Indeed, he was more likely to have been committing adultery with an actress named in the divorce suit as Miss Turner. The Countess was granted a decree nisi on 18/07/1902.
Mary evidently remained single throughout her life, retaining her father’s surname, which became that of her son Gabriel. The name “Jacquin” may have come from the absent father, but it is not evident in the Earl’s family.
In 1906, while a child aged 2, Gabriel travelled with his mother by ship from Liverpool to Ellis Island, New York, USA. The mother was described as a bookkeeper. In less than 5 years, and possibly very much sooner, they had returned to England.
In 1911, mother and son lived in Hull, as lodgers with lighterman George William Brown and family at 43 Franklin Street. The 1913 Hull directory described George William Brown as a chief mate of that address.
GJW attended Hull Grammar School, probably starting there in autumn 1914, when aged 11. He left at the end of the 4th year, in 1918, according to the Old Hullensian .
He got a job working for Boots on King Edward Street, Hull, at which time he lived at Caughey Street (Hull Daily Mail, 28/08/1946). “Boots Cash Chemists, Ltd., chemists and stationers” was at 10-12 King Edward Street in a 1919 directory, but GJW was not listed there at Caughey Street. (If he were merely lodging there, then he would not be listed.)
He seemingly left Hull in 1923, moving initially to London, as recorded in the Old Hullensian , which in 1924 said GJW was living in London, and the British Correspondence Chess Association Year Book of 1946 . He stayed at the Hampden Club, at Kings Cross (article on London Championship by GJW in Chess, 1945 , wherein he himself curiously omits any reference to Peterborough or the Northamptonshire Championship).
While resident at the Hampden Club, GWJ passed the “minor” examination, so becoming registered as a Chemist & Druggist on 23/04/1924, and later passed the “major” examination, so becoming a Pharmaceutical Chemist on 21/04/1925. (Death notice in The Pharmaceutical of 26/11/1983 )
From London he moved, in 1927 or slightly before, to Peterborough.
In 1927, in Peterborough, GJW married Gladys Maud Randall (born 17/06/1905, in the Boston district of Lincolnshire). The couple lived at 36 St Leonards Street, Peterborough, Northants.
By 1930 & 31, GJW had moved back to London. In 1934 he lived at 10, Kingsbury Parade, Burnt Oak, Edgware, as evidenced by the following newspaper notice of a type not uncommon in the past:
Hendon & Finchley Times of Friday 25 May 1934:
“GABRIEL WOOD, of 10, Kingsbury Parade, Burnt Oak, Edgware, will not be responsible for any debts incurred by my wife, Gladys Maud Wood, on and after the publication of this notice. (Signed) G. WOOD, May 25. 1934.”
In 1939, GJW was living at 48 South Road, Southall, Middlesex with wife (still!) and mother. He was a chemist, as was his wife, and a photographic dealer. His mother was described as single.
Mother Mary Edith Wood died in 1949 in the Thanet area of Kent.
GWJ’s death notice in The Pharmaceutical of 26/11/1983  revealed, from his successive registered addresses as a pharmacist, that he had moved to Torquay in Devon, then returned to London, then returned to Torquay, and then returned again to London, then settling in the London area for about 28 years before moving to Norfolk. Thus in 1949, his registered address became “Merkera”, St. Lukes Road Torquay, Devon. In1950, his registered addressed reverted to his previous London address, 50 South Street, Southall. In 1951, his registered address was again the Torquay address. From 1952 to 1979 the address was a succession of six addresses in the London area, eventually changing in 1980 to the Norfolk address where he died.
Gabriel Jacquin Wood of 6 Mill View, Saham Toney, Norfolk, died on 05/11/1983 [probate].
Wife Gladys Maud Wood died either in late 1986 or, more probably, in the first quarter of 1987, in the vicinity of Norwich.
He was a member of the Hull Grammar School Chess Club Old Hullensian . The British Correspondence Chess Association Year Book of 1946  says he first learnt chess at school from George Barron, and another source implies this was around 1917.
He appears to have joined Hull Chess Club in 1918 or (at latest) 1919. References to him in Hull Chess Club records range from 1919 to 1923 . He represented Hull in the Woodhouse Cup in the seasons 1919-20 to 1922-23.
Around April 1920, Hull Chess Club ran a lightning tournament, in which G. Wood beat E. J. Green in the final, the prize being a subscription to the British Chess Magazine. (Falkirk Herald, 28/04/1920)
In a simultaneous display by Fred Dewhirst Yates at Hull Chess Club in 1921 - where Yates won 19 games, drew 3 and lost 2 - “G. Wood” was one of those achieving draws.
He won the Hull Club Championship in 1922 according to Hull CC records .
When first he moved to London, he joined Lud-Eagle Chess Club. On moving to Peterborough, he joined Peterborough Chess Club.
On 03/12/1927, GWJ played on board 6 for Northamptonshire against Oxfordshire, losing to R. W. Bonham. Oxfordshire won 12½‑4½;
On 08/12/1928, GWJ played on board 2 for Peterborough against Northampton, drawing with F. W. Shaw. Peterborough won 7-3. (Northampton Mercury, 14/12/1928).
While living in Peterborough, he won the Northamptonshire Championship (pre-war Greeves Trophy) twice, in 1928 (beating G. Hopkins of Kettering in the final – Northampton Mercury, 19/10/1928) and in 1929 (Northampton Mercury, 18/10/1929).
On 16/02/1929, H. E. Atkins gave a simultaneous display against 21 players at St Andrews Hospital, Northampton, winning 19 games and drawing 2. G. Wood was one of those to draw with Atkins. (Northampton Mercury, 22/02/1929)
On 03/03/1929, GWJ represented Northamptonshire Chess Association against Birmingham Chess Club. Northants won 9½-7½; GWJ won on board 7 against W. Harrison.
On 30/11/1929, GWJ represented Northamptonshire against Leicestershire, who won by 11-5. G. Wood (noted as being from Peterborough) lost on board 1 to V. H. Lovell.
The 1932-33 Edgware Chess Club Championship was won by G. Wood. (Hendon & Finchley Times, 22/09/1933).
It was after his return to London that his relatively brief career of tournament play commenced.
In 1933 he played in the Reserves at the 1933 Folkstone Congress, but then more or less gave up serious chess until 1944, when re-joined Lud-Eagle.
In 1945 he joined the British Correspondence Chess Association, and had success in that area.
The following is a summary of more-major events he played in, with his individual placings and point totals
* Di Felice gives this as B. H. Wood, quoting a Netherlands source, but that seems wrong.
** Shared with F. Parr
In 1949, GJW played a match with William Winter, losing it by 2 points to 4.
He came 7th-8th equal out of 14 payers, with 6 points out of 13, in the First World Correspondence Chess Championship, namely that of 1950-53
GJW apparently played chess in Norfolk in his later years.
: Gabriel Wood edited by Eric Fisher of Hull. Eric Fisher has produced a 76-page A4 booklet on Gabriel Wood, with as many of Wood’s games and snippets from magazines etc as Eric could collate. This webpage was initially written independently, but additions have since been made using material quoted by Eric, these being marked .
Copyright © 2021 Stephen John Mann
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