James Kirkman Wood (1867-1945)

Rev James Kirkman Wood

Rev James Kirkman Wood and his children c1935

Picture provided by Stephen Govier

James Kirkman Wood was born in Bromfield, Cumbria in 1867 and christened on the 16th June. His parents were Thomas and Mary Wood nee Whowell (Mary's mother's maiden name was Kirkman). The 1871 census records Thomas as being a draper and landowner living in Maryport, close to the north west coast of the Lake District. He was the eldest of 4 boys. His youngest brother John Alfred Wood also became a vicar and another brother, Thomas Henry, a Prebendary.

James was educated at Montreal School of the London College of Divinity from 1889 and then Hatfield Hall, Durham where he acheived a B.A. in 1899 and an M.A. in 1907.

He was ordained a deacon in 1891 and a priest in 1892 in London. He was curate of St. Peter's, Clerkenwell from 1891 to 1892, Heston, Middlesex from 1892 to 1895. From 1895 to 1901 he was curate of Trent Park, Hadley, Middlesex.

In 1901 he was made head of the Boys Farm Home at East Barnet, an industrial school which was run under the auspices of the church. He remain there for 23 years. He was also curate of the parish church of Chipping Barnet from 1901 to 1924. He was made perpetual curate of Belton in the Isle of Axholme, a parish in the north west corner of Lincolnshire, from 1924 to 1929.

In 1922 he married Evelyn Sarah Glass(born 21st April 1897, Edmonton) daughter of accountant Robert Glass and his wife Catharine, in Barnet. They had 3 children, Robert Thomas James Kirkman born 8th May 1926, Belton, Lincolnshire, died 31st May 1984 Ashford, Kent, Joyce and Douglas J. born 20th November 1930 died March 1995. Evelyn died on the 17th December 1930, age 33, presumably as a result of child birth. She was buried in the family grave at New Southgate Cemetery, Enfield, London.

On 31st December 1929 James was instituted to the vicarage of Hoxne and Denham. During his time in Hoxne he was a trustee of St. Edmund's Hall and for many years manager of the Hoxne Council School.

He died on the 13th July 1945, at the age of 78 after a short illness in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. He was buried in Hoxne.