A letter appeared in the Express & Star on 1 May 1915 from a Private Richard Bood of the 1st South Staffordshire Regiment, a prisoner of war in Altdamm, Germany. The letter read as follows:
Sir, – One and all Wolverhampton men join with me in sending to you their heartiest thanks for publishing my letter in your valuable paper; and also to those who have sent out games for their benefit.
In all I have received five parcels of games and one of stationery, the whole of which I have equally divided to the best of my ability between the men.
The whole of the parcels were dated 15/3/15.
Wishing your paper further success, – I am, Sir, yours truly,
PTE. RICHARD BOOD
I have not yet found his earlier letter, but clearly his appeal for games for the prisoners of war was successful.
Richard Bood was born in Wolverhampton on 16 March 1890, the son of Samuel and Mary Ann Bood. His father, Samuel, died in 1892, and his mother remarried to a James Dowdeswell in 1898. By 1901 they were living at 61 Stafford Street, and Richard, his mother and step-father, were joined by his brothers Walter Harry and James, and sisters Elizabeth Jane, Betsy, Clara and Prescilla [sic].
Richard’s prisoner of war records show that he was taken prisoner at Ypres on 31 October 1914. He was not wounded when he was captured, and he was initially kept at Friedriechfeld. His next of kin was given as a Miss Walker, 8 Willenhall Road, Wolverhampton. By 1917, he had received shrapnel to the head, and was moved to “Lager III” at Münster.
He did, however, survive the war, and went on to marry Mary A. Walker in 1919. They went on to have two children, Samuel and Lilian, and Richard himself died in 1951.