This collection consists of 3 photograph albums, some loose photographs and printed material. The albums contain photographs which reflect Wood’s naval career in the Royal Indian Marine Service, and his personal life in Port Blair in the Andaman Islands where he served as Port Officer and Harbour Master from 1905-1912.
There are good views of ships, some of which Wood served on, and locations range from the Indian Ocean to the Persian Gulf. There are also images of colonial life on Ross Island, the small island in the Andamans opposite Port Blair, which was the residence of the Governor and other officials.
Of note in the Andaman Islands collection are portraits of the indigenous people, the Great Andamanese. These are of particular interest since they are still a protected population in the Andaman Islands.
There is also part of a printed article about the history of the Andaman Islands.
Several carved wooden objects, made by prisoners on the Andaman Islands, have also been donated including a large desk, 2 small tables, and a large framed photograph of George Wood.
This catalogue was produced with support from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
George Ellis Wood was born in Lincoln in June 1870. He entered the Royal Indian Marine as an Assistant Engineer in 1893 and gradually progressed through the ranks. He served on board various ships including the RIMS (Royal Indian Marine Ship) Minto, Clive, Elphinstone, Mayo, Dalhousie and Irrawaddy. Between 1905 and 1912, he served as Port Officer and Harbour Master on the Andaman Islands, which was a penal colony.
In 1904 he married Ellen Ann Clark, and they had a daughter named Beatrice Maud (called Marjory) who features as a young girl in the photographs taken on the Andaman Islands, many of which are in domestic settings.
At some point Wood was involved in the Royal Indian Marine Persian Gulf Operations which took place between 1909 and1914. He was later appointed Chief Engineer of RIMS Investigator, a Marine Survey Vessel, from 1916-1920. The RIMS Investigator made biological collections in the Indian and adjacent seas between 1884 and 1926, depositing fish species in the Indian Museum.
Wood retired from the service in 1920, and died in September 1942.
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