A Family from Canada
Fullman was born in 1861 at Chatham, in the south of
England. In 1888, she married a widower, Frederick Wood,
and took on a ready-made family of six boys - all under
the age of eight. Charlotte and Frederick went on to
have another seven children together.
Frederick’s oldest son died in 1900, while serving
with the British Army in South Africa. Nevertheless,
by the time their youngest son was born in 1901, Frederick
and Charlotte still had twelve children to support:
Louis (aged 19), Joseph (18), William (17), Arthur (15),
Alfred (14), Ellen (12), Frederick (10), John (7), Herbert
(6), Harry (4), Percy (2) and the infant Charles.
In 1905, Charlotte and Frederick and four of their
younger sons emigrated to Canada, to begin a new life
ranching near Edmonton, Alberta.
In Britain, when war broke out in 1914, the oldest
four - Louis, Joseph, William and Arthur - went into
active service in the British Navy. Later, Alf and Fred
joined the army, while Harry followed his oldest brothers
to sea. In Canada, John and Herbert were also old enough
for military service, and volunteered for the Canadian
Expeditionary Force. The two youngest sons, Percy and
Charles, were aged fifteen and thirteen respectively,
when war broke out, but signed up anyway at Christmas,
1915. By the beginning of 1916, all eleven of Charlotte's
sons had enlisted. This is what happened.
1914: Louis lost at sea when his ship, HMS
Hogue, was torpedoed.
1915: Harry killed, aged 18, at Gallipoli.
1916: Fred killed on the Somme
1917: Percy killed, aged 17, at Vimy
1917: Joseph, who had survived Gallipoli and
the Somme, killed at Passchendaele
Alf and John were seriously wounded, but survived
was awarded the George V Jubilee Medal in 1935,
and was the first recipient of the Memorial Cross,
the Honour still awarded to the mothers and widows
of those killed while serving in Canada's armed
In 1936, she took part in "The Vimy Pilgrimage",
the unveiling of Canada's First World War Memorial
by King Edward VIII. She said at the time, "I
would rather have all my twelve about me tonight
than all your pilgrimages, so I would". She
was one of three War Mothers presented to Edward
VIII just prior to the unveiling of the memorial’s
central figure ‘Canada mourning her lost
The Winnipeg Free Press reported their meeting: