Cecil James Byron AWMM
Also known as
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Cecil Wood was the son of Cecil Edward Byron and Stella Gale Wood (nee O'Brien) of Kilbirnie, Wellington.
He died when his ship, HMS Neptune, hit several mines in the sea off Tripoli and sank in December 1941.
HMS Neptune was launched at Portsmouth on 31 January 1933. She was one of five 'Leander' class light cruisers completed between 1933 and 1935. Two others were HMS Achilles and Leander serving in the RNZN. They displaced 7,200 tons, could make 32 knots and carried eight 6 inch guns and 550 crew. The Neptune was in the Mediterranean from 1 December 1941 as part of Force K which was searching for Axis shipping, especially those taking supplies to Rommel in North Africa. Early on the 19th the ships of Force K ran into a minefield.The Neptune hit three or four mines and sank with only one survivor. At the same time the Aurora was badly damaged and Penelope slightly.Trying to reach Neptune to assist, the destroyer Kandahar was mined and had to be scuttled the following day. On the same day in Alexandria harbour the Queen Elizabeth with Admiral Cunningham on board and the Valiant were both badly damaged and sank.The Mediterranean Fleet battle squadron ceased to exist. Of the total crew of 766 there was only one survivor.He was rescued off a raft five days later by an Italian destroyer and spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp. AWMM
Date of death
Age at death
Place of death
Cause of death
New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport Naval Base, HMNZS Philomel, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
Roll of Honour
Remember Cecil James Byron Wood by laying a poppy.
Leave a note
Leave a tribute or memory of
Cecil James Byron Wood
I never knew you Cecil but you brother Walter is my grandfather and my father Kenneth carries your middle name James and so does my brother Matthew James. I remember my Grandmother Ruby (Walters wife ) telling me you died in the war and I think I have a photo of you and your wife or though I can't be sure, I just know you and my grandfather look very much alike. My father Kenneth is now the oldest ByronWood and my son Dallas is the youngest who carries the ByronWood name. My Grandfather passed away 15 years ago of cancer and my grandmother in 2009. I do not know if you had any family and I Thankyou for fighting for our country Cecil. I hope you are resting in peach and you have your brother by your side. Love and Wonder Hayley ByronWood.
Public - Hayley - Other relative - 25 October 2015
|25 October 2015||Hayley||Auckland newzealand||Other relative||
The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.