Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

The autobiograpy of St Osyth Mahala Wood

A collection of facts on the life of Mrs St Osyth Wood


mrs wood
Date 1940
Mrs Wood Age 54 yrs

St Osyth Mahala Eustace-Smith
was born 1886 in Hampstead, London.
She was the daughter of Thomas Eustace Smith and Katherine St Osyth Howard.
Her father Thomas (b1855/d1936) was a JP and Barrister with offices located at No4 North Hill in Colchester.

Her mother was Katherine Howard (b1853/d1933) before marriage.
Born in Bedford, the daughter of James Howard
(b1821/d1889)MP, Agricultural Engineer employing 700 hands, landowner and farmer
Katherine’s mother was called Mahala and came from St. Osyth in Essex.
"Mahala" is also very common name originating from Hebrew meaning "tenderness"

At some period in time the family moved out of Wormingford Grange to take up residence at his offices in Colchester (see footnote)

St Osyth was very active in local community work before and after her marriage.

Records show:- “The Colchester National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) was formed in January 1912 with Miss Eustace Smith (Wormingford Grove, near Colchester) as its secretary”. She would have been 26yrs old at this time.
This reference appears on p91 of Elizabeth Crawford’s book The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland.
It is also mentioned in the Essex County Standard on Feb 10th 1912.

Unlike the militant "Suffragettes" these women campaigned for the vote through non-militant means, so they didn’t resort to the arson attacks and other violent protests.

On the 7th June 1918 "The London Gazette" reported Miss St Osyth Mahala Eustace-Smith receiving an OBE for her work as "Hon Secretary, Essex Local War Pensions Committee".
She would have been 32 yrs of age at this time.

St Osyth was married (age 38yrs) to Thomas Wood on 2 July 1924 in Wormingford Church, Essex.
Wormingford is the adjacent parish to Bures.

The London Gazette and The Times reported her death on Nov 1st 1970, residing at: Cedar House, Wasperton. Warwick.
She would have been 84 years of age. Her ashes like her husband Thomas were interned at Parsonage Hall.
According to records, St Osyth left a personal estate of £799,000.

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