Lieutenant Colonel Oswald Gillespie Wood studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He gained the Certificate of Merit Second Class in Materia Medica in the summer session of 1871 of the University of Edinburgh. In October 1872, he passed the final examination for the Licentiates of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh.
He was commissioned in the Army Medical Department as a surgeon in 1873. He served in the Egyptian war of 1882 and was at the battle of Tel-el-Kebir (medal with clasp and Khedive's bronze star). In 1889, he took part in the operations on the Nile as Senior Medical Officer with the British troops. He was also in the South African war of 1899–1901, where he had charge of No 3 General Hospital; afterwards being Principal Medical Officer at Kroonstad.
In 1901, he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath for his services in the South African War. Among his publications were:
- Malta Fever. Ed Med J 1876 vol 1.
- On the fever which attacked the army of occupation in Cyprus. Ed Med J 1880 vol 1.
- Remarks on the subject of micro organisms in disease. Indian Medical Gazette, March 1882.
Colonel Oswald Gillespie Wood died at Kroonstad on 3 January 1902 from inflammation of the intestines.
Service Record — Oswald Gillespie Wood
30 Sept 1873 Commissioned Surgeon.
Malta 27 Nov 1874 Arrived at Malta from England.
Malta 20 June 1875 Returned to England on sick leave.
21 Dec 1875 Relegated to half-pay.
21 June 1876 Restored to full-pay. On 13 March 1876, he gave his address as 9 St Michael's Terrace Plymouth.
Malta 26 Aug 1876 Returned from England.
Malta 1877 On garrison duty.
Malta 17 July 1878 Embarked for Cyprus in medical charge of the Hospital Ship Alexandria.
1879 On duty in Cyprus.
June 1880 Moved to Aldershot.
Aug 1880 Posted to Bengal.
1881 – 1882 On duty in Bengal.
1882 Served in Egypt.
30 Mar 1886 Promoted Surgeon-Major.
1889 Served on the Nile Expedition.
30 Mar 1894 Granted the rank of Surgeon-Lieutenant Colonel.
7 Apr 1897 Brigade-Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel.
1899 – 1900 Served in South Africa.
Jan 1900 Held the local rank of Colonel whilst in charge of No 3 General Hospital at Kronstadt South Africa. Was mentioned in despatches.
Lieutenant-Colonel (local Colonel) Oswald Gillespie Wood was officer in charge of No 3 General Hospital, one of the first to be mobilised. From November 1899 to May 1900, this unit was stationed at Rondebosch, near Cape Town. In May, the hospital was split into two sections, the advance portion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Keogh, proceeding north with all its requisite equipment to Springfontein (in the southern part of Orange River Colony). A week or two later, the second portion with headquarters, received orders to proceed north still further to Kroonstad, which had just fallen. The hospital treated the worst cases of enteric and dysentery with limited medical supplies.
19 Apr 1901 Appointed an Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Third Class, or Companion
of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in recognition of his services during the operations in South Africa (the Gazette dated 19 April 1901).
3 Jan 1902 Died of inflammation of the intestines at Kronstadt, South Africa.