Hugh Woods was born at 23 New Lodge Road in Belfast, Ireland on 20 January 1881.1 Born into a Roman Catholic family, he was the son of flax worker (later a grocer) Hugh Woods and the former Isabella McCormick. He had at least six siblings.
Hugh appears on the 1901 census living at 53 New Lodge Road, then described as a general labourer. His mother had just passed away that February from heart failure whilst his father died from bronchitis in March 1902. Hugh’s eldest sibling Susan became the head of the house and by the time of the 1911 census the family were living at 18 New Lodge Road and taking in lodgers to make ends meet.
When Woods first went to sea is not certain but he is shown on records working as a fireman on ships as early as 1907, mainly those operating out of Liverpool. He was described as standing at 5’ 3¾ and having fair hair, brown eyes and numerous tattoos.
Woods’ ship prior to Titanic had been the Ramore Head. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
Hugh Woods went on to serve in the merchant service in both World Wars and was decorated for his service in both. He never married and died in Belfast on 2 October 1963 at the age of 82.