Alexander Wood was born in 1870 at Shalloch, Clochforbie, near Crudie in Aberdeenshire. He was the son of Jane Hay and Robert Wood, and lived at the Clochforbie croft of his grandparents Francis and Elspet Hay (along with his mother who never married) until he was about 20.
After graduating from Aberdeen University, Alex Wood (as he liked to be known) went on to Edinburgh Theological College and was ordained in 1895. After working as a curate in Forfar, he joined the Scottish Episcopalian Mission at Chandrapur District in India from 1898. During the First World War Alex Wood served as a Chaplain to the Forces and was awarded an OBE. In 1919 he was made Bishop of Chota Nagpur, and then in 1926 Bishop of Nagpur. He died in 1937 while visiting Shanghai.
His biography by Eyre Chatterton (his predecessor as Bishop of Nagpur), published in 1939, glosses over the circumstances of Alex’s birth, acknowledging that he grew up with his grandparents but claiming that his parents had died while he was young.