R. Henry Wood joined the civil service of the Cape Colony in December 1880 as a telegraph clerk in Cape Town. In January 1881 he was transferred to Wellington Station and on 1 September that year was appointed postmaster at Simon's Town, where he remained for 27 years. From the beginning of 1882 he supplied regular meteorological observations from Simon's Town to the Meteorological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope. The commission published summaries of his data, with those of other stations, in its annual reports. Wood's meteorological station (with 45 others) was classified as a second order station from 1897. He continued his observations without interruption until 1908, which made him one of the commission's most faithful observers.
In 1898 Wood presented two fishes to the South African Museum in Cape Town.