Thomas W. Wood, assayer to the Bank of Africa in Johannesburg, became a foundation member of the Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa in 1894 and was elected a member of its first council. He served in this position until the activities of the society were suspended as a result of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). In February 1897 he delivered a paper before the society on "The assay of bullion", which was published in the Proceedings (Vol. 2, pp. 1-5). At this time gold assaying techniques in ores and tailings were unreliable, but Wood's presentation encouraged several further papers on the topic during the next year, which resulted in the improvement of current practices.
Around November 1899 T.W. Wood was appointed as assayer of the mint of the South African Republic (Transvaal) in Pretoria, at the request of the country's National Bank. The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) had just broken out at this time.