A British naval officer, Woods was born in Jersey in 1843 and educated at the Upper School of Greenwich Hospital, London, which offered training for the Royal Navy. After finishing top of the year, he entered as a master's assistant. On 17 October 1867 he was appointed a navigating lieutenant (a rank which was formally known as the master).
He was attached to the British Embassy in the Ottoman Empire, and eventually joined the Imperial Ottoman Navy, and was given the rank of Admiral. He was Aide-de-Camp for some years to Sultan Abdul Hamid.
He was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Medjidie and Osminieh and was a Knight Commander of the Saxe-Coburg Order. He died in 1929 in Constantinople.