Harold Walter Wright | Profile

Regiment Rank Service No Place of Birth Date of Death Age Burial
1st/6th South Staffs Sergeant 1432 Bilston 2 May 1915 21 St. Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery, Belgium

Genealogical Data

Birth of Harold Walter Wright recorded December quarter 1893 at Dudley.

1901 Census
5 Darkhouse Lane, Coseley, Staffordshire.
Edward Wright (39, Railway Signalman, born Lapley), his wife Mary A. (39, born West Bromwich), and their 7 children: Francis E. (12, born Sedgley), Dora A. (10, born Sedgley), Harold W. (6, born Sedgley), Ada Mary (6, born Sedgley), William (4, born Sedgley), Dorothy E. (3, born Sedgley), and Horace L. (2, born Sedgley).

1911 Census
6 Flavell Street, Woodsetton, Staffordshire.
Edward Wright (49, Railway Signalman, born Lapley), his wife Mary Ann (48, born Wednesbury), and 8 of their 9 children: Francis Edward (22, Engineering Fitter and Turner, born Deepfields), Frederick George (21, Carpenter and Joiner, born Deepfields), Albert Ernest (18, Works Clerk, born Deepfields), Harold Walter (17, Driller, born Deepfields), Ada Mary (16, born Deepfields), William Henry (14, Works Clerk, born Deepfields), Dorothy Elizabeth (13, born Deepfields), and Horace Leonard (12, School, born Deepfields).

Personal Life

Albert and Harold Wright were brothers. Harold had been killed on 2nd May 1915, one of the earliest casualties of the 1/6th South Staffords. Albert was employed by London and North Western Railways at Wolverhampton Railway Station as a Goods Porter. He is commemorated on the Wolverhampton Station memorial, sited on the footbridge at Wolverhampton Station. Albert’s parents paid 15 shillings and 9 pence for the following words on Albert’s gravestone: “Our beloved son. A good soldier of Jesus Christ and his Country. R.I.P.” The same words were inscribed on his brother Harold’s gravestone.

Cause of Death

Harold landed in France on 5th March 1915 with the 1/6th South Staffs, within 2 months he had been killed. The South Staffs were part of the 46th (North Midlands) Division, the first totally Territorial Division to arrive on the Western Front.

After a short period of trench familiarisation near Armentieres, the battalion moved to Wulverghem, about 7 miles south of Ypres, and to the west of Messines. This was thought a relatively quiet sector where a novice unit could gain experience of trench routine. From 6th April the 1/6th South Staffs alternated with the 1/5th South Staffs between the front line, just to the north of the village of Wulverghem, and Bulford Camp.

For their time in the trenches from 6th April to Harold’s death on 2nd May, the predominant entry in the battalion War Diary is “Situation quiet”, however in that period the battalion had 13 men killed. Most of these men are buried in Plot I, rows F and G on St. Quentin Cabaret Cemetery at Wulverghem, Harold is amongst those burials.

Newspaper Cuttings

  • A COSELEY HERO | Dudley Herald, 3rd November 1917
    Mr. and Mrs. Edward Wright, of 6, Flavell Street, Woodsetton, have received news of the death of their second soldier son. Few families have the record of having given two sons in sacrifice for their King and Country, and a third yet serving. Sergeant Harold Wright was killed in May 1915, and was one of the 6th South Staffs Territorials. Frank, the eldest son, joined the Life Guards in October 1914 and is now a Flight Sergeant in the Royal Flying Corps. Albert (or Bert), joined up in January 1915, and like many other Railway employees, attached himself to the R.A.M.C., leaving for France in July of the same year. He might have transferred to the Railway Battalion after his leave, in June 1917, but elected to stick to his post and see things through. He was killed on Thursday, October 18th, the day after he had written his last letter to his mother. His Sergeant writes: He was carrying some wounded, not far from the dressing station, a shell burst near him, and he died a few minutes afterwards. We shall miss Bert very much. He was always smiling, whether at work or play.” Much sympathy is felt for the parents and family. Bert was associated in the last year or two with St. Peter’s, Upper Gornal, but was formerly a member of St. Chad’s, West Coseley. He was straight and manly, and his quiet reserve hid a deeper spiritual character. His father is respected universally, and is a member of the Coseley Tribunal. The two sons whom he has lost, were worthy of such a father and mother, and are types of that British manhood of which the war is taking its toll.