HAROLD WRIGHT

Private B/20296, 26th Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)

Killed in Action 7th October 1916 aged 23

No Known Grave Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Son of William Henry and Sarah Ann Wright

Lived 13, Laurel Mount, Heckmondwike


Harold was born in 1893, the second son of William Henry Wright from Shipley and Sarah Ann Lee of Liversedge.  His parents were married in the Dewsbury area in 1883 and were living in Hightown, Liversedge in 1891 and 1901.  Their eldest son, Horace had been born in 1884 and their daughter, Marion in 1895.

The family had moved to Brook Street, Heckmondwike by 1911 when their father William Henry was a Corn Miller Clerk and Harold was apprenticed to a carpet designer.  By 1915 they had moved to 13, Laurel Mount, Cemetery Road.

Harold joined the London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), and saw active service as part of the 26th (Service) Battalion, also known as the Bankers’ Battalion.  His war record is lost but it is known that the 26th Battalion was formed in London on 17th July 1915 by the Lord Mayor of the City of London and landed in France on 4th May 1916.  He was killed in action on 7th October 1916 during the Somme offensive.

The Heckmondwike Guardian newspaper reported “that Private Harold Wright’s parents Mr and Mrs W.H. Wright of Laurel Mount, had received unofficial news of his death, in letters from two of his comrades.  The paper also stated that he was a member of the George Street Congregational Church and connected with their cricket club.  Previous to enlisting he was employed by Messrs T.F. Firth and Sons Ltd.

The Herald and Courier reported on October 26th that official notice had not yet been received by his parents, but they had received a letter which their son had left behind when he last went into the trenches with a request that it should be posted in the event of his not returning.  One of Harold’s Dewsbury pals had written to his parents “that just as Harold was in the act of fixing his machine gun, he was shot through the head and killed instantly”. This paper stated that he was attached to the machine gun section of the Royal Fusiliers and before enlisting was employed by Messrs H.F. Cockill & Sons Ltd, Cleckheaton and a member of George Street Congregational Church.

Harold has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on
Pier and Face 8C, 9A & 16A.  Harold’s elder brother Horace survived the war and is named on the Vellum Roll.

Medals: British War and Victory Medals.

Commemorated:- George Street Congregational Church Memorial; St Saviour’s Church Memorial; Heckmondwike Grammar School Memorial; Green Park Memorial and Vellum Roll.
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