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wright1This article was written and researched by the Great Grandson of Philip Wright,  Stephen Rockcliffe.

Philip Wright was born 1861 in Bothwell, Lanacshire, he was given the name Felix but always used the name Philip. His parents were James and Sarah and siblings were James 1865, Mary 1868, Elizabeth 1870 and Sarah 1872.

In July 1890 he married Ada Matthews who was born in London 1865 and they had 7 children.

Philip Wright spent over 7 years with the 74th Highland Light Infantry (service number 4044). During the Boer War gained awards at the battle of Modder River 1899 and Battle of Bakenkop and the attack and capture of the town of Bethlehem (Wittebergen) 1990.

In 1901 P. Wright joined the 2nd Battalion The Royal Garrison Regiment (961) and was posted to Gibraltar, taking his family with him. In 1904 the battalion was moved to Standerton Garrison in South Africa where he and his family stayed until the Regiment was disbanded in 1908. P.Wright and his family returned to U.K and lived in Sheffield where Philip worked in the steel works. In 1910, Ada his wife died of TB leaving 6 surviving children and her widower.


Phillip and Ada Wright

At the outbreak of WW1 P, Wright joined the Loyal North Lancashire’s being attested at Manchester 24th August 1914 and given the service number 3104. He gave his age as 41 years and three months but in fact was 53 years old.

29th November he embarked for France to join the 1st Battalion at Hazebrouck. On 21st-22nd December the battalion moved to Givenchy then to Zelobes From Zelobes they marched to Le Touret.. On the night of 19th – 20th December near La Quincue Rue the Battalion with the Northamptons launched a night attack on the German Lines. For a full account of the fighting please read the article about 11026. PTE. R. MOLLOY. 1/L.N.LAN.R.

During this contact the battalion suffered heavy losses, 6 officers and 408 OR’s were killed or missing. P. Wright was taken prisoner during the fierce fighting.

Over the next few days the captured LNL’s were transported to the infamous Wittenberg POW camp in Saxony.

During the dreadful outbreak of typhus in January 1915 L/Cpr Philip Wright volunteered to work in the hospital ward to look after those with this deadly disease. During this period the Germans abandoned the camp and left the prisoners to fend for themselves. The only contact with the outside was when food was sent into the camp via a makeshift slide. This was done so that local’s would avoid direct contact with the POW and the Typhus that was rampant in the camp. Many of those who volunteered to tend the sick died of typhus themselves, including 3104 P.Wright. He died on the 2nd April 1915 leaving 6 of his motherless children still living in Sheffield (one child, Frederick, died in 1909 a few weeks before his mother).

P. Wright was originally buried in the Klein Wittenberg old cemetery but in 1924/25 all of those UK soldiers buried here were moved by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to the Berlin South West Cemetery near Stahnsdorf. Lance Corporal P. Wright rests in grave number XIII. D. 5. There is also a large monument standing at Wittenberg that list all of the British who died of Typhus, 3104 P.Wright is recorded on this monument.


Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 3104
Date of Death: 02/04/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

Paul McCormick
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One Response to 3104 LCPL. P. WRIGHT. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Susan Mason says:

    Thankyou for this interesting article. Philip and Ada Wright were my mother’s grandparents. As a family, we knew very little about them – and always thought that Philip was an engineer with the army and was involved in building the railways in Soth Africa!

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