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Harold Wright was born in Woodthorpe, Barton-on-Soar, Leceistershire on 19th February 1884 and was the second son of William and Agnes Wright. From the age of 14 he was schooled at Mill Hill School in London where his skill on the cricket pitch earned him the team captaincy in 1901. He went on to play first class cricket and details of his career are included in Nigel McCrery’s book ‘Final Wicket: Test and First Class Cricketers Killed in the Great War‘.
As well as playing cricket, before the war he was assisting in the running of his father’s business at Wright’s Elastic Webbing factory based in Quorn; and was living in the family home at One Ash, Woodthorpe, Loughborough.
Harold commissioned into the 6th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 14th September 1914 and served with the Battalion in Gallipoli, where Sandford’s book ‘The Final Over: The Cricketers of Summer 1914‘ talks about him being wounded and refusing medical treatment and continuing to fire at the enemy until eventually loosing consciousness. He had been hit in the back of his head by a piece of shrapnel on 28th July 1915 which was about the time they were being relieved from ten days in the trenches on the right sub-section of Gully Beach.
Captain Wright was evacuated to Alexandria when an operation was performed by Sir Frederick Treves. He arrived in England on the morning of 13th September 1915 but died at a hospital in Marylebone the next day. He was buried in St. Bartholomew Churchyard in Quorn.
On the 17th September the Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article;
LEICESTERSHIRE CRICKETER DIES OF WOUNDS
We regret to announce that Captain Harold Wright, 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, has succumbed to wounds received in the Dardanelles on July 28th. It will be remembered that the gallant officer, whose condition was from the first regarded as critical, was taken to hospital at Alexandria, and he was there visited by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Wright, of One Ash, Quorn. He afterwards accompanied them home, and landed in England a few days ago, but he became worse, and a message received on Tuesday announced his death.
As has been previously reported, Captain Wright was wounded while leading his men, a shrapnel shell bursting near him, and inflicting grave injuries. Captain Wright was a well known Leicester cricketer, whose abilities as a batsman had for several years been recognised in good class club cricket, both in his own county and elsewhere. His active experience of first class cricket was restricted to a few matches in the 1914 season, when he took part in half a dozen matches for Leicestershire, and there is little doubt that with a regular appearance in the team and the time to devote to the game, he would have made his mark in the highest class. Certainly his form in the best club cricket encouraged that view of his prospects. His two best scores in his few appearances for Leicestershire were both against Hampshire, 29 at Leicester and 26 not out at Southampton. The latter was his best performance and one on which he was very warmly congratulated at the time. On a treacherous wicket, with Jacques and Kennedy bowling, with great effect, Leicestershire were all out for 63, all the batsmen failing with the exception of Wright, who enjoyed the distinction, rare in first class cricket, of carrying his bat right through the innings.
He was liked by all who knew him, and his death, at the early age of 31, will be deeply regretted.
On Friday 24th September 1915 the Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article;
THE LATE CAPTAIN H. WRIGHT – MILITARY FUNERAL AT QUORN
The remains of Capt. Harold Wright, of the 6th Loyal North Lancashires, were interred on Friday afternoon in the parish churchyard at Quorn. They were brought from London to his father’s home at One Ash, Loughborough, by the Monday midnight train to Leicester, and thence taken by road to One Ash. The remains were enclosed in an American shaped shell and casket, the inner being of elm covered with grey velvet, and the outer of plain English oak, with antique silver fittings, and bearing the inscription;
Captain Harold Wright,
6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Died of wounds, received in the Dardanelles
on July 28th 1915
Aged 31 years.
While at One Ash the coffin was covered with a large Union Jack on which rested the deceased officer’s head-dress and sword. The funeral was accorded full military honours, and marks of general sympathy and respect from the public. The remains were conveyed from One Ash to St. Bartholomew’s Church, at Quorn, on a gun carriage from the Royal Horse Artillery camp at Garendon. The cortege was headed by a firing party under Lieut. Ellis, and the band from the depot at Glen Parva. Private Buckingham, the Regimental V.C., also attended.
There were 10 bearers from the barracks, and the pall bearers were officer friends of the deceased, Capt. W. P. Wright (cousin), Capt. Adamson, R.H.A., Capt. F. Browne, 2/4th Leicesters, Capt A. S. Walter, 6th Loyal North Lancashires, and Lieut. A. Peach, A.S.C. The family mourners were, Mr. William Wright J.P., (father), Mr. P. W. M. Wright and Mr. H. Wright (brothers), Mr. W. Evans jun. (brother in law), Ald. James Wright, J.P. (uncle), Mr. S. J. Wright (cousin), Mr. Wm. Evans, J.P., Sir Maurice Lever, M.P. and Mr. W. Wykes. The Loughborough and Quorn units of the Volunteer Training Corps were on parade under Commandant R. S. Clifford, jun., with Platoon Commanders W. H. Paltridge, T. A. Wilkinson, (Loughborough), W. Chilton (Quorn), and Sergt. Major O. Brown, and the Quorn and Barrow Cadets under Lieut’s F. Fernshy, and A. D. Lidster. The representatives from the works at Quorn and Loughborough were Messrs. W. Turner, T. Shenton, E. C. Laundon, and A. Turner, and a large number of employees from both mills attended. The Leicestershire Cricket Club was represented by Ald. J. Parsons, Messrs. G. F. Rudd, D. M. Gimson, R. K. Hull, C. C. C., J. B. Wood and S. C. Packer. Ald. W. Moss and Mr. G. W. Lloyd-James attended on behalf of the Loughborough Division Liberal Association. The Leicestershire Club was represented by Messrs. S. P. Pick and T. H. Fosbrooke. Amongst those in the church were Lieut. Spencer Hart, 10th Leicesters, Lieut. F. Dichenson, 4th Leicesters, Lieut. G. N. Wykes, 3rd Leicesters, Capt. R. R. Stamford, R.A.M.C., Major Haines (sec. Notts. Territorial) Association, Capt. and Adjutant Brockington, Leicestershire Cadet Corps, Capt. E. Harrison, Messrs. A. S. Partridge, F. S. Partridge, M. A. Cooke, H. S. Clifford, jun., and J. Hallam of the Royal Automobile Volunteer Corps, Mr. Herbert Wright (Knighton), Mr. and Mrs. Stockdale Harrison (Woodhouse), Miss Priscilla Harrison, Mr. G. F. Farnham (Quorn), Mrs. J. Swain (Kirby Mallory), Mr. G. White and Miss White (Quorn), Dr. Unitt (Quorn), Dr. Skipworth (Mountsorrel), Mr. W. G. Pegg, Mr. G. Wykes, Mr. J. F. Morton, Mr. P. R. Wykes, Mrs. R. S. Clifford (Loughborough), Mrs. J. J. Sharp (Coalville), Mrs. Stevens, Mr. T. Rowley (Leicester), Mr. J. Murray-Wells (Leicester), Mr. A. R. Thomas (Loughborough), Mr. J. R. Frisby (Leicester), Mr. A. W. Barrs, Mr. C. D. G. Gee, Mr. W. F. Curtis (Leicester), Mr. O. S. Brown (Quorn), and Mr. Stuart Hartshorn (Nottingham).
On arrival at the churchyard gates the firing party formed a guard of honour as the coffin was borne into the church, where it was met by the officiating clergy, the Rev. J. W. Marsh, of St. Michael’s, Belgrave, the Rev. H. H. Rumsey, vicar of Quorn. The hymns sung were “Onward Christian Soldiers,” and “Peace Perfect Peace.” At the close of the service, the organist Mr. C. K. White, played Chopin’s “Marche Funebra.” The coffin was lowered into a brick vault lined with moss and white flowers, and at the close of the committal three volleys were fired over the grave, and the Last Post was sounded. Amongst the floral tributes sent by relatives was a cushion of orchids and white chrysanthemums from “Father and mother,” and other emblems from “Percy,” “Hugh,” “Nora,” “Seymour.” Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Burr, Mrs. Evans, Billie and Gertrude, Auntie Nellie, Gladys, and Natilie, Connie and Bich, Sidney and Ethel, Uncle Jim, Ethel and Marjorie, Captain and Mrs. Walter P. Wright, Mrs. W. H. Stevens (Leicester), Sir Maurice Levy, M.P., and Lady levy, Jennie Moss, Mr. and Mrs. David Gimson (Leicester), John Smith, the committee of the Leicestershire C. C., Stuart and Ida (Nottingham), Arthur Oram, Alice and Mildred, Captain and Mrs. Etienne Browne, Leicester Ivanhoe C. C., Philip Wykes, the maids at Ash Lodge (Knighton), indoor and outdoor servants at One Ash and Pollard, Mr. and Mrs. Cantrell Hubberaty (Rothley), Mrs. Frisby and family (Leicester), Joe and Eleanor Frisby (Oadby), the Executive of the Loughborough and District Liberal Association, Mr. and Mrs. Stockdale Harrison (Woodhouse), Mrs. T. Firr and family, Charlotte Boock and Kingsley S. Gimson (Leicester), Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Scholes (Manchester), Mr. Ben B. Barrow, Quorn Cricket Club, Mr. Loundon and family, Mr. F. W. Partridge, foremen and overlookers at Quorn Mills, Mr. T. Shenton, Mr. W. Turner, workpeople at Quorn Mills, office staff at Quorn Mills, families of J. Driessens and A. Ryntjens, Dr. and Mrs. Strachan, Mr. and Mrs. G. White and family, Quorn Nursing Association, male employees at Loughborough Mills, female employees at Quorn Mills, Mr. and Mrs. Farrar Kirk, J. E. Barker, T. Barker, jun. and H. Barker, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Turner, Mr. and Mrs. Perkins Pick (Leicester), Dr. and Mrs. Crosby, staff at Loughborough Mills, Mrs. Tarr and Mabel (Leicester).
Captain Harold Wright’s service papers are available at the National Archives, reference WO 339/12266.
Date of Death: 14/09/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.
Cemetery: QUORN (ST. BARTHOLOMEW) CHURCHYARD
Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
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Communication with Battalion headquarters was almost impossible as runners were shot down in attempting to get back reports of progress…..
Extract from 4/5th Battalion War Diary
- 26th October 1917
- Communication with Battalion headquarters was almost impossible as runners were shot down in attempting to get back reports of progress….. Extract from 4/5th Battalion War Diary
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