Private 203356 William Wright

Wright William 96 400x600

Killed in Action on Saturday, 26th May 1917, age unknown.
Buried in Grave II. B. 11. at Maroc British Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.

1st/5th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.
Formerly 20063 South Staffs Regiment.

Eldest Son of Mr & Mrs W. Wright of 11 Cophall Street, Great Bridge, Staffs.
Born: West Bromwich, Enlisted: West Bromwich, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Peter's, Greets Green memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/523759/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
7 Cophall Street, Great Bridge, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Annie Wright (28, Soap Wrapping, born West Bromwich), and her 4 children: Elizabeth (9, born West Bromwich), William (8, born West Bromwich), Samuel (5, born West Bromwich), and Joseph (1, born West Bromwich).
Note: Annie Wright is the same woman shown as Elizabeth Wright in 1911; she was Elizabeth Ann Wright (nee Barnfield).

1911 Census
11 Cophall Street, Great Bridge, West Bromwich, Staffs.
William Wright (40, Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Eilzabeth (38, born West Bromwich), and 6 of their 7 surviving children of 10: William (18, Iron Worker at Sheet Mill, born West Bromwich), Joseph (12, School, born West Bromwich), Eva (8, School, born West Bromwich), James (5, School, born West Bromwich), Tom (3, born West Bromwich), and Annie (6 months, born West Bromwich).

Personal Data

Although on the Tipton Memorial, William Wright is more likely to be considered a West Bromwich man. Cophall Street at that time was just over the border in the West Bromwich part of Great Bridge, but he is on the Tipton Library Memorial so included here.

Action resulting in his death

In March 1917 the Division relieved the 24th Division in front of Lens in the Lievin sector, and it remained there for four months. During this time much hard fighting took place, which culminated in the attack on Lievin on July 1st, 1917. From the time the sector was taken over, the line was advanced an average of 2,000yards, and the ground captured a number of small mining villages and the important tactical point Hill 65.

On the 24th May the 1/6th North Staffs from the same 137th Brigade as Thomas had launched an attack to the north of Lens, near the Loos Crassier, with the objective of Nash and Netley trenches. This was successfully carried out, but German counter-attack was inevitable. This came during the night of the 24th/25th which was repulsed, but the morning brought a heavy bombardment followed up by a battalion strength German attack which forced the North Staffs out of the newly-captured positions.

It was during the support operations for this operation on 26th May that William Wright and Thomas Bell were killed in action, both are buried in Maroc British Cemetery just a few graves apart.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald June 30th 1917
Private William Wright of the South Staffords, eldest son of Mr and Mrs W. Wright, 11 Cophall Street, Great Bridge, who has been killed in action, leaves a widow and one child.

Tipton Herald July 7th 1917
Among recent casualty lists are as follows:-
Pte. J. Bell, South Staffs, killed.
Pte. W. Wright, South Staffs, killed.