Henry was born in Kirkby, near Liverpool, on 16th July 1890, the second son of William Wright and his wife Alice (née Tyrer). He was named after his maternal grandfather and was called Harry. He was baptised in St. Chads Church, Kirkby, on 10th August, his father’s occupation was given as labourer. William and Alice, both born in Kirkby, married in St. Chads Church in 1888, and had eight children. Henry had older siblings Elizabeth and Robert, and younger siblings Jane, Ellen, John, Mary, and Alice.
In 1891 the family is living in Stonebridge Lane, Kirkby. His father William is 28, a farm labourer, his mother Alice, 23, is a dressmaker. Robert is 2, and Henry is nine months old. His sister Elizabeth, 2, is with her maternal grandmother Ann Tyrer and aunts Kate and Mary, both dressmakers. (Elizabeth is found in their household in Swell Lane, Kirkby in subsequent censuses until she married in 1914. Sadly, her husband William Lawrence was killed in action with the Loyal North Lancs Regiment on 31st July 1917, at Passchendaele. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, Ypres.)
In 1901 the family are living in one of the Cottages of the Farm at Gillmoss, Fazakerley, with five children. His father is employed as a cattleman on a farm, Henry is 10.
By 1911 they have moved to the Croxteth area, and are found at Croxteth Hall Lane. His father is 47, a farm labourer, his mother is 42 , Robert is 21, a waggoner on a farm, Henry is 20, employed as a gardener, Ellen is 15, a dressmaker’s apprentice. John is 12, Mary 8, and Alice 2.
Harry enlisted in Liverpool as Private 14928, 4th Bn King’s (Liverpool) Regiment. The 4th Bn was a reserve battalion mobilised at Seaforth, Liverpool in August 1914. Harry arrived in France on 4th March 1915 and on 22nd April the battalion saw their first major engagement at the Second Battle of Ypres, which marked the Germans’ first use of poison gas. In the second subsidiary action of the offensive, at Saint-Julien, the 4th King's sustained more than 400 casualties over a four-day period, the majority, some 374, while supporting the Gurkha Rifles on the 27th. Harry’s name appeared in the list of wounded published in the Liverpool Post & Mercury on 3rd June 1915.
In July 1916 the 4th Bn saw action at the Somme, and in the middle of the month they were in front line trenches at Caterpillar Wood. The War Diary records the name of Pte H Wright 14928, wounded on 18th July.
It is possible that Harry was transferred to the 20th Bn K.L.R. after recovering from his wounds. He was promoted to Acting Lance Corporal.
In the new year of 1918 the 20th Bn occupied Torr Top Tunnels at Zillebeke in the Ypres Salient. On the 3rd January the battalion relieved the 17th K.L.R. in the centre sub-sector of the Polderhoek sector. The enemy wire on the right of Menin Road was patrolled. The War Diary for 5th January records,
“Patrols. Liaison patrols with 2nd Bn Bedfordshire Reg’t on left and 18th Bn K.L.R. on right throughout the night. Patrols to suspected hostile posts in front of left Company sent out. These posts were found to be unoccupied though showed signs of recent occupation. During the night a Machine Gunner of the 84th R.I.R. was captured by patrol from C Company."
Casualties: 1 Killed, 2 Wounded
Harry was killed in action on 5th January 1918, aged 27. His body was never recovered from the battlefield or was subsequently lost, and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Flanders.
His death was reported in the Liverpool Daily Post on 29th January 1918:
“Lance Corporal H. Wright, K.L.R., who was killed in action on the 5th inst., had seen active service in France for two years and eight months. His officer, writing to his parents, says:- “He was a good soldier in every way, always ready to do his duty and even more, and one whose place I shall find difficult to fill.” Lance Corporal Wright was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Wright, Croxteth Hall Lane, West Derby, and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”
His parents placed a notice on the same day:
“January 5, killed in action aged 27 years, Henry (Harry), K.L.R., the dearly-loved second surviving son of W. and A. Wright, Croxteth Hall Lane, West Derby. (Thy will be done.)”
Harry earned his three medals. His parents received his Army effects of £17-4s-19d, a War Gratuity of £15-10s, and a pension of 6/- a week.
His father died in 1920 at age 56. In 1939 his mother Alice was living with daughter Ellen in Wildmere Cottages, Oak Lane, near Croxteth Hall. His mother lived through World War Two and died in 1947 aged 77.
Harry is commemorated in Liverpool’s Hall of Remembrance, Panel 32 Left and also on the family gravestone in West Derby Cemetery:
In Loving Memory
THE DEARLY BELOVED SON OF
WILLIAM AND ALICE WRIGHT
WHO DIED 16TH FEBRUARY 1915
IN HIS 26TH YEAR
“Our loss is his eternal gain”
ALSO HENRY WRIGHT
LANCE CORPORAL K.L.R.
AND BROTHER OF THE ABOVE WHO WAS
KILLED IN ACTION IN FRANCE
5TH JANUARY 1918 AGED 27 YEARS
“Thy will be done”
Henry Wright was born in and resided in Liverpool and was the son of Alice Wright, of Oak Lane, West Derby, Liverpool, and the late William Wright..
He enlisted in Liverpool and was serving in the 20th Battalion, The King’s Liverpool Regiment as Lance-Corporal No 14928 when he was killed in action on the 5th January 1918 aged 27.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
We currently have no further information on Henry Wright, If you have or know someone who may be able to add to the history of this soldier, please contact us.