Quorn WW1 Roll of Honour - Harold Wright
Died 14th September 1915, aged 33
In hospital in London from wounds sustained in the Dardanelles (Turkey)
Captain Harold Wright was the grandson of Michael Wright who started Wright’s elastic webbing factory in Quorn. He was one of four children of William and Agnes Wright and the family lived at One Ash, an impressive house on Loughborough Road, on the North side of Quorn. His father William was one of Michael’s sons who took over the thriving business.
When war broke out, Harold left his position at Wright’s factory and joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Battalion, as a commissioned officer. It was whilst involved in the Gallipoli Campaign in the Dardanelles (Turkey), in July 1915, that he sustained severe injuries from flying shrapnel. He was taken to Alexandria in Egypt, where he was operated on by the eminent London surgeon, Sir Frederick Treves, who was famous for performing the first appendectomy in England and for rescuing Joseph Merrick (the elephant man), in the 1880s. After his operation, Harold was transported back to a military hospital in London, but he died a few days later on 14th September 1915. His body was brought back to Quorn.
Commemorating Harold’s death
The Loughborough Herald on the 16th September 1915, reported his death as follows:
“Death of Captain Harold Wright
It is with the deepest regret that we have to announce that the death took place in a London hospital on Monday night of Captain Harold Wright, second son of Mr Wm Wright, of One Ash, Quorn. The deceased officer was badly wounded in the spine with shrapnel at the Dardanelles on July 28, and was taken to Alexandria, where an operation was performed by Sir Frederick Treves. From the first his condition was regarded as most critical. His parents visited him at Alexandria, and, we are informed, accompanied him back to England.
The deceased, who was 31 years of age, was very prominent in cricket circles, and last season he played in six county matches, his highest score being 29 against Hampshire. Against the same team at Southampton he scored 26 not out. The latter total was knocked up on a wretched wicket against the bowling of Jaques and Kennedy.
By all the deceased was highly respected, and the sympathy of all goes out to his parents and relatives.”
Harold’s funeral on Friday 17th September 1915, was the largest that Quorn had ever known. Villagers lined the streets as the funeral procession, with Harold’s coffin on a gun carriage, made its way from One Ash to St Bartholomew’s Church. There were spreads of photographs and detailed reports of the funeral in both the Leicester and Loughborough newspapers. See Artefact 1084 for a photograph of the funeral cortege.
Harold’s grave can be seen in Quorn Churchyard today. Although it has weathered, if you look very carefully at the carving, to the left of the central round plaque is rifle and to the right is a cricket bat (see below).
In 1917 Harold’s parents funded a temporary war memorial for the village. It was located just in front of where the stone war memorial stands today. ‘Harold Wright' was the first name to be carved. See Artefact 343.
1) Captain Harold Wright.
2) Harold’s family home, One Ash. Photograph taken in about 1905.
3) Harold’s gravestone in St Bartholomew’s Churchyard, together with a close up of the detail.