1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

David Wright

Contributed by: Rob Conaty, on 2008-11-07

David Wright
First Name David
Surname Wright
Year of Birth 1892
Year of Death 1917
Regiment Royal Army Medical Corps
Place of Wartime Residence Wallsend, Tyne and Wear

David's Story

He was born 23rd October 1892 at 90, Berwicke Street Willington Quay Tyne and Wear which is situated at Wallsend the eastern end of the Roman Wall in the North East of England. This is where his parents Marshall and Georgina Wright set up their family home once they were married.

My great uncle David brother of my grandfather whom I thought the world of.

On 2nd June 1906 David Wright was given a labour exemption certificate due to him still being of school age making him exempt from having to work until he reached the age of 13yrs. He was attending the local Stephenson memorial school at this time.

On the 14th December 1913 at the parish church of St Augusta in North Shields David Wright a bachelor and at the age of 21yrs married Elizabeth Ann Howard a spinster also 21yrs of age.

David stated that he was employed as a striker in the local ship yard and resided at Queens Street North Shields. His father Marshall Wright also present at the wedding gave his occupation as a labourer.

Elizabeth Ann Howard gave her address as Kings Street North Shields and her father James Howard was also present at the wedding and gave his occupation as a mariner.

Within a year of being married on the 4th August 1914 the 1st world war broke out.

He joined the Royal Army Medical Corp. in the 13th Field Ambulance Corp. and became Private 50147 Wright. He was sent to France on 2nd September 1915.

Sometime during the war he was wounded and once recovered he re-joined the fighting.

Unfortunately he was killed in action on 10th October 1917 aged 24yrs and is buried in France at the Godewaersvelde British Cemetery France in Plot 1 Row H Grave 42. I have a copy of the original wooden grave marker now replaced by the standard headstone.

The cemetery was begun in July 1917 when three casualty clearing stations were moved to Godewaersvelde. The 37th and the 41st buried in it until November 1917, the 11th until April 1918, and from April to August 1918, during the German offensive in Flanders, field ambulance and fighting units carried on the burials. After the Armistice, the graves of five soldiers of the 110th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery were brought in from a point nearer the Mont des Cats and in May 1953, four graves in Godewaersvelde Churchyard were moved into the cemetery. A considerable French plot was made on the terrace at the higher end of the cemetery in May and June 1918, but the graves were later removed. Godewaersvelde British Cemetery now contains 972 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, and 19 German war graves.

Godewaersvelde is a village near the Belgian border, about 16 kilometers south-west of Ieper (in Belgian) and is half way between Poperinge (in Belgian) and Hazebrouck (in France).

It is on the front page of the Shields Daily News a local paper dated Tuesday 16th October 1917. This reads as follows:

"Wright. Died of wounds on the 10th inst, received in action aged 25yrs, Pte. David Wright, B.A.M.C. beloved husband of Elizabeth A. Wright (nee Howard) 24 Upper Queen Street North Shields. I think I see his smiling face, as he bids his last good-bye and left his home forever in a foreign land to die. He sleeps beside his comrades in a grave across the foam: But his name is written in letters of love on the hearts he left at home. Deeply mourned by his sorrowing wife and child, and all his relatives".

It also went on to state that before he went to war he worked at the North Eastern Marine Company a local shipping supply company.

As can be seen by the obituary in the paper there is a child to David and Elizabeth one Elsie Wright born in the summer of 1914.

This is bad timing as around August of that year David is sent to war possibly never to see them again.

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