WRIGHT, George

No.4541, Rifleman, George WRIGHT
Aged 21

2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade
Killed in Action on Sunday, 9th May 1915

Born in Risby in 2nd qtr 1894 Thingoe 4a:737, son of Walter George and Phoebe Annie WRIGHT (née PETTIT)

1901 census...Aged 6, he was at Ivy Lodge, Risby with his father Walter George WRIGHT [42] butcher, born Gazeley; his mother Phoebe A [38] born Hargrave; sister Sissie [8], brothers Reginald W [9], William W [4], Edwin O [2] and Harry K [9 months]. All the children were born in Risby.

1911 census...Aged 16, fishmonger's errand boy, he was at 4 Barn Lane, Bury St.Edmunds with his parents; sisters Sissie, Annie [7] and Irene [3] ( the only child born in Bury St.Edmunds); brothera Weston [14], Harry [10] and Leonard [4].

His brother William Weston Wright was killed in France in 1916 see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds. For some reason he did not have the clasp to his 1914v Star, but this may be due to relatives not claiming it

War Diary May 9th 1915
Instructions and orders for assembly and the first advance were issued and accurately carried out
When our bombardment opened a good many shells dropped short. Some of our men began to retire from the advanced sap and from the fire trench. The movement was stopped but our first line suffered severe casualties from our own shell fire.
At 5:40 am the first line advanced and the other lines moved into the forward sap and fire trenches. The fist lone, B and D Coys, took the German trench opposite to them and continued the advance.
The second line, A and C Coys, machine gun and HQ moved across into the enemy's trench. Both lines suffered severe loss, the machine guns were unable to get across.HQ were dispersed, the organised bombing and blocking parties were broken up and were most difficult to find afterwards
Our men occupied the line 826-827-828 in accordance with orders. They had the red and yellow distinguishing flags up. All the first line had gone up and most of the second
The attacks on our right and left had not succeeded and bombing parties were organised for both sides of the captured trench. It was extremely difficult to find bombs and bombers, but about 50 yards to the west of the SAILLY-FROMLLES road was gained and a bit to the east, making our front line perhaps 250 yards in all.
Meanwhile the Coys at 826 were subjected to a very heavy machine gun fire from both flanks, chiefly from the back of the German trench on our right and left. Nearly all the Coy officers were killed or wounded on this line and about 8 o'clock the men began to retire and continued to dribble back from these advanced positions all day
They all reported that they encountered very little opposition or fire from their front, but were being very badly enfiladed and taken in reverse.
The defence of the German fire trench was organised and several attempts were made to bomb our flanks were repelled.
About 12 noon 2/Lt Gray brought up reinforcements, about 50 started from our sap but they lost very heavily crossing the open and only about 20 arrived. 2/lt Gray got the captured machine gun working.The CO also received a message at this time that General Cole had been killed and he was in command of the Brigade.
About 7 pm the enemy counter attacked but were beaten off, helped by the fire of the captured machine gun. bout 8:30 pm all was quiet. The CO then returned to our parapet and sent up all our men who could be collected, about 70, 2 machine guns and two bombing parties of the Royal Berks to help hold the trenches. This was as many men as the trench could hold.
About 2:30 am the enemy started another counter attack.....

CWGC has the battalion as having 256 killed in 9th May, only 12 having a known grave

photo Rodney Gibson

George Wright is commemorated on the Ploegsteert |memorial, Belgium panel 10

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details