Photo:John William Wright

John William Wright





I have been researching my family tree for a few years now and the most upsetting relative I have come across is the untold story of my great uncle John William Wright.

I have only one photo of this brave young man, he was only 18 years old when he died. Since finding out about him, I have been trying to recover his war medals which were stolen from my grandmothers home many years ago. I have so far failed in my task.

John William Wright served with the 1st/8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters He was born in Bilisthorpe, Nottinghamshire and lived at 47 Montague Street, Mansfield, the proud son of Joseph Wallhead Wright and Florence Wright. The Newark advertiser records him as being wounded in April 1915 when he served with D company. The Nottingham Daily Express dated 04/05/1915 shows some details of parents. His medal roll shows he landed in France 02/03/1915.

John was killed in action by a sniper when looking over the parapet when serving in the lines in the Kemmel sector, Belgium 20/04/1915, he was buried at Kemmel Chateau military cemetery plot no e62. Kemmel Chateau was north east of Kemmel village and the cemetery was established on the north side of the chateau grounds in December 1914. It continued to be used by divisions fighting on the southern sectors of Belgian front until March 1918, when after fierce fighting involving both Commonwealth and French forces, the village and cemetery fell in to German hands in late April. The cemetery was retaken later in the year, but in the interval it was badly shelled and the old chateau destroyed. There are now 1135 Commonwealth burials of the first world war in the cemetery and 21 from the second world war (which all date from the allied withdrawal ahead of the German advance of May 1940.) The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

I feel a great sadness and joy in now knowing what happened to this very young relative who died so tragically young, what a great pride I feel in knowing he is a part of my family god bless him. I would love one day to make a trip to the cemetery in Belgium to meet for the first time my great uncle as his mother and father where never able to make the trip to Europe to see their son again.

See more at:

Update 10/02/2014

I have since had a full set of his war medals copied and they are now treasured and loved for future generations of my family, I have however yet to find another photo of John William Wright and the search goes on,

In loving memory of his mother and father.

Joseph Wallhead wright

Florence wright (Leary)

47 Montague street,



NG18 2PL

This page was added by Nicholas Bennett on 11/02/2014.

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