Private Ernest Frank Wright
9th Bn. Norfolk Regiment

Town Memorial P9.R3.C2

Ernest F. Wright
9th Norfolk Regt.

Oct 30 1918

Taken, Not Given, Liam Sumption, L&DLHS

In the Autumn of 1918 and early 1919 an infuenza epidemic known as the Spanish Flu ravaged Western Europe and killed whole families.

The Parish Magazine of December 1918 states that Ernest Wright was buried on 2nd November 1918 [nine days later the war ended], a week before George Alexander. It records that they "had succumbed to the onset of infuenza and pneumonia, their resistance having been impaired by the severity of wounds sustained for which they had been discharged from the Army".

The Parish Magazine of May 1915 shows E[N] Wright serving with the 9th Bn. Norfolks.

1. Parish Magazine of St Mary & St Nicholas, Leatherhead, May 1915, via Mr L Anstee
2. Parish Magazine of St Mary & St Nicholas, Leatherhead, Dec 1918

Rank: Private
Regiment: Norfolk Regiment
Unit Text: 9th Bn.
Date of Death: 30/10/1918
Service No: 14852
Grave/Memorial Reference: In East part. [local grave no. 1142]

His Attestation Form for 3 years with the Colours, Norfolk Regiment, on which his age was given as 21 and occupation as a Labourer, was dated 5th September 1914, no place entered.

He was Discharged on 1 August 1916 as no longer fit for service due to V.D.H (valvular disease of the heart).

He was issued a Silver War Badge, 115898, on 12 January 1917.

His life

Ernest Frank Wright was born in Leatherhead on 26th July and baptised on 3 September 1893 at Leatherhead Parish Church when the family were living at Langley Terrace, Kingston Road, Leatherhead.

His father was Thomas Granger Wright, born January 1858, Goldington, Bedfordshire. He was a son of William Wright (1834-1877) and Ann Todd (1831-1914). He was a Gardener.

His mother was Tryphena Odell, born in April 1848, also in Goldington, Bedfordshire where she was baptised on 25 June 1848. She was a daughter of William Odell (1820-1888) and Eliza Buck (1824-1908).

When she married Thomas she was a widow. Her first marriage was to George Gaines (1848-1875) at Thornaby on Tees on 15 April 1871. They had a daughter Eliza Jane Gaines, born July 1874.

Her marriage to Thomas Granger/Grainger Wright was on 24 December 1877 at All Saints, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

In the 1891 Census, Thomas and Tryphena Wright were recorded in Kingston Road Leatherhead, Thomas working as a Herdman, Tryphena as a Laundress - the children with them were Minnie Wright (12), Ethel (9), William Wright (6), George G (5) and Marion E (2).

In the 1901 Census the family were living at 5 Langley Terrace, Kingston Road, Leatherhead - Thomas, Tryphena, William (16), Annie (9), Ernest (7) and a boarder, Frederick Lambert.

In the 1911 Census Ernest Wright, aged 18, was single and living with his parents at 3 Kingston Road Cottages, Kingston Road, Leatherhead. He was working as a Gardener.

Name Age Occupation born  
Thomas Granger Wright 59 Gardener Domestic Bedford  
Tryphena Wright 63 Midwife Goldington, Bedford married for 34 yrs
George Wright 24 Tailor, at home Leatherhead a cripple for a year & 10 months old
Ernest Frank Wright 18 Gardener Leatherhead single
Herbert Wright 4   Leatherhead  
Harry Jackson 12 schoolboy Leatherhead adopted

Ernest F Wright's death was registered Q3 1918, Epsom. He was aged 26.

Leatherhead Parish Magazine
December 1918

Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord. Rev. xiv. 13.
Oct. 31. Charles Henry Paris, aged 46 years.
Nov. 1. Frank Henry Holland, aged 30 years.
Nov. 2. Ernest Frank Wright, aged 26 years.
Nov. 6. Sarah Cox, aged 66 years.
Nov. 7. Sarah Jones, aged 75 years.
Nov. 8. Ellen Florence Skinner, aged 18 years.
Nov. 9. George William Christopher Alexander, aged 26 years.
Nov. 9. Harriett Self, aged 78 years.
Nov. 11. Thomas Hooper, aged 71 years.
Nov. 12. Violet May Songhurst, aged 16 years.
Nov. 13. Winifred Ethel Long, aged 9 years.
Nov. 16. John Dixon, aged 60 years.
Nov. 21. Dorothy Amelia Edwards, aged 16 years.
Nov. 25. Maria Cheesman, aged 81 years.

In his letter the Vicar wrote:

In the long list of burials at the Parish Church last month will be found the names of George Alexander and Ernest Wright. Both had been wounded in the war, and returned, after their discharge, to live at home. But their health had been shattered, and proved unable to resist the attack of pneumonia following influenza; and their lives were no less certainly sacrificed to the service of their Country than if they had fallen in action.

After the war
According to the Electoral Registers Ernest's mother, Tryphena, lived on at  3 Kingston Road Cottages, Leatherhead until 1923, and at 238 Kingston Road, Leatherhead (possibly the same dwelling, renumbered) until her death. Tryphena's death was registered in September 1935 (Surrey Mid eastern District).

The death of his father, Thomas, was registered in 1936.

Ernest Wright is remembered on these memorials
Leatherhead Town Memorial
Leatherhead RBL Roll of Honour, Leatherhead Parish Church
Surrey in the Great War


The Essex Regiment 1914-18

The Influenza Pandemic

the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him, and of any recollections within his family

last updated 10 Aug 2004: 14 Feb 14: CWGC links updated 7 Nov 17: 31 Dec 20