The AIF Project

Ernest Edward WRIGHT

Place of birthNorwich, Norfolk, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationPolice detective
AddressMilgarra, 93 Read Street, Waverley, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation30
Height5' 10.5"
Weight163 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs M Wright, Milgarra, 93 Read Street, Waverley, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the Coldstream Guards, British Army; 3 years on Instructional Staff.
Enlistment date18 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentLieutenant
Unit name19th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/36/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 20 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll60th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records32
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 18), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
171
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 20 January 1916; disembarked Alexandria, 26 February 1916.

Transferred to, and taken on strength of, 60th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 14 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Reported missing, 19 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 4 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 19 July 1916'.

Note, Red Cross File No 3030103: 'No trace Germany[.] Cert. by Capt. Mills 10-10-19.'

Statement, 3058 Pte E. GLAUM, 60th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 20 September 1916: 'I saw Lieutenant Wright lying in No Man's Land with his leg broken above the knee. He seemed to be alright except for that, not (sic) chance of getting away as S.B's could not get out, and I know he was not brought back during the night. I was talking to him lying on the ground during the bombardment. I was wounded but able to get away. Lieut. Wright was too big for me to carry.'

Second statement, 1690 Lance Corporal R.W. DEAN, C Company, 60th Bn (patient, Horton County of London War Hospital, Epsom, England), 4 September 1916: 'Informant states that on 19th July 1916 at Fleurbaix he saw Lieut. Wright wounded and sitting about 20 yards in front of their parapet. This was about 6 p.m. when Informant who was in C. Company, was making the attack with the 2nd wave. Lieut Wright was in D. Coy. and his Coy had made the attack with the 1st wave. Wright having evidently been left behind wounded while his Coy. went on for their attack.'

Third statement, 4749 Pte J. CAMPBELL, 60th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 23 August 1916: 'Lieut. Wright was hit by bullet when going out of the trenches. He could not walk and remained there. When I was coming back I stopped about 5 yards away from him and a shell lobbed right on him and smashed him to pieces. I went over to where he had been and there was no trace left.'

Fourth statement, 1301 Pte A. FORBES, D Company, attached Machine Gun Section, 60th Bn, 4 August 1916: 'We were in the 4th wave that went over our parapet on July 19th at fleurbaix in the Lewis Gun Section. When we dropped after the first rush we saw Lt Wright lying about 5 or 6 yards away from us. He was lying on his side with his head pillowed on his arm. We did not think him badly wounded at the time - it was a leg wound - but we saw him still there early next morning. He lay in the same position in a dip behind a little ridge, apparently dead. Shells and M.G. bullets were screaming over him incessantly. We do not know if his body was brought in or not. It is a pity he could not have been saved. He was a very brave man and when we first saw him he was cheering the men on as they went past, saying "Go on lads."'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, WRIGHT Ernest Edward
Red Cross File No 3030103

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