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 Gomersal & The Great War                  

      . . . . in the trenches   


In January 1916, conscription was introduced for all single men aged 18-41 years of age and within a few months was extended to include married men.

The requirements for recruitment were lowered to a minimum expanded chest size of 34'' and minimum height of 5'3'' (160cm).

The combination of extended  recruitment drives and conscription meant that many members of the same family were serving in the armed forces.

All recruits had to undergo a medical examination to ensure that they were fit to fight, but almost two out of every five volunteers failed the test because of poor eyesight, chest complaints or poor general health.   

Medical Examination.jpg
Troops of the West Yorkshire Regiment re


Died 17th September 1916. Age : 19       

6595 Private

1st/4th King's Own Light Infantry

Lived : Clare Street, Oxford Road, Gomersal 

Troops of the West Yorkshire Regiment resting in a shell hole. September 1916.

At the time of Fred's death, his brother Farrier-Sergeant Harry Wright, was serving with the 5th Lancashire Regiment whilst his brother , Private David Wright was in hospital suffering from a gunshot wound to his arm.

Both Harry and David Wright survived the war.

Troops of the West Yorkshire Regiment re
Old dirty paper texture (main preview).j

... I beg to assure you of my very sincere sympathy and that of all the officers and men of the battery with you in your great trouble.  That your son died in action, the death of a brave soldier, will prove in time a great consolation to you, and it must be a great relief to you to know that he was killed instantaneously and did not suffer. 

Again assuring you of our great sympathy. 

From 2nd Lieutenant

M H Harland

Fred Wright.jpg


Died 27th April 1916. Age :23          

81869 Gunner

Royal Field Artillery  

Lived : Clare Street, Oxford Road, Gomersal 

Tom Wright-standing.jpg
Fred Wright-standing.jpg

Fred had tried to enlist in July 1915 but was rejected as being unfit for service. He was later accepted under the Lord Derby scheme  whereby those who had voluntarily enlisted would only be called for service when necessary. Fred was called up in March 1916.                                                                              

He was killed in action in the Liepzig Salient during the battle of the Somme and is buried in the Lonsdale Cemetery , France.

Loos British Ceremony.jpg

Tom is buried in the  Loos British Cemetery.

Tom was employed by Sugden's Shirt Manufacturers when    he enlisted at Cleckheaton Drill Hall in August 1915, and   was sent  abroad two months later. He was struck by a   shell and killed during the Battle of Loos in France.         

Excerpts from a letter the family received are as follows :-

At the outbreak of the First World War, the British Regular Army was relatively small in comparison to other European countries.                                         

In August 1914, Lord Kitchener launched a campaign to recruit 100,000 new volunteers to the armed forces. By the end of 1915 almost 2.5 million men had volunteered but more were needed to fill the depleted ranks of soldiers.            

In Gomersal, David and Mary Wright had four sons, Harry, David, Fred and Tom all serving in the army.  

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