LEOPOLD SYDNEY WRIGHT

Leopold is remembered on the war memorial at Northgate High School. Formerly Ipswich Grammar School for Boys.

 

Born: September 1887, Great Bentley, Essex.

Died: 14:20hrs, 2nd April 1916; age: 28. Killed by an explosion whilst on duty at a munitions works, at Uplees Marshes, near Faversham, Kent. Served 6 years & 66 days.

Residence: 145, Claudwell Hall Road, Ipswich.

Employed: as a Clerk, at Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies, Ipswich.

Enlistment Details: Location: Ipswich; Date: 17th February 1909; Age: 21 years & 5 months. Height: 5ft 5ins, dark complexion, brown eyes & light brown hair.

Date of Entry Therein: 8th November 1914 – France.

 

Promoted Lance Corporal – 5th August 1914.

Promoted Corporal – 12th October 1914.

 

Service:

Home: 5th August 1914 – 7th November 1914.

France: 8th November 1914 – 16th March 1915.

Home: 17th March 1915 – 23rd April 1915.

 

Discharged – 23rd April 1915 – Valoular Disease of the Heart – place of origin Blendecques, France – 20th November 1914. Intended Address: Whiteholme, Ellis Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex – home of his father, George Wright, a Mineral Water Manufacturer. Character – Very Good.

 

Rank: Corporal; Service Number: 789.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.

 

Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star.

 

At the request of his family, Leopold was not laid to rest at the Gunpowder Burial Plot, at Faversham, Kent.

Grave Reference:

D.323.

Clacton Cemetery,

Clacton-on-Sea,

Essex.

 

CENSUS

 

1891   Station Road, Great Bentley, Essex.

 

Leopold was 3 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

George Wright, 31, a Cabinet Maker, born Great Bentley.

Harriet Ophelia Wright, 31, born Ipswich.

Eva Margaret Wright, 6, born Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

Raymond Garrod Wright, 5, born Great Bentley.

Bernard Hedley Wright, 1, born Great Bentley.

1 general domestic servant.

 

1901   99, Burrell Street, Stoke, Ipswich.

 

Leopold was 13 years old and living with his widowed, maternal grandfather, aunt & uncle.

Philander Garrod, 86, a retired Master Mariner, born Snape, Suffolk.

Amelia Garrod, 46, born Goole, Yorkshire.

Alfred William Garrod, 42, a Master Mariner, born Ipswich.

1 boarder.

 

1911   145, Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich.

 

Leopold was 23 years old, an Iron Founder’s Clerk. He was living with his maternal uncle & aunt + cousins.

Philander Noah Garrod, 54, a Corn Merchant’s Manager, born Ipswich.

Alice Garrod (nee Whorlow), 53, born Shoreditch, London.

Carden Whorlow Garrod, 24, an Oil Engineer – Test Engineer, born Ipswich.

Roland Burch Garrod, 22, a Motor Engineer, born Ipswich.

Kenneth Philander Garrod, 16, an Official Receiver’s Clerk, born Ipswich.

Florence Annie Baldry, 37, an Elementary School Teacher, born Clapham, London.

1 general domestic servant.

 

Leopold’s grandfather, Philander Garrod died 1907, Essex.

 

Leopold’s 1914 Star, was sent to his father, Mr. George Wright, of Homeleigh, Ellis Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.

 

Sunday, 2nd April 1916.

 

At 14.20hrs on Sunday, 2nd April, 1916, 116 men and boys were killed, with many more injured, by an explosion at the Explosives Loading Company munitions factory at Uplees Marshes, near Faversham (no women ‘Carnary Girls’ were permitted to work on a Sunday).

Sparks from a chimney fitted with an inadequate arrester caused a fire which quickly spread towards building No. 833, a brick and timber building filled with 150 tons of ammonium nitrate. Tucked against the north wall of No. 833 were empty TNT sacks impregnated with TNT dust. A brave attempt was made to extinguish the fire, but the situation became hopeless. The Factory Manager, George Evetts gave the ordered to leave the site. As everyone was leaving the explosion occurred.

The almighty explosion was heard on the French coast, and the tremor felt in Norwich, Norfolk. The explosion left a crater 40 yards across and 20 feet deep. It was the worst disaster ever to occur in the history of the UK explosives industry.

Included in the 116 dead, was the whole of the Munitions Works Fire Brigade. Bodies were recovered from the surrounding marshes and dykes, seven men were recorded as missing and never found.
On the 6th April 1916, the dead were laid to rest in a mass grave at Faversham Cemetery, Kent.

 

Leopold is remembered on a memorial at Faversham Cemetery for the victims laid to rest elsewhere at the request of their families.

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Kent/FavershamExplosion.html

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/16/brian-dillon-the-great-explosion-munitions-factory-uplees-faversham-kent-1915

Posted in First World War

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