Squadron Sergeant Major Walter Alfred Wright


Walter Alfred Wright was born on 19 January 1870 at 25 Latimer Street, Stepney, London, a child of cooper Alfred Wright and his wife Amelia. His mother was widowed soon after, but remarried, to lighterman Philip James Hopkins, on 15 May 1875.

On 26 March 1888 Wright enlisted at London in the 16th (The Queen's) Lancers (No.2826), joining the regiment at Dublin four days later. He gave his occupation as 'oil and colorman'. He served with the Lancers in India from 1890, rising to the rank of corporal, before returning to England on completion of his eight years' service, when he was transferred to the Army Reserve.

By 1897 he was living at 52 Wellesley Street London and working as a police constable. On 17 April that year he married Julia Wells in the Stepney Parish Church. The couple had three children over the next fourteen years.

Wright was recalled to army service on 18 January 1900 and was posted to the 12th (Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers. He was promoted to sergeant on 1 May 1900 and to Rough Riding Squadron Sergeant Major on 25 June that year. He was discharged on 25 March 1901 on completion of his 13 years' service.

At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 60 Bridport Road, Edmonton, London, with his wife, their one surviving child and an adopted child, and working as an off-license keeper.

Wright re-enlisted in the Lancers at Stratford, London, on 31 August 1914, following the outbreak of war. He was aged 44, and gave his address as 4 The Mount, Vicarage Lane, East Ham, and his occupation as commercial traveller (provision merchant on some documents). Posted to the 12th Lancers, he was issued regimental number 10321, and immediately promoted to Squadron Sergeant Major Rough Rider.

On 2 September 1914 Wright was posted to the 6th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry at Dublin, remaining there until 24 February 1917, when the reserve regiments were reorganised and he was posted to the 1st Reserve Regiment of Cavalry at the Curragh. On 24 June 1918 he was awarded the rank of Warrant Officer Class II.

On 11 October 1918 Wright was transferred to the Corps of Hussars (No.72209) and posted to the North Irish Horse at Antrim. He remained there with the regiment until 11 February 1919, when he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. His military character was recorded as 'very good'.

At the time of the 1939 Register Wright was living at 20 Tilbury Road, East Ham, and working as a taxi driver. He died in East Ham on 14 March 1946.