James Wright

West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own) 2nd Battalion

James William Wright was born in Bottomboat, Yorkshire, in 1890, and the 1911 Census cites him as residing at 12 Crow Nest, Bingley, with his wife Nellie, also aged 21. James’s occupation is leather belt maker for a leather manufacturer. His link to Harden is not as obvious as some of the other men on the memorial but it may be that he worked there, or had family residing there. The 1911 Census cites a Wright family living at 1 Mill Lane, Harden, widowed Eliza with her two children Lucy and Joseph and niece Violet, so he may have been related to them.

James enlisted in Leeds and became Private James William Wright, 21737, of the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wale’s Own), 2nd Battalion. He was killed in action on 31st July 1917 and is commemorated at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, France.

Medals: British War Medal & British Victory Medal.

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres

Salient.  The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back to the Passchendaele Ridge.  The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres.  This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence.  There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.  The German offensive of March 1918 met with some initial success, but was eventually checked and repulsed in a combined effort by the Allies in September.  The Memorial now bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known.

Read more about the cemetery on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s website.

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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