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Headingley War Memorial WM 22050


Graham Wright
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IWM War Memorials name reference: 52521, Sapper Reginald Wright, 160393, 227th Field Company (Stockton on Tees), Royal Engineers

According to the Imperial War Museum web site my grandfather's name is correctly shown as Reginald Wright whereas his name is shown as R. A. Wright on the memorial itself. My grandfather died on the 28th March 1918 and his name appears on this memorial. There was renovation work undertaken in the early 1990’s, This was at my behest as the names were on limestone plaques which had been badly eroded. I was delighted that the work had been undertaken but disappointed that he had been given an additional initial by mistake. When I initially raised this I was told that the correcting of his name was cost prohibitive. As I didn't perceive any change in that view I chose to let "sleeping dogs lie”.However, with the advent of WW1 Centenary I have had very sympathetic consultations with Leeds City Council as I feel this situation should be remedied before the 100th anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

My reason for contacting yourselves is to provide clarity as I have not been able to reassure LCC that his name was correct i.e. R.Wright, prior to the remedial work undertaken in the 1990’s. Is anyone in a position to provide a detailed roll of honour as provided to the original contractors in 1921? I have tried locally but I have been unable to make progress.

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Have you found him listed on CWGC?

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Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-1919 Transcription






First name(s) REGINALD Last name WRIGHT Service number 160393 Rank SPR. Regiment Corps of Royal Engineers Battalion - Birth place LEEDS Residence - Enlistment place LEEDS Death year 1918 Death day 28 Death month 3 Cause of death Killed in action Death place France & Flanders Theatre of war Western European Theatre Supplementary Notes (227TH FIELD COY., R.E.). Category Military, armed forces & conflict Subcategory First World War Collections from Great Britain

Soldiers Died in the Great War database © Naval and Military Press Ltd 2010





Full christian name shown






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The CWGC entry is simply R Wright and no Family Verification Form was returned.

He appears to have been buried by the Germans, who over run the area during the March 1918 offensive.

The Australian Burial Unit noted him as "163093 Wright R Wes. British" (presumably taken from the Memorial Cross erected by the Germans).

His reburial was 26 May 1919.

So, there seems no "proof" of any other initial, so far. However, it does seem unusual that anyone would add an initial without good reason.

Perhaps Headingly has a clear photo of the original Memorial, before deterioration, as you must have seen it yourself at the time to initiate the renovation.

There were 11 men from 227th Field Company killed between 25 and 30 March, and only your relative has a known grave.

9 are on Pozieres Memorial and one on Tyne Cot Memorial.

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Besides "Soldiers Died in the Great War" you've got all the usual documents on Ancestry, i.e. Medal Index Card, Medal Rolls, Register of Soldier's Effects, also his marriage record from 1913 - all of these give his name as Reginald Wright with no suggestion of a middle name. I also found a brief mention of him in the Yorkshire Evening Post on FindMyPast:

post-89772-0-07363200-1464792873_thumb.p

Have you tried contacting IWM to see if they can help?

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Attached are e mails I've sent to the Imperial War Museum. Can you let me have any observations, please?

Graham

Hi Colin,

further to your previous e mail I must say I’m a little concerned that you have taken action to adjust your web site with regard to Swage and Reilly. If you look at the Roll of Honour for Leeds (drawn up before the memorial was constructed) there appears to be only one Reilly, Robert F., Rifleman, 550639, 2/16th Q. Westminster Rifles, Died.

see:

http://www.yorkshireindexers/leedsrollofhonour

The name Swage doe not appear, neither in conjunction Reilly nor as Swage alone.

I think you will understand my concern as it cannot be substantiated that the Reilly referred to on the Memorial,

(R. P. Reilly) is the same as Robert F. Reilly which appears in the Roll of Honour particularly as there is no mention of the name of Swage.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/22050

Regards,

Graham

From: Graham Wright <wrightgraham165@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: Headingley War Memorial

Date: 31 May 2016 at 16:07:16 BST

To: Memorials <Memorials@iwm.org.uk>

Hi Colin,

thank you for your response. I think you may find Headingley War Memorial under WM22050.

The War Memorial is Grade ll listed.

Thank you for your help.

Regards,

Graham

On 31 May 2016, at 15:59, Memorials <Memorials@iwm.org.uk> wrote:

Dear Graham,

I’ll respond to your recent emails all together.

Firstly, regarding listing. We have searched the National Heritage List for England and have been unable to find the memorial listed. However St Michaels Church is listed (https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1255967). This record does not mention the memorial and in our experience they are often listed separately from a nearby church. Unfortunately unless you can provide us with a list entry number we cannot indicate the memorial as listed. You can apply to Historic England to have the memorial listed and more information can be found on their website:

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/showcasing/war-memorials-listing-project/

On the matter of the Register holding any historic information held in our archive I can confirm that the only names list we hold looks to be post the 1990s renovation work.

Regarding name ref: 52527 looking at our original names list and the photograph of the names panels you supplied it appears that R. P. Reilly Swage has been recorded as one name when it should be two R. P. Reilly and Swage. I have corrected this error on our database.

Kind regards,

Colin

Colin Sweett

Public Engagement and Project Manager

War Memorials Register

IWM

Lambeth Road

London SE1 6HZ

From: Graham Wright [mailto:wrightgraham165@gmail.com]

Sent: 29 May 2016 11:16

To: Memorials

Subject: Headingley War Memorial

War Memorials name reference: 52521Sapper Reginald Wright

According to your web site you have my grandfather correctly show as Reginald Wright whereas his name is shown as R. A. Wright on the memorial itself. My grandfather died on the 28th March 1918 and his name appears on this memorial. There was renovation work undertaken in the early 1990’s, which was at my behest as the names were on limestone plaques which had been badly eroded. I was delighted that the work had been undertaken but disappointed that he had been given an additional initial by mistake. When I initially raised this I was told that the correcting of his name was cost prohibitive. As I didn't perceive any change in that view I chose to let "sleeping dogs lie”.

However, with the advent of WW1 Centenary I have had very sympathetic consultations with Leeds City Council as I feel this situation should be remedied before the 100th anniversary of my grandfather’s death.

My reason for contacting yourselves is to provide clarity as I have not been able to reassure LCC that his name was correct i.e. R.Wright, prior to the remedial work undertaken in the 1990’s. Are you in position to provide a detailed roll of honour as provided to the original contractors in 1921? I have tried locally but I have been unable to make progress.

There is another possible mistake where no initials are provided for the name Swage whereas you have the name Reilly Swage, R. P., War Memorials name reference: 52527.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards, Graham Wright

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Weird....

There appears to be no "Swage" within the GWGC Debt of Honour database....

The Absent Voters List for Leeds records 550639 as a THOMAS F Reilly......

It appears that the closer you look, the more errors are appearing...

Is there no record of the ORIGINAL Names submitted for the Memorial, or photos showing the Names clearly on the limestone tablets BEFORE being eroded away?

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I have tried, and I am still trying, to obtain the names list used during the original construction in the early 1920's. As I mentioned before Leeds City Council have come up against a "brick wall" nor and they are unable to provide details of the contractors for the works associated with the construction of the original monument in the 1920's nor for the remedial work undertaken in the 1990's.

Any thoughts as to where I should go from here?

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Just a thought, but were the original inscriptions removed or are they hidden underneath the new panels?

Have you tried the local history department at Leeds Central Library, or West Yorkshire Archive Service? They may have documents relating to the memorial.

Ultimately the fact that his name is incorrect should take priority over whatever the memorial used to say, your best bet might be to gather as many records as possible to show that your grandfather didn't have a middle name.

~

"Swage" is an interesting one, it looks to me like only part of a name was recorded, though I still can't find any likely candidates. Perhaps a misspelling of "Savage"?

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I'm not sure who to ask as I haven't been able to find anyone, yet who carried out the remedial work. Any idea's?

I haveI have tried both but without success. Maybe I should try again!

I have birth certificates and marriage certificates. I also have other documents, none of which show the additional A.

Maybe wait for comments from IWM on Swage?

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Below is a response from Colin Sweett at the Imperial War Museum. Has anyone any thoughts on the matter?,

Graham

Dear Graham,

Thank you for your further emails.
I agree that there are clearly concerns regarding the veracity of the names of the Headingley war memorial. The purpose of the Register is to record information inscribed of war memorials. We are not in a position to verify or correct this information. As you have supplied us with photographs and a list of names presently recorded on the memorial this is what we will record on the Register.
Unfortunately unless original documentation can be found on the name panels pre the 1990s restoration work it may not be possible to obtain an accurate picture of what was originally recorded on the memorial.
Over our conversations I can see that you have already gone to great lengths to find original documentation on the memorial. In most cases this information is held in local archives and libraries. Records of the parish council or war memorial committee would be ideal as they will most likely detail the originally inscribed names. As I have already mentioned unfortunately we don’t record information on this memorial before the 1990s restoration work.
Thank you for providing the listing reference from the National Heritage List for England. I was unable to find this previously but have now added this to our record. I note that the memorial was listed in September 1996 which would have been after the restoration work was carried out. So while unlikely it may be worth contacting Historic England to see if they have any record of the work undertaken.
Kind regards,
Colin
Colin Sweett

Public Engagement and Project Manager
War Memorials Register
IWM

Lambeth Road

London SE1 6HZ

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When googling the memorial, there are many sites in which it is mention but all seem to use pics after the recent refurb. You would think that there would be pics pre 1990 somewhere?

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  • 5 months later...
On 02/06/2016 at 08:15, Graham Wright said:

Attached are e mails I've sent to the Imperial War Museum. Can you let me have any observations, please?

Graham

Hi Colin,

further to your previous e mail I must say I’m a little concerned that you have taken action to adjust your web site with regard to Swage and Reilly. If you look at the Roll of Honour for Leeds (drawn up before the memorial was constructed) there appears to be only one Reilly, Robert F., Rifleman, 550639, 2/16th Q. Westminster Rifles, Died.

see:

http://www.yorkshireindexers/leedsrollofhonour

The name Swage doe not appear, neither in conjunction Reilly nor as Swage alone.

I think you will understand my concern as it cannot be substantiated that the Reilly referred to on the Memorial,

(R. P. Reilly) is the same as Robert F. Reilly which appears in the Roll of Honour particularly as there is no mention of the name of Swage.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/22050

Regards,

Graham

From: Graham Wright <wrightgraham165@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: Headingley War Memorial

Date: 31 May 2016 at 16:07:16 BST

To: Memorials <Memorials@iwm.org.uk>

Hi Colin,

thank you for your response. I think you may find Headingley War Memorial under WM22050.

The War Memorial is Grade ll listed.

Thank you for your help.

Regards,

Graham

On 31 May 2016, at 15:59, Memorials <Memorials@iwm.org.uk> wrote:

Dear Graham,

I’ll respond to your recent emails all together.

Firstly, regarding listing. We have searched the National Heritage List for England and have been unable to find the memorial listed. However St Michaels Church is listed (https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1255967). This record does not mention the memorial and in our experience they are often listed separately from a nearby church. Unfortunately unless you can provide us with a list entry number we cannot indicate the memorial as listed. You can apply to Historic England to have the memorial listed and more information can be found on their website:

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/showcasing/war-memorials-listing-project/

On the matter of the Register holding any historic information held in our archive I can confirm that the only names list we hold looks to be post the 1990s renovation work.

Regarding name ref: 52527 looking at our original names list and the photograph of the names panels you supplied it appears that R. P. Reilly Swage has been recorded as one name when it should be two R. P. Reilly and Swage. I have corrected this error on our database.

Kind regards,

Colin

Colin Sweett

Public Engagement and Project Manager

War Memorials Register

IWM

Lambeth Road

London SE1 6HZ

From: Graham Wright [mailto:wrightgraham165@gmail.com]

Sent: 29 May 2016 11:16

To: Memorials

Subject: Headingley War Memorial

War Memorials name reference: 52521Sapper Reginald Wright

According to your web site you have my grandfather correctly show as Reginald Wright whereas his name is shown as R. A. Wright on the memorial itself. My grandfather died on the 28th March 1918 and his name appears on this memorial. There was renovation work undertaken in the early 1990’s, which was at my behest as the names were on limestone plaques which had been badly eroded. I was delighted that the work had been undertaken but disappointed that he had been given an additional initial by mistake. When I initially raised this I was told that the correcting of his name was cost prohibitive. As I didn't perceive any change in that view I chose to let "sleeping dogs lie”.

However, with the advent of WW1 Centenary I have had very sympathetic consultations with Leeds City Council as I feel this situation should be remedied before the 100th anniversary of my grandfather’s death.

My reason for contacting yourselves is to provide clarity as I have not been able to reassure LCC that his name was correct i.e. R.Wright, prior to the remedial work undertaken in the 1990’s. Are you in position to provide a detailed roll of honour as provided to the original contractors in 1921? I have tried locally but I have been unable to make progress.

There is another possible mistake where no initials are provided for the name Swage whereas you have the name Reilly Swage, R. P., War Memorials name reference: 52527.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards, Graham Wright

I have found out much more and managed to achieve a conclusion thanks to all the team at Leeds city council.They have agreed to attaching my grandfather's name to the memorial. I had mistakenly thought he was on the memorial as R.A. Wright but I discovered R.A. Wright was correct and was in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and there is dedication to him in Leeds Cathederal. I would to thank everyone who gave me support in my quest and enabled me to honour a brave man, my Grandfather.

 

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Could 'Swage' have been a badly-written 'Savage'?

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  • 3 months later...

Just to bring you up to date: The Headingley War Memorial is to be renovated and my grandfather's name is to be added to the name plaque. There has been fantastic support from Leeds City Council who are custodians of this memorial.

There is to be a dedication on the 2nd April and The Royal Engineers Association will attend.

I would like thank all members who gave their assistance in the early stages of my quest. It has been an arduous task but fulfilling with a positive solution.

Graham

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  • 9 months later...

Kevin, I'm really sorry for not responding to your post of 1/06/2016 which was very useful but  I have been heavily involved with the restoration of Headingley War Memorial. I wonder if you can help me by advising where you managed to find out the information of his burial by the Germans and subsequently by the Australians before his reburial on the 26th May 1918. Do you have any map references as myself and my nephew's are using the appropriate War Diary to follow in his footsteps in March  2018 which is 100 years since he died. I am also trying to find whether he volunteered or was conscripted. As yet I've not succeeded.

Your help would be appreciated.

Regards,

Graham

 

On 01/06/2016 at 13:58, KevinBattle said:

The CWGC entry is simply R Wright and no Family Verification Form was returned.

He appears to have been buried by the Germans, who over run the area during the March 1918 offensive.

The Australian Burial Unit noted him as "163093 Wright R Wes. British" (presumably taken from the Memorial Cross erected by the Germans).

His reburial was 26 May 1919.

So, there seems no "proof" of any other initial, so far. However, it does seem unusual that anyone would add an initial without good reason.

Perhaps Headingly has a clear photo of the original Memorial, before deterioration, as you must have seen it yourself at the time to initiate the renovation.

There were 11 men from 227th Field Company killed between 25 and 30 March, and only your relative has a known grave.

9 are on Pozieres Memorial and one on Tyne Cot Memorial.

 

On 01/06/2016 at 13:58, KevinBattle said:

 

 

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Just a minor point but we found a war memorial on the street a couple of years ago and in our research to fund out which memorial it was we eventually worked it out and this led us to the original local newspaper report on it's unveiling, in which they listed all the names on it.

Food for thought regarding the original name on the panels which had eroded.

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23 hours ago, Graham Wright said:

Kevin, I'm really sorry for not responding to your post of 1/06/2016 which was very useful but  I have been heavily involved with the restoration of Headingley War Memorial. I wonder if you can help me by advising where you managed to find out the information of his burial by the Germans and subsequently by the Australians before his reburial on the 26th May 1918. Do you have any map references as myself and my nephew's are using the appropriate War Diary to follow in his footsteps in March  2018 which is 100 years since he died. I am also trying to find whether he volunteered or was conscripted. As yet I've not succeeded.

Your help would be appreciated.

Regards,

Graham

 

The information is on the concentration form attached to his CWGC record - https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/560458/wright,-/#&gid=null&pid=1

 

The map reference of his original burial is 62D.SE.W.3.d.40.10 (image from NLS):

 

image.png.b00b11be31cc5fdc8fb310ae1896c297.png

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Thanks for this, Phil. How did you obtain this information? Can I obtain similar information  as to where the Australians reburied him before he was buried at Heath Cemetery?

Your help has been invaluable.

Graham

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The information is from the CWGC concentration form - follow the link I posted earlier and scan down

 

The Australians buried him in Heath Cemetery, where he is now. Don't get too obessed by their Ozzieness - it was simply that the Australian Graves Detatchment that was carrying out the work in that area (see the top of the Concentration form).

 

The form gives the map reference to where he was moved from - the red star on the map I posted (map courtesy the wondrous National Library of Scotland website).

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