Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Henry Wright's Obituary

My great-grandfather Harold Wright was the second of four children born to Henry Wright and Ada Smith. From parish records and the 1901 census I had found out that Henry Wright had worked at the turn of the century as a wagon builder at the railway works in Acomb near York. I did not know very much more about Henry Wright until I found the following obituary in the York Reference Library Newspaper Card Index.

Yorkshire Evening Press 2nd Jan 1957
"Death of Mr. H. J. Wright. Family's Long Link With Acomb District.

The funeral takes place tomorrow at St. Stephen's Church, Acomb, of Mr. Henry James Wright, aged 88, of 121 Front Street, one of the district's oldest residents, who died at the weekend. Last surviving member of a well known Acomb family of market gardeners, who at one-time worked 11 acres of land in the Askham Lane area. Mr Wright was born and lived all his life in the suburb.

Until his retirement at the age of 65, Mr Wright was a wagon builder on the railway. He was also a pioneer member of Acomb Working Men's Club. During his younger days his great hobby was river fishing.

His knowledge of Acomb towards the end of the last century was extensive and he enjoyed local fame as an authority on the striking changes which have taken place in the district.

Mr. Wright's wife died two years ago - just one month before they were due to celebrate their golden wedding - and he leaves two sons and two daughters."

This is an interesting obituary, giving a nice impression of Henry's interests. It is particularly interesting to see that he had a great knowledge of local history. We also now know the date of death of Ada, which would be 1954, and that Henry had a middle name which was James. Furthermore, the statement that the family once owned and gardened 11 acres off Askham Lane is consistent with family stories. The only thing that is a bit strange is that they newspaper is proclaiming his death as the end of the Wright family's association with Acomb. Well, 51 years after this newspaper article was written, my family are still living there! In the next post I shall discuss more about Henry Wright's earlier life.

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