Rank: Private
Service Number: 16629.
Regiment: 8th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
Formerly: 13166, Manchester Regiment
Killed In Action Saturday 15th July 1916 Age 24County Memorial Stalybridge
Commemorated\Buried THIEPVAL MEMORIAL
Grave\Panel Ref: Pier and Face 6C

John Macer Wright was born 19th June 1892 at 8 Walmsley Street, Stalybridge, Cheshire - a Son of Frederick and Alice WRIGHT nee HALL.  He was one of seven children, three of whom unfortunately died, two in infancy.

The 1901 census shows John aged 8 as a schoolboy still living at 8 Walmsley Street with his parents, brothers Robert aged 10 and Thomas aged 4 and a sister, Harriet aged 6.

1911 census shows John aged 18 working as a Cotton Piercer in a cotton mill, still at 8 Walmsley Street with his parents, brother Thomas aged 14 and two sisters, Harriet aged 16 and Alice aged 9.  His Brother Robert had died in 1909 age 19.

John originally enlisted into the Manchester Regiment, he transferred to the East Lancashire Regiment before arriving in France. The 8th battalion were based at Ludgershall, Wiltshire. On 31st July 1915 they travelled by two trains from Ludgershall station for Southampton and embarked for France, arriving in Boulogne at 12:15am 1st August 1915. On 15th August the battalion had moved to Dranoutre it was here that they saw their first action and would have their first casualties.

15th July 1916, the battalion were on the outskirts of Pozieres, the war diary reads:

At 9:20am after a heavy bombardment of Pozieres for one hour, the battalion led a Brigade attack on the village. A and B companies in the frontline, C and D in support. Owing to artillery barrage and machine gun fire the battalion was unable to achieve its objective but was joined by the other units of the Brigade and consolidated existing trenches to the east and southeast of Pozieres. At 5pm a further bombardment of Pozieres was carried out and the battalion with the remainder of the Brigade attempted another assault on Pozieres, at 6 - 8pm, this assault was again held up by machine gun fire and the wire not been cut in the hedges surrounding the village. The battalion handed over the trenches to the 10th Bn. Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at 2:30am and proceeded to trenches in close support. Casualties, one officer killed, eight wounded. Other Ranks, killed 56, wounded 276, missing 33.

John was one of those who fell, it is not known if his body was found and buried and then in subsequent fighting the grave lost, and so he is remembered with honour on Thiepval Memorial - Pier and Face 6C.

His brother, Thomas Bateson Wright also served in the Forces during 1st World War and survived.

Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Dawn Thomas for the information on John's early years.