Could Scarborough man be Somme hero?

Still from the film 'The Battle of the Somme, 1916', IWM Q 79501''Copyright: Imperial War Museum''Stretcher bearer (?) carrying man
Still from the film 'The Battle of the Somme, 1916', IWM Q 79501''Copyright: Imperial War Museum''Stretcher bearer (?) carrying man
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Could this hero of the Somme be Scarborough man Tom Wright – his son Edward believes there is a strong possibility that this iconic photograph is of his father.

Tom Wright served at the Somme in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was a stretcher bearer.

“When I saw the picture on the television I immediately thought ‘that’s my dad’,” said Mr Wright who approached the Imperial War Museum for confirmation. It does not have a name for the man carrying a wounded soldier on his back.

“I think that’s him.” And there is a strong resemblance.

The Battle of the Somme raged between July and November, 1916. and was one of the bloodiest battles of any conflict.

Despite the slow but progressive British advance, poor weather - snow - brought a halt to the Somme offensive on November 18. During the attack the British and French had gained 12 kilometres of ground, the taking of which resulted in 420,000 estimated British casualties, including many of the volunteer ‘pal’s’ battalions, plus a further 200,000 French casualties. German casualties were estimated to run at around 500,000.

Like many men of his generation Tom Wright, who was in his early 20s when he signed up, seldom spoke about his experiences in the trenches. He died in his 50s.

He was married to Caroline and the couple had five children: Tom, Florence, Annie, Lily and Edward, who was born 10 years after Lily in 1926. After the war Tom worked as a labourer taking up the tramlines in Scarborough and for an electric company in Seamer Road.

Edward Wright, 88, was born in Commerical Street, Scarborough. He served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers from 1946 and spent a year in Hanover, Germany. He did an apprenticeship with Pickups in Sussex Street, worked for an opticians in Westborough and a pawnbrokers in Castle Road. He retired after two years as a Dial-A- Ride driver. He and his late wife Evelyn lived in Mount Park Avenue, Falsgrave, for 45 years and he now lives in Marlborough Road.