Frances Maude Wright AM

b. 11/06/1873 Southwark, London.  d. 20/06/1960 London.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 26/12/1910 Southwark, London.

Frances Maude Wright was born Frances Maude Egan in 1871 in Southwark, London. She was the daughter of Edward and Eliza Egan. Her father was a painter by profession. On 21st December 1893 at St Mary’s. Newington, London, she married Harry Wright. At the time of the wedding he was working in a mail yard as a timekeeper. He later enlisted during WWI, and in his later working life was a carman. They would have six children. She received her Albert Medal from King George V on 23rd February 1911 at St James’ Palace. She also received £25 from the Police Fund. PC Haytread was awarded the King’s Police Medal for gallantry.  



On the 26th December, 1910, at about 1 a.m., Mrs. Wright had left her house to go to friends, when she saw a man running in her direction pursued by Police Constable Haytread. The man deliberately turned round pausing to take aim and fired at the constable; he then ran on, and again turned and fired .a second shot. The constable was then close to his man, who fired a third time, before he was seized and a struggle ensued. Hay tread called to’ Mrs. Wright to help and asked her to blow his whistle; she came up without hesitation, well aware of the risk, and got hold of the man’s collar and struck him in the face with her fist. She then broke the police whistle off its chain and blew it. A severe struggle now ensued between the officer and the burglar, through which Mrs. Wright still retained her hold on the latter. He, however, got his arm free and again fired; locked with the constable he then fell to the ground and pressed the revolver against Haytread’s head and pulled the trigger, but the weapon providentially missed fire. Mrs. Wright had in the meantime struck the man in the face and in so doing injured her left hand; her cries for assistance were probably responsible for bringing Seaman Barber to the spot. The burglar still held the revolver, but with further assistance he was overpowered. Mrs. Wright is the wife of a newsagent’s carman and ‘has six children. But for her fearless action, the consequences might have been serious, and a most dangerous criminal (for he had previously attempted to shoot a constable) would not improbably have escaped.