Frederick Wright AM

b. 04/03/1868 Southampton, Hampshire. d. 29/03/1946 Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 19/10/1917 Camberwell, London.

Frederick Wright was born in Southampton on 4th March 1868. He joined the Metropolitan Police on 4th February 1889, wih warrant number 74225.  On 23rd September 1893 he married Mary Ann “Polly” Cooper in Southampton. He was promoted to Sergeant on 7th October 1898,  becoming a Station Sergeant in January 1904. He gained further promotion to Inspector in 1909 and transferred to “L” Division, where he spent all of WWI. As a result of his bravery, he was promoted to Chief Inspector on 1st April 1918. He resigned from the Police in 1920 after 31 years, and retired to Eastleigh, Hampshire with his wife Mary Ann, They had no children. She died in 1944 and Frederick died on 29th March 1946, aged 78.



On the occasion of an enemy air raid which took place on the 19th October, 1917, a bomb, fell on two adjoining houses, killing ten persons and imprisoning eighteen under the wreckage. When helpers arrived it was found that some of the persons who were imprisoned in the’basement of one of the houses were alive, but the work of rescue was exceedingly dangerous, for escaping gas in the basement became ignited and set fire to the debris above. Inspector Wright, with an axe, made a small opening in the floor, over the Basement, which was in a slanting and. tottering condition, the joists which supported, it being broken, and through this opening, though with much diffijculty, thirteen persons were rescued. It was then ascertained that two children were left in the basement, and Inspector Wright, with Police Constables Robert Melton and Jesse Christmas, dropped into the basement through the opening and searched for the children under very dangerous conditions. In addition to the fumes from the escaping gas, which were suffocating, and the fire raging above, there was a possibility of a further movement of wreckage, which might ‘have proved fatal to all below. The space was so confined that they were barely able to reach the back of the premises. The children were found to be dead. Inspector Wright, on reaching the ‘open air collapsed, overcome by the fumes and by his exertions; but, after medical care, he recovered sufficiently to be sent home. He returned to the scene of the disaster shortly after, and continued his work of rescue throughout the night.