Frederick Henry Wright was born in Wylam, Northumberland on 31 January 1880, the third son of Thomas Bell Wright of Byers Green, Co. Durham, and of Sarah Grace Wright (née Hauxwell) of Great Ayton, Yorkshire. In the census of 1901 Frederick Wright was living at the Station House at Wylam and was described as ‘student for schoolmaster’ for he was then at Bede College. His mother had died in 1889 and his father married again in April 1901 to a Miss Jane Ann Blacklock. Also living at the Station House in 1901 were his father, the Stationmaster, his stepmother, his brother William Hauxwell Wright, a railway clerk, his sisters Jane, and Grace, a pupil teacher who later emigrated to South Africa, and his youngest brother Thomas Bell, who was a clerk in a shipping office. His eldest brother John George Wright was already married and working as a railway clerk in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne: he went on to become the Stationmaster at Cramlington.
In 1900 Frederick Henry Wright entered Bede College and completed his training as a schoolmaster on 30 June 1902. He subsequently worked as a junior school teacher and at the time of his enlistment was employed at Canning Street School in Benwell, Newcastle. In the summer of 1907 Frederick Wright married Elizabeth Mary Byerley, a farmer’s daughter from Grange Houses, Stamfordham. They had two children, Geoffrey Byerley Wright who was born 23 April 1910, and Freda Margaret Wright who was born 28 March 1914. In the 1911 census Frederick Wright, his wife Elizabeth and their son Geoffrey were living at 110 Fairholme Road, Newcastle.
Wright joined the 24th battalion (1st Tyneside Irish) Northumberland Fusiliers, but the date of his enlistment is not known, nor is it known when he was first posted to France. His battalion was formed in 1914, entered France in January 1916, and fought at the Somme. In the spring of 1917 it was engaged in the Arras offensive, and it was in the aftermath of these battles that Wright was killed near Saint Nicholas (Gavrelle Sector) on 31 May. The battalion war diary (WO 95/2466/4) records that they had marched into the line that day at 20:30, relieving the 9th Battalion Durke of Wellington Regiment, and it was whilst bringing rations and water up to the battalion in the line that Wright and C.Q.M.S. Harnott were killed by shellfire. Wright was then serving as Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, and so his and Harnott’s loss would have been a significant blow to the unit.
Wright’s death was announced in the Newcastle Journal on 21 June 1917, where his wife’s address was given as 60 Denton Gardens in Benwell. A portrait of R.Q.M.S. Wright was published in the Hexham Courant on 23 June 1917. Wright was buried at the St Nicolas British Cemetery on the north side of Arras. He is also remembered in the village of Wylam, where he was born, on the war memorial cross, on a plaque in the Falcon Centre (formerly North Wylam Council School), and on panelling in St Oswin’s Church. He is listed in the National Union of Teachers War Record 1914-1919 (1920), and commemorated on the Bede College 1914-1918 Cross, Plaque, and Roll of Honour.