|Date of Birth||November 25, 1890|
|Place of Birth||Ilford, Essex|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Louisa Wright, wife, Keewatin, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Miller|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||April 12, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||25|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||1953|
Edward Lewis Wright was born on 25 November 1890 in Ilford, Essex on the outskirts of London, England. His father William Edward Wright, a gardener, was born in 1865 in High Ingar, Essex and had married his first wife Sarah Jenkins during the 1st quarter of 1883 in the registration district of Chelmsford, Essex where Sarah was from. The couple gave birth to four children, Samuel Edward (1883 in High Ongar), William Ernest (1885 in Fryerning), Robert (1886 in Fryerning) and Amy Louise (1888 in Rittendon). Sadly Sarah died later that year, with William marrying Laura Bearman during the last quarter of 1889 in the registration district of Romford. By the time of the 1891 census the family was living in Ilford, moving first to Forest Gate in Essex and on to Eastbourne in Sussex by the time of the 1901 census. Children born to William and Laura were Edward, Alfred (abt 1892 in Forest Gate), Harry (abt 1894 in Forest Gate), and Laura May (1903 in Eastbourne). At the time of the 1911 census for Eastbourne Edward was living at home and working as a coachman. Also living with he family was Louisa Jane Tugwell, listed as a visitor, occupation as domestic.
Edward immigrated to Canada in the spring of 1912, arriving in the village of Wabigoon in northwestern Ontario by April 1st. His brother Samuel had married in 1906 and then immigrated to Canada, first settling Wabigoon. On 18 July 1912, in Wabigoon, Edward married Louisa Tugwell. Born on 23 November 1889 in Eastbourne, Louisa was the daughter of Thomas and Emma Jane Tugwell. She had arrived in Quebec aboard the Corsican on 5 July, on her way to Wabigoon to be married. The couple gave birth to daughter Laura Edna Louise that October in Wabigoon. A short time later Edward and Louisa moved to Keewatin, Ontario, a small town a few kilometres west of Kenora, where Edward found work at the local flour mill as a miller.
Edward signed his attestation papers on 12 April 1916 in Kenora. His occupation was given as miller and his wife Louisa in Keewatin as next of kin. As a Private with the 94th Battalion, Edward arrived in England aboard the Olympic on 6 July 1916. His wife Louisa, six months pregnant, and daughter Edna arrived in Liverpool aboard the Missanabie on 4 September 1916. The passenger list indicated they were on their way to Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire.
Upon arrival in England Edward was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion and then on to the 28th Battalion, arriving in France in late August of 1916. The battalion fought as part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war, participating in most of the major battles.
With the birth of daughter Doris Gwendoline in mid November 1916 in Leighton Buzzard, Edward was granted a ten day leave in early December, the leave extended to the 26th. In early June of 1917 he was granted another ten day leave, it too extended for private family matters. Edward rejoined his unit on 28 June. In mid February of 1918 he was granted a fourteen day leave to the UK and was awarded a Good Conduct Badge on 12 April. A fourteen day leave to the UK was granted in mid January of 1919. Edward returned to England in mid April and embarked for Canada on 19 May aboard the Cedric. He was discharged from service on 30 May in Port Arthur, address given as the Kenora Post Office.
Edward returned to England in December of 1919, arriving in Liverpool on the Empress of France on the 3rd. During the war Louisa and the children had moved to Shottermill near Haslemere in Surrey. The family was to make the area their home, giving birth to son Tony in 1932. At the time of the 1939 survey they were living in Haslemere where Edward was working as a gardener. Although death records would be needed to confirm, it appears that Edward died in 1953 and Louisa in 1980, both deaths registered in Surrey South Western in Surrey.
In August of 1919 the town of Keewatin held a demonstration to honour all who had served in the war. Badges and medals were handed out to the veterans and to the families of the fallen. A local newspaper article about the event included Edward’s name on the list. He is commemorated for his service on the Town of Keewatin Roll of Honour, on the Municipality of Keewatin for King and Country plaque, and on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company plaque (as H Wright).
By Judy Stockham