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Thomas Houghton Wright

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Thomas Houghton Wright (1834-1908) of the Great Western Railway

1834 Born in Liverpool son of Benjamin Wright, Captain in Merchant Service, and his wife Mary Houghton

1851 Started work for the Great Western Railway[1]

1862 May 3rd. Married in Birmingham to Emma Jane Andrews

1862 Birth of son Frederick George Wright

1871 Locomotive engineer of the Great Western Railway

1884 Mentioned. 'Thomas Houghton Wright, superintendent of the locomotive department of the Great Western Railway for the South Wales district'[2]

1888 Death of his son Arthur H. Wright when his ship was wrecked in gales.[3]

1891 Living at Trafalgar Terrace, Swansea: Thomas Houghton Wright (age 56 born Liverpool), Engineer, Loco Dept. With his wife Emma Jane Wright (age 31 born Saltford, Wilts) and their son Frank Alfred Wright (age 24 born Gloucester), Clerk in office. One servant.[4]

1908 August 21st. Died. 'August 2lst. at Gwydr House. 23, Lammas Park-road, Ealing, Thomas Houghton Wright, late Divisional Loco, and Carriage Superintendent, G.W.R.. Gloucester and Neath, in his 74th year.'[5]

1907 Fifty Years in GWR Service.

The ‘Morning Leader’ of Wednesday contains a portrait an interesting notice of the life of Mr. Thomas Houghton Wright, who will be remembered at Gloucester as the genial locomotive superintendent of the Great Western Railway and the father of Mr. F. G. Wright, of the Swindon works, president of the Gloucestershire Engineering Society. In the article it is stated:—

"One the most interesting personalities among railway men of the older school is Mr. T. Houghton Wright, late district locomotive superintendent on the Great Western Railway Neath. After nearly fifty years’ service in the railway Mr. Wright is spending his retirement at Ealing.

"Beginning his career at the company's works at Swindon as an articled pupil to the late Sir Daniel - then Mr. - Gooch in August, 1851 Mr. Wright went through the ‘‘shops”, and brought out a host of entertaining recollections of the primitive railway arrangements of the fifties.

"Mr. Wright has amusing anecdotes to tell of well-known G.W.R. enginemen of the forties and fifties. John Thompson, the driver of the 'Lightning,' had taken the late Prince Consort from Windsor to London much too quickly to suit his Royal Highness. John was summoned into the presence of Mr. Gooch, who informed the culprit that he had “quite frightened” the Prince. Well, replied the unabashed Thompson he must be pretty fellow to be a Field Marshal if frightened him!

"Mr. Wright has driven royal trains on many occasions when stationed in different parts of the system before his promotion to district locomotive superintendent. He is perhaps the only railway official now living who accompanied the royal train from Windsor to Basingstoke the day of the wedding of the King and Queen on March 10, 1863.

"During his long service the veteran witnessed the gradual replacement of the broad by the narrow gauge on the G.W.R. He himself drove the first narrow-gauge train out of Paddington in 1861."

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Railway Employment records
  2. South Wales Daily News - Monday 25 August 1884
  3. Gloucester Journal - Saturday 22 December 1888
  4. 1891 Census
  5. Gloucester Journal - Saturday 29 August 1908