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  • Buried in Serre Road Cemetery No2
Person Details
Cropwell Butler Nottinghamshire
Richard (Dick) was the son of John and Martha Wragby (née Thorpe). His father was born in Cropwell Butler and his mother in Manthorpe, Grantham, Lincolnshire. They were married in 1875 (reg. Grantham) and had four surviving sons and another who died in infancy. All the children were born in Cropwell Butler and were baptised at Tithby Holy Trinity: John William b. 1876, Robert Stephen b. 1880, Richard Stanley b. 1883 d. 1883, George Horace b. 1884 and Richard Lionel Thorpe (birth reg. Lionel Thorpe) b. 1886 bap. 11 October 1887. In 1881 John, a tailor and draper, Martha and their two sons, John and Robert, were visitors in Manthorpe cum Little Gonerby, Lincolnshire, the home of Martha's parents, Robert and Hannah Thorpe. In 1891 the family was recorded living in Cropwell Butler where John and Martha continued to live until their deaths. The four sons were still living with their parents in 1901, William (24) a railway porter, Robert (20) a tailor, Horace (16) a grocer and Richard (14) who was still at school. Also in the household was the widowed Hannah Thorpe, By 1911 only Richard, a tailor, was still living with his parents. John William had probably married in 1910 and it is likely that they emigrated to Ohio, America (record of the burial of a John W Wragby 1937, Mentor, Lake County, Ohio). There is a record of a Robert Stephen Wragby (30, b. 1880) departing England for Quebec onboard SS Royal George on 18 August 1910. George Horace may also have left England for America before 1911 as there is a record of a George H Wragby (27) departing Boston Mass. onboard SS Fanconia (Cunard), arriving Liverpool on 17 December 1911. George Horace probably returned to America before the outbreak of war, but returned to England from Cleveland, Ohio, to enlist in the Imperial Forces, arriving Liverpool 12 December 1914 (SS Lusitania). He had previously been employed as a motor car salesman/motor mechanic (Packard Company) and served in the ASC (RASC), M2/022148 Motor Driver, achieving the rank of CQMS by the time of his discharge from the army. He served at home from 13 December-22 July 1915 and then with the BEF France (attd. RFC) from 23 July 1915 to February 1920. George's service record notes that he had 'expressed a willingness to remain in service until 30 November 1919', undated but perhaps a decision made after the Armistice. However, he was not discharged from the Army until 11 June 1920 having served for 5 years 181 days. He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. George made a successful application for repatration ie paid passage, to America where he gave his intended address as Cleveland, Ohio. There is a record that he married in America and also applied for naturalization. Martha Wragby died on 1 January 1923, aged 70, and John Wragby died on 28 September 1926, aged 74; both were buried in Cropwell Butler cemetery.
1911 - tailor.
15 Sep 1916
610212 - CWGC Website
Cropwell Butler. Enlisted Newark
1/7th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
1/7th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers (formerly 7/6125). Formerly 1/5th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers (5/4373). Both battalions were Territorial Battalions, the 1/5th raised in Walker in August 1914 and the 1/7th in Alnwick, also in August 1914. Both battalions were posted to France in April 1915 and attached to 149th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division. During the Battle of the Somme (1 July 1916-18 November 1916), the battalion was in action at the Battle of Flers Courcelette, 15-22 September. Richard was killed in action on 15 September 1916 and is buried in Serre Road No. 2 Cemetery, France (grave ref. XXXV.C.10). Richard qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal; he was not in theatre before 1916. CWGC - History of Serre Road No. 2 Cemetery (extract): Serre village is 11km from the town of Albert. 'In June 1916, the road out of Mailly-Maillet to Serre and Puisieux entered No Man's Land about 1,300 metres south-west of Serre. On 1 July 1916, the 31st and 4th Divisions attacked north and south of this road and although parties of the 31st Division reached Serre, the attack failed. The 3rd and 31st Divisions attacked once more on the 13 November, but again without success. Early in 1917, the Germans fell back to the Hindenburg Line and on 25 February, Serre was occupied by the 22nd Manchesters. The village changed hands once more in March 1918 and remained under German occupation, until they withdrew in August. In the spring of 1917, the battlefields of the Somme and Ancre were cleared by V Corps and a number of new cemeteries were made, three of which are now named from the Serre Road. Serre Road Cemetery No.2 was begun in May 1917 and by the end of the war it contained approximately 475 graves ... but it was greatly enlarged after the Armistice by the addition of further graves from the surrounding area, including graves from the following smaller cemeteries [listed].' 7137 casualties (www.cwgc.org)
Richard's older brother, George Horace, served in the Army Service Corps during the war. (See 'Family history') Cropwell Butler cemetery, inscription on family headstone: ‘In loving memory of Martha, the dearly beloved wife of John Wragby, who departed this life Jany 1st 1923, aged 70 years. Peace, perfect peace. Also of the above John Wragby who died Sepr. 28Th 1926, aged 74 years. His end was peace. Also in memory of their son Dick, lost in the Great War, Sepr. 1916. He gave his life for his country.’ Registers of Soldiers' Effects: the record gave his date of death as 'on or since 15 September 1916, death presumed'. His father John was his sole legatee.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Serre Road Cemetery No2
    Richard Wragby - Buried in Serre Road Cemetery No2
  • Family headstone, Cropwell Butler Cemetery, Nottinghamshire.  Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2012).
    Richard Wragby - Family headstone, Cropwell Butler Cemetery, Nottinghamshire. Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2012).