Hugh Wright from Hopewell (Shepody) enlisted in the 26th Battalion on November 17, 1914 at the age of 19 years. After training in Saint John for 8 months, the 26th Battalion sailed to England on board the ship “Caledonia” on June 13, 1915. After 9 days crossing the Atlantic, they arrived in Devonport. At the Sandling Training Camp in Kent, England, the soldiers continued rigorous training until they sailed for France on September 13, 1915. The soldiers of the 26th Battalion bravely took their place on the battlefront, showing gallantry and determination, which earned the battalion the proud name, “The Fighting 26th”. Hugh served in the 26th Battalion, 5th Infantry Brigade in Belgium and France and spent 17 months in the trenches. In February 1917, he transferred to the 4th Siege Battery of the Canadian Artillery and was a gunner for the remainder of the war. He received his discharge on May 19, 1919... on his 24th birthday!
Hugh returned home to the Wright family farm in Shepody and in later years he was the light keeper on Grindstone Island from 1936 – 1950.
Hugh was the youngest son of James and Annie (Smith) Wright. His WWI letters were always addressed “Dear Father” because his mother had died when he was 7 years old.
World War I ended on November 11, 1918 but organizing the transport of thousands of soldiers back home to Canada took months. The Canadian soldiers spent their Christmas overseas but they were given designed 1918 Christmas cards to send home to their families.
Notice that the 1918 Christmas card had “Remembrance” embossed on the front. Hugh was in the 4th Siege Battery so his card had the artillery badge and initials C. G. A. (Canadian Garrison Artillery). The inside message expressed that “the New Year would Herald Glad Tidings of Victory and of an Abiding Peace”.
Posted by great niece, Dawne (Wright) McLean