CFHS code : PL171
Parish : St Paul
Inscription : In Loving Memory of REBECCA WRIGHT b Jan 13 1853 d Dec 19 1906 also CHARLES WRIGHT member of the Borough Police Force 1876-1902 b Oct 7 1851 d Jan 14 1930 also GERTIE died in infancy
Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
Elaborately carved headstone, on a pedestal, with kerb stones. The inscription is carved with lead inlaid into the letters and numbers, so is clearly legible. The monument is located in the St Paul’s parish section of the cemetery, close to the south path, and on the left-hand side as you walk from the Lodge to the central path.
‘In loving memory of Rebecca Wright
born Jan 13 1853 died Dec 19 1906.’
“Rock of ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.”
‘also Charles Wright
member of Borough Police Force 1876–1902
born Oct 7 1851 died Jan 14 1930’
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.”
‘also Gertie, who died in infancy.’
Rebecca Wright (née Murfitt) (13 January 1853 – 19 December 1906)
Rebecca was born in Stretham and was the daughter of William and Mary Murfitt. William was a marine store dealer (brick a brack merchant) and publican who ran the New Red Lion at Green End, Stretham, which is where Rebecca grew up. In 1871 she was working as a housemaid at 16 Parkside for the Basham family. She married Charles Wright at St Peter’s Church, Dewsbury Road, Leeds. Charles was in the Leeds police force, but later transferred to the Cambridge force. They had at least five children: Flora (1876-1972), Albert William (1879-), Minnie (1881-1959), Frederick (1884-) and Gertie. The family lived at 31 Russell Street (1881), 6 Sturton Street (1891) and 5 Stockwell Street (at least 1895 onwards). Rebecca died aged 53 years old.
Charles Wright (1851-1930) – policeman – see also Life Story page
Charles was born in Wilburton and was the son of labourer William Wright and his wife Hannah. Aged 19 he was living with his grandmother at East Street in Stretham and working as an agricultural labourer. It was probably here that he met Rebecca, who also came from Stretham.
He joined the Leeds city police force on 27 February 1874 and held the number 1334. We know from police records that he was 5ft 9″ tall with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. He married aged 23 years old. In March 1889 he appeared in front of magistrates when he accuse William Bell of assaulting a policeman. Charles has been on duty in Garrett Hostel Lane and had been passed by William Bell’s cart. Charles claimed that when the cart passed him some rubbish was shovelled over him by William. William testified that ‘he shovelled the rubbish over the plaintiff quite unintentionally and gave it as his opinion that P.C. Wright was the only member of the police force who would have made the complaint’. A witness corroborated William’s evidence and the case was dismissed.
He served in the police from 1876 to his retirement in 1902, by which time he was a sergeant. He was promoted in his last year of duty – he was documented as being an acting sergeant in January 1902, but by August that year had been made up. He held the number 28 in the Cambridge force. After he was widowed he went to live with his father at 1 Stone Croft Terrace Haddenham (1911). He died aged 78 years.
Gertie was the infant daughter of Charles and Rebecca, nothing else is known about her.
By Ian Bent and Claire Martinsen
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