Nottingham Hospitals History


Thomas Wright

Dr. Thomas Wright was the son of the late Mr. William Wright, a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. He was born in Pelham, Nottingham, 88 years ago. He was educated at Blundell’s College, Tiverton.

His medical education was received at Edinburgh. He was elected to the Honorary Surgical Staff of the Nottingham General Hospital in 1851.

For upwards of 40 years Thomas Wright retained his official connection with the Nottingham General Hospital, sacrificing immense time and convenience, and discharging his duties with conspicuous success. He had the reputation of being one of the best operating surgeons in the Midland Counties.

Dr. Wright and Dr. W. H. Ransom were the first Medical Officers of the Children's Hospital.

It is pleasing to recall the characteristic ardour with which he threw himself into the volunteer movement when it sprang into birth at the period of a threatened national peril in 1859. He joined the Robin Hood Rifles upon the formation of the battalion, attaching himself as a private to the Doctors’ Company.

He was appointed Honorary Surgeon to the battalion in 1860, rising gradually to the rank of Surgeon Lt-Colonel. He retired in 1893.

As a skilful marksman Dr. Wright was well known in volunteer circles.

He won a number of prizes at Wimbledon. In 1865 he shot with the English team for the National trophy. He was a member of each of the teams that won the Belgian Challenge Cup in 1877 and 1879. He won the Bronze Medal of the National Rifle Association - was the first winner of the Locksley Cup.

He manifested the keenest interest in the development of the Ambulance and Hospital departments.

In 1892 the Queen conferred on him the Volunteer Officers decoration.

On Thursday, February 23rd, 1893, the officers of the Robin Hood Rifles entertained Colonel Wright at Mess and afterwards presented him with a handsome token of their regard, on the occasion of his retirement from the ranks of the regiment in which he had held a commission for 33 years. The gathering was presided over by Colonel Cantrell-Hubersty.

A true sportsman, Dr. Wright was devoted to fishing, a pastime which he followed until quite a recent period before his death. Indeed only in September, 1910 he was out with the rod. salmon fishing appealed to him greatly, and he also took keen enjoyment in deer-stalking. He only participated in some of the best shooting in the neighbourhood.

He was for a long period the President of the old Nottingham Club, and his high character, combined with his genial disposition gained for him respect of all that new him.

A venerable figure was Tom Wright. I once (the author, F. Jacob) had the honour of seeing him when his doctor, Dr. Lewis Marshall  was away. What an opportunity I missed of learning about the practice of surgery and the history of our hospital (General Hospital) from the day of its opening in 1782: but I was not much interested in the past at that time. He was then some 80 years of age, a finely built, tall, erect man. A great fisherman and still made his yearly trip to Blagdon reservoir near Bristol, where he fished for big trout.

The last four Wrights who had been surgeons to the Nottingham General Hospital since 1782, on the occasion of his death in 1910 the Monthly Board expressed its appreciation of their services by saying that:-

“They discharged their duties in a manner that gained them the respect and esteem of everyone connected with the City and County.”

Tom Wright was appointed Honorary Consulting Surgeon to the Hospital when he retired in March, 1891.

History of the General Hospital Near Nottingham

By. Frank H. Jacob.

Pages 203 & 204.