Titanic exhibition is glimpse into family history for relative of ship’s racquet attendant Frederick Wright

PUBLISHED: 09:33 27 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:54 27 April 2017

Matthew Day visits the Time and Tide museum Titanic exhibition. A relation of his, Frederick Wright, served on the Titanic. Photo: Nick Butcher

Matthew Day visits the Time and Tide museum Titanic exhibition. A relation of his, Frederick Wright, served on the Titanic. Photo: Nick Butcher

Archant

For most visitors the Time and Tide Museum’s new Titanic exhibition is a glimpse into one of the most significant of historical events.

Frederick Wright, served on the Titanic. Photo: Nick Butcher Frederick Wright, served on the Titanic. Photo: Nick Butcher

However, for 31-year-old Matthew Day, from Bluntisham, the Great Yarmouth exhibition also provides an insight into the short life of one of his relatives, who died on the ship’s maiden voyage.

This is because among the thousands of names listed as being on board the doomed ship is the one of Frederick Wright - the brother of his great, great grandmother.

Mr Wright was aboard the Titanic as a racquet and court attendant, teaching squash to passengers, having previously also served on her sister-ship the Olympic.

Mr Day, a chef, first developed a fascination with the ship on watching the James Cameron film, and originally never knew a relative was aboard.

He said: “I remember talking to my grandmother about it after watching the film, and she told me I had a relative on board, so naturally I was even more interested after that.

“I started collecting things to do with it and now have more than 400 books about it.”

Mr Day travelled to Great Yarmouth specifically to view the exhibition - Titanic: Honour and Glory - and immediately set about finding his ancestor’s name.

He said: “It was interesting seeing his name on the wall alongside all the other people on board, as it shows my family’s part in history.

“This is a big part of why I am so interested in the history of Titanic, knowing that somebody in my family was there.”

Mr Wright, from Great Billing in Northampton, was 24 when the ship sank, and had boarded in Southampton.

Mr Day said his relative was due to teach a squash lesson to first class passenger Colonel Archibald Gracie - the last survivor to leave the ship - on the day the ship sank.

He said: “When the ship began filling with water Colonel Gracie said to him ‘hadn’t we better cancel our appointment’. He just said ‘yes, we better’.”

Mr Day, who has also visited Titanic exhibitions in Belfast and Milton Keynes, said he was impressed with the display.

He said: “I thought it offered something a bit different for Titanic fans like myself.”

The exhibition is at the museum until September 24.

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