Athlete. There is little information about her. At one time, she lived with her family in South Norwood, at 6 Clifford Road, where her father Tom Wright, had one of his cobblers’ shops. She later emigrated to Australia.
She ran with the Croydon Harriers and on 16 August 1930, aged 20, at Stamford Bridge Athletics Stadium, she became the All England 440 yards Champion.
The 440 yard dash, or quarter-mile race, became the 400 metres, one of three sprinting events currently held at the Olympics and outdoor World Championships: the others being the 100 metres and the 200 metres.
2023. Our colleague, Andrew Behan, researched this lady. Ellen Elizabeth Maud Wright was born on 21 March 1910 in Croydon, Surrey, the daughter of Thomas Wright (1884-1953) and Fanny Frances Wright née Milsted (1879-1954). Her birth was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1910 in the Croydon registration district and she was baptised on 26 June 1910 at All Saints with St Margaret Church, Church Road, London, SE19 3EP, where the baptismal register shows the family were living at 11 Livingstone Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey. Her father was described as a bootmaker.
In the 1911 census she is shown living in a five roomed property at 11 Livingstone Road, Thornton Heath, with her parents and her elder brother, Thomas William Wright (1908-1912). Her father described himself as journeyman bootmaker working from home.
On 31 October 1931 she married Frederick George Jones (b.25 September 1903) at Holy Innocents Church, 192A Selhurst Road, London, SE25 6XX, where the marriage register shows her aged 21 years, a spinster and shop assistant living at 6 Clifford Road, South Norwood whilst her husband is described as aged 28 years, a bachelor and printer living at 29 Woodside Avenue, Woodside. They were to have at least two children, Ronald F. T. Jones (b.17 October 1934) and Kenneth Charles Jones (b.1936).
Electoral registers from 1936 to 1939 list her and her husband at 'Wycombe' Kingsway Avenue, South Croydon, Surrey but in the 1939 England and Wales Register she is shown as living at 17 Kingsway Avenue, South Croydon, Surrey, with her husband and their two children. Her husband's occupation was shown as 'newspaper publishing' and he was also recorded as an ARP warden.
Having emigrated to Australia she is shown in 1980 on electoral rolls as living in Yokine, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
She is commemorated as Ellen E (Ciss) Wright on the plaque at the South Norwood Pools & Leisure Centre, 164 Portland Road, London, SE25 4PT.
The GBRathletics website lists the winner of the 1930 Women's Amateur Athletic Association Championship's 440 yards race as an Elsie Wright, in a time of 59.8 seconds, which begs the question, have the organisers of the plaque at South Norwood Pools & Leisure Centre identified the wrong person or have GBR Athletics made a typographical error? We are confident it is the latter case as the Croydon Harriers club history website reproduces a programme congratulating Miss E. E. Wright's quarter mile championship win including the line 'We are indebted to Mr Fred Jones for his description of Miss Wright's performances'. Ellen & Fred were married the following year.
Credit for this entry to: Alan Patient of www.plaquesoflondon.co.uk