Brig. John Wright CBE
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Posted 30 May 2016 - 12:47 AM
"Brigadier John Wright, who has died aged 75, served with distinction in the Aden Emergency, Borneo, Northern Ireland and Cyprus; he later became the chairman of Pony Club Polo and was an influential and much-respected chairman of the Hurlingham Polo Association, the governing body of the sport in Britain.
John Wright was born on October 10 1940 at Peshawar (then in India but now in Pakistan). His father, Thomas Wright, was serving in India as a colonel in the British Army. His mother Joyce was also born in India, at Gulmarg, Kashmir. Her father had been the chief engineer in charge of building canals from the Himalayas which had been designed to irrigate large areas of the country.
John’s early childhood was spent in Shimla, which he recalled as an idyllic time. It was, therefore, something of a shock when the family moved back to Britain, settling in Salisbury.
After Copthorne Preparatory School in West Sussex – where, aged 11, young John won prizes for his garden of sweet peas, lupins, nasturtiums and phlox interspersed with lettuce and cabbage – he went on to Wellington College. There he had an undistinguished academic career, but was a great athlete and sportsman; in later life he claimed to have run the 100 yards dash in under 10 seconds.
Wright went on to Sandhurst and in 1960 he was commissioned into the 4th Royal Tank Regiment (4 RTR). The following year he was on duty during the building of the Berlin Wall before being sent, in 1963, to Aden, where he was ADC to the British High commissioner.
Wright’s time in Aden coincided with the Aden Emergency, an insurgency against British forces which began in December 1963. Wright himself was at Aden Airport on December 10 when a grenade was thrown at British officials. He only survived because a woman crossed in front of him at the moment of the attack. She was killed by the grenade."
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