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News > General > In Memoriam - William (Bill) Wright

In Memoriam - William (Bill) Wright

1 Mar 2024
Written by Megan Roberts

Bill Wright

Bill Wright came to St Edmund’s part way through the austere years of the Second World War. During his time at the College he earned Rugby and Talbot House half-colours.

He undertook his National Service in the Royal Navy between 1952 and 1954, serving on HMS Triumph, after which he joined the Merchant Navy. He held all the deep-sea certificates of competency, including that of Extra Master, but never actually became the master of a ship himself.

In 1959, Bill married Meg Fisher, and they were to have three daughters Elizabeth, Katharine and Barbara.

He came ashore in 1971 after several years as a First Mate trading principally from the UK, east coast of North America, Australia and New Zealand. He qualified as a solicitor in 1978 and worked in the Admiralty Department of Thomas Cooper & Stibbard, a City law firm.

In 1985, at the age of 51, he contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome, an illness of the peripheral nervous system which caused paralysis and affected him very badly. He spent over a year in hospital and nearly two years at the Royal Star & Garter Home for disabled ex-service personnel in Richmond, Surrey.

Bill became keen on running marathons, when they became popular in the early 1980s, as part of a local running club called The Stragglers. He had competed in twelve marathons before becoming ill.

In 1988, Bill competed in the Potteries Marathon in Staffordshire with a group of fellow-Stragglers pushing him in a wheelchair for most of the distance. Then with about a mile to go he completed the course on crutches.  The aim of this admirable enterprise, which he named the Bill Wright Challenge, was to raise money by sponsorship for the home where he was living.

The incapacity resulting from his illness ultimately brought his career as a practising solicitor to an end, but he was able to work part-time as an office manager for another law firm until his retirement.

William John David (Bill) Wright was born in north London on 18 June 1934 and was in St Hugh’s between 1943 and 1946, and then in Talbot until 1951. He died on 3 February 2024 at the age of 89.

May he rest in peace.

Prepared by David J S Kay

The funeral will take place at Our Lady and St Benedict's Church, Minnis Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9SF, at 1pm on 13 March.

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