Oliver Wright


About Oliver

  • Name
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    31 March 1897
  • Birth town
    Manea Cambridgeshire
  • Resided town
    Manea, Cambs
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
    March 1982
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Farm Labourer

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Royal Field Artillery


Oliver Wright was born in Manea, Cambridgeshire on 31 March 1897, to parents William Trigg Wright and Bertha Janet Wright and had two sisters and four brothers.  The family lived at The Lodge, High Street, Manea.  His father was a farmyard man and in 1911, Oliver was assistant farm stockman.

Oliver enlisted on 24 November 1915, and joined No 4 Depot, Royal Field Artillery at Woolwich on 13 April 1916.  He was with the British Expeditionary Force in France for ten months from November 1916.  On 11 August 1917, he sustained an injury to his left foot when he was buried in a collapsed dugout.  Following hospitalisation in the Red Cross Hospital in Etaples, he returned to England for treatment for a crushed foot at the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham until 20 September 1917. He was discharged fit and sent to Royal Artillery Command Depot, South Camp, Ripon, where he remained until 20 March 1918.  He then joined 62 Reserve Brigade, Royal Field Artillery pending transfer to the Labour Corps and was attached to the 683 Agricultural Corps in Peterborough on 25 June 1918.

Oliver was serving with 41st Reserve Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery when he passed through Peterborough East Station at 9.30pm on 6 October 1917 on his way home on leave.  He wrote his own composition of a song in the visitors’ book to be sung to the tune of “Back Home in Tennessee”:

“Back home in Germany
That’s where those Zeps [Zeppelins] wont be
Count Zep was on his Knees
He thought the world of these
All he could think of that night
When his “zeps” were all alight
Searchlights Shining
Guns a firing
Everybody cheered
The People at their door
Began to Shout and roar
Our Airmen brought them Down
The first near Enfield Town
For they were quite prepared to meet it
When it came down
In a place near Enfield Town”

He also wrote “With most sincere thanks to the Ladies who have welcomed me and other soldiers who have had a short time to wait while passing through Peterboro on their way home on leave.”

He was discharged on 19 April 1919.  He had gained the qualification of signaller.  He was awarded the British War and Allied Victory Medals.

Oliver married Nellie Smart (nee Stacey) on 5 June 1922.  Nellie had previously been married to Herbert Smart, who served with the Army Service Corps and died of wounds in March 1918.  They had two children, Anthony born in 1923 and Janet born in 1927.  During World War 2, Anthony served as Pilot Officer with Bomber Command 57 Squadron of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, which flew Lancaster Bombers and was sadly killed on 27 January 1944, aged 20.

In the 1939 Register, Oliver’s family are living at Main Road, North Witchford.  Oliver was an insurance agent.  Oliver died in March 1982 in Peterborough, aged 85.

We have made contact with members of Oliver’s family.



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