Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Rae Wright
DSO (1918) MB ChB (Manc 1904)
25 Feb 1881 [Wigan] – 30 June 1926 [Madras India]
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Rae Wright, also known as Wilbur, was the younger and only surviving brother of Professor William Wright, Dean of the London Hospital Medical College. He received his professional education at Owen's College Manchester, and graduated MB ChB in 1904. He held the appointments of House Physician at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and Senior Resident medical officer at The Infirmary, Crumpsall.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Rae Wright was commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps on 1 August 1908. He passed the examination held in London for commissions in the Royal Army Medical Corps, for which forty-eight candidates competed but only 30 were accepted. Dr David Stirling Buist MB BCh of Edinburgh University scored the highest mark of 640; the lowest mark was 486 scored by Dr Hector Colin Donald Macarthur MB BCh of Edinburgh University. Dr A R Wright came 19th with 515 marks.
Lieutenant Colonel A R Wright was stationed at Malta when the war broke out, as regimental medical officer to the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwicks. He disembarked at Zeebrugge on 6 October 1914, and took part in the rear guard action fought by the Seventh Division around Bruges, Hausbeke, Ghent, Thielt, Roulers, and Menin. He received the decoration of the Belgian Croix de Guerre for his services in the rear guard action leading up to the first battle of Ypres.
On 31 December 1914, he commanded C Section of 21 Field Ambulance. On 19 April 1951, he was second in command of 10 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) at Hazebrouck. When it was decided to introduce the practice of pitching CCSs on open ground, without buildings of any kind, the 10th CCS was chosen for the experiment, being placed at Rémy Siding, near Poperinghe. He remained there for some time, serving, as Major General Sir Anthony Bowlby said of him:
with great credit, a most zealous and capable officer, and a first rate organizer.
Lieutenant Colonel A R Wright was several times mentioned in dispatches, and received the DSO. At the close of the war he became personal assistant to the Director General of Medical Services (DGMS), and later acted in a similar capacity to the Adjutant General, being, the first officer of the RAMC to hold this position. For his services in these posts he received the rare distinction of being, while still a captain, gazetted Brevet Lieutenant Colonel on promotion to major.
In 1921, he proceeded to India, serving on the staff at Simla, and later commanding the British Station Hospital at Roorkee. Returning to England in October 1925, he was posted Deputy Assistant Director Medical Services (DADMS) to the British Army on the Rhine. He was one of the last to leave Cologne when the army moved south to Wiesbaden. Early in 1926, he returned to India, as senior medical officer at the British Station Hospital Madras, where he was stricken down with appendicitis. He died on 30 June 1926, at the British Station Hospital, Madras.
1 Aug 1908 Appointed Lieutenant RAMC on probation. Posted to the Aldershot Command in December 1908.
Dec 1909 Posted to Bordon.
May 1910 Passed his examination for promotion of Majors of the Royal Army Medical Corps in Technical Subjects. With reference to Army Order 216 of 1909, Majors of the RAMC who had not fully qualified by 31 December 1910, in Subjects i, ii and iii of Appendix XIV, Part I (written), were, after that date, required to pass an examination in Part II (Medical Staff Tour), in addition to any outstanding subject or subjects of Part I, in order to be considered fully qualified for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Sep 1910 Change of Station from Bordon to Malta.
7 Sep 1910 Arrived from England for anti-typhoid inoculations.
Mar 1911 Posted to Forrest Military Hospital St Julian's Bay.
1 Feb 1912 Promoted Captain RAMC. RMO 2nd/Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
31 Dec 1912 Home leave.
20 Feb 1913 Returned to Malta.
19 Apr 1913 Home leave.
May 1913 In medical charge of Ghajn Tuffieha Camp which opened in May 1913. It had on duty a sanitary squad consisting of 1 Sergeant and 5 men of the RAMC.
28 July 1914 Start of the Great War.
4 Aug 1914 Britain declares war on Germany.
4 Aug 1914 Mobilised with
A Section Field Ambulance to Attard Camp in Medical charge of
14 Sep 1914 Left for Belgium. All the RAMC medical officers were withdrawn from Malta and replaced by 1st London (City of London) Field Ambulance.
31 Dec 1914 Commanded "C" Section No 21 Field Ambulance.
19 Apr 1915 Second-in-Command No 10 Casualty Clearing Station at Hazebrouck.
30 Nov 1915 Mentioned in Field Marshal Lord French's dispatch for gallant and distinguished service in the Field.
Jan 1917 Captain (temporary Lt Col) A R Wright relinquished his acting rank on reposting.
1 Jan 1918 Capt (Acting Lt Col) A R Wright was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in the king's birthday honours list for valuable services rendered in connection with the war.
July 1918 Granted the Acting rank of Major.
11 Dec 1918 Relinquished the Acting rank of major on reposting.
June 1919 Personal Assistant to the DGAMS War Office Adastral House Victoria Embankment EC 4. On 25 June 1919, a memorial service was held in St Paul's Cathedral in memory of the officers and men of the Royal Army Medical Corps who had fallen in the war. The number of those who had given their lives had been stated by Lt Gen Sir John Goodwin DGAMS to be 560 officers and 4,091 other ranks. Captain A R Wright formed part of the administrative team for the event.
Mar 1920 Honorary Secretary of the War Memorial fund War Office, Cornwall House Stamford Street SE 1. A committee was established to raise funds for a RAMC War Memorial to be erected in London with replicas in Edinburgh and Dublin.
1 Aug 1920 Promoted Major. Gazetted Brevet Lieutenant Colonel on promotion to substantive Major.
1921 Served in India on the staff at Simla, and later commanded the British Station Hospital at Roorkee.
Oct 1925 Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services (DADMS) British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).
Apr 1926 Senior Medical Officer British Station Hospital Madras.
30 June 1926 Died from appendicitis at the British Station Hospital, Madras, India,
- Entry No: 650. Drew R, 1968. Commissioned Officers in the Medical Services of the British Army 1660–1960, Vol II Roll of Officers in the RAMC 1898–1960 London, Wellcome Historical Library.
- Succession Books Vol XXIII, Returns of statement of service of RAMC Officers.
- Obituary, Br Med J (1926); 2: 229 (Published 31 July 1926).
- O'Moore C., and Humphris E. M., The VC and DSO Vol III from 1 January 1916 to 12 June 1923.