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Ben-My-Chree

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Nick T-Jones View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 Jan 2013 at 18:53

After a fortuitous conversation at Scale Model World  with, I believe, Colin and Barbara Huston, I bought Ian Burns's book Ben-My-Chree which  contains several references to my grandfather Maurice E A Wright, one of the RNAS pilots on the ship. Fascinating stuff.

 Anyway, I have dug out some of his original pictures which I proffer for your interest and, hopefully to see if anyone knows more about his service career.

Maurice Wright had a lifelong career in aviation, starting out with  undergraduate friends Nicholl and Dawson in 1913 building a Wright type glider ( pictures in the attached link). The three obtaining consecutive RAC certificate No936- 938 on 8 October 1914 at Eastbourne. These men were friends with (Sir) Richard Fairey and  became directors of Fairey Aviation – M Wright in 1925, after resigning from the RAF as a Squadron Leader. He remained with the company until his death in 1957.

His  career thus spanned from fabric and wire to the Delta 2 and 1000+mph

 There’s a nice picture of a Felistowe too . Wright is second from the left

 Nick Tudor-Jones

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/MEAW1915.jpg

 

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/MEAWSalonika.jpg

 

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/Short184S2291915_zps8c018a71.jpg

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/SopwithSchneider1915_zps47ef5ced.jpg

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/Short184Aden1915_zps895e95fa.jpg

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/PortSaid1915_zps8ba354bc.jpg

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/HMSRoberts_zps95739653.jpg

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/Eastchurch4.jpg

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/Eastchurch1.jpg

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/nicktj1/FelixstoweMEAW.jpg

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Adrian Roberts View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adrian Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2013 at 00:54
Nick
A very interesting set of photos, thanks
 
Adrian
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tartle View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tartle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2014 at 18:26
Great set of photographs. do you know what his association with the Felixstowe was?
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Nick T-Jones View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick T-Jones Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2014 at 11:00
I don't have much info on Maurice's association with the Felixstowe, except knowing that he was based at Felixstowe at some time possibly after the war but his service record says he was based at Grain during 1917-18-  and from a book called "The Clouds Remember" by Leonard Bridgman (stamp inside front cover says P.M.C Officers Mess RAF Station Leconfield - i guess my Dad purloined it!) - anyway Bridgman says on page 128 "--I have it on the authority of Squadron Leader Maurice Wright, who was the test pilot who put these flying boats through some of their early trials, that they handled well and a good deal better than the bigger F.3 with its 103ft wingspan.

Another of his exploits was flying the prototype  Fairey Campania N1000 non stop from Isle of Grain to Scapa Flow.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tartle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2014 at 14:56
Thanks for the interesting information. I will keep an eye open for his name as I trawl the archives at Kew. I am just finishing a book on another Maurice- Egerton who spent the Great War as inspecting officer on the Curtiss flying boat contracts and the Liberty engine.. hence my interest in the Felixstowe picture ( I lived there as a child and can just remember the oddflying boat moored in the water where the container port is now).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tartle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2014 at 15:04
Just found these snippets:
obituary
snippet2

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Nick T-Jones View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick T-Jones Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2014 at 16:38
You'll remember the Supermarine Southampton hull houseboat at Felixstowe Ferry then - which is now so beautifully restored at Hendon?
 I lived in Woodbridge. I assume you have Gordon Kinsey's book on Felixstowe?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tartle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2014 at 18:57
There was a pub nearby across the road from the houseboat; my father used to do the books there once a month and in the off-tourist season take me along and give me a glass of pop and an enamel pot of shrimps with brown bread to eat on the green by the pub. I used to slip off and play on the unoccupied flying houseboat! I must read the book you mentioned as I did not know about it... just got a second hand copy off Amazon at a really good price!
Thanks
PS ... I seem to remember more than one hull at anchor there... or maybe 60 years is too long to get it right?
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Nick T-Jones View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick T-Jones Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2014 at 18:47
I'm glad you've found the book on Felixstowe.
 I was browsing the second hand shelves at Hendon Museum and found another on East Anglian early aviation called  "Aeronauts and Aviators" by Christopher Elliot  published by Terence Dalton of Lavenham (1971) covering aviation in Suffolk Norfolk and East Cambridgeshire from 1785 -1939.

There is a picture of the Southampton on the mud and another of a Fairey Atalanta flying boat hull also moored there. (your memory is obviously not suspect!!)
 This had been designed to an admiralty spec in 1918 but didn't fly until 3 July1923.
It was powered by 4 Rolls Royce Condor 1A engines of 650hp mounted in two tandem pairs.
 It was broken up and burnt in 1970.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tartle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2014 at 00:54
Shame they burned the second one! I knew I had seen the name Wright in my paperwork...
In 1923 there was a lecture to the RAeS by Major Rennie entitled 'Some Notes on the Design, Construction and Operation of Flying Boats'. In Major Rennie's reply to the discussions he says at one point when discussing the crash of the Felixstowe Fury:
Under the control of expert boat pilots such as Colonel Porte, Majors Hallam, Hobbs, Wright and Cooper, porpoising to any serious extent was absent when taking off.
So its seems Maurice Wright also had flown the 'Fury'.
I know the Atalanta as the N4 and for some reason have acquired information on it..somewhere in my files is the reason I did that!
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