Orders, Decorations & Medals - Aust Groups


Lot 5168    SESSION 18 (2.30PM FRIDAY 20TH APRIL)    Orders, Decorations & Medals - Aust Groups

Estimate $30,000
SOLD $32,000

FAMILY GROUP: (Brother 1) Group of Nine: Distinguished Flying Cross (GVR); 1914-15 Star; British War Medal 1914-18; Victory Medal 1914-19; 1939-45 Star; Pacific Star; War Medal 1939-45 with MID; Australia Service Medal 1939-45; Efficiency Medal (GVIR Indiae.Imp) with Australia suspender. Capt. J.W.Wright A.F.C., A.I.F. on first medal, 1614 Pte J.W.Wright. 12/L.H.Rgt A.I.F. on second medal, Captain J.W.Wright. A.I.F. on third and fourth medals, NX12233 Lt-Col. J.W.Wright 2/15 Fd. Regt. A.I.F. on fifth and sixth medals, NX12233 J.W.Wright on seventh and eighth medals, NX12233 Lt.Col.J.W.Wright. A.I.F. on ninth medal. First, fifth, sixth and ninth medals engraved, all other medals impressed. (Brother 2) Trio: 1914-15 Star; British War Medal 1914-18; Victory Medal 1914-19. 1615 Pte G.P.Wright. 12/L.H.Rgt. A.I.F. Impressed. Both groups swing mounted, some ribbons damaged on first group, very fine, second group nearly extremely fine.

Together with,
1. Documents named for J.W.Wright including Royal Flying Corps, Central Flying School Graduation Certificate; letter dated 19th June 1919 offering congratulations on award of DFC and signed personally by W.R.Birdwood; Mentioned in Despatch certificate; letter dated 5 Sep 46 offering congratulations on award of MID and signed personally by (Maj-Gen) C.A.Callaghan.
2. A massive scrap book containing a most comprehensive store of newspaper cuttings, letters, official documents, special dinner menus, greeting cards and other items related to the Wright family, all glued into a large hard covered book, noted one document dated 10th November 1954 named to Lieutenant Colonel John W.Wright, DFC requesting all facilities and courtesies be afforded to him during an overseas tour and signed personally by Prime Minister Robert Menzies, also a dinner menu bearing signature of G.Jones, later Air Marshall Sir George Jones KBE, CB, DFC who served with J.W.Wright and became his lifelong friend, another menu signed by (Captain Sir) Ross (Macpherson) Smith (KBE, MC & Bar, DFC & 2 Bars, AFC and (Lieutenant Sir) Keith (Macpherson) Smith (KBE), another item is a b&w drawing by F.Werner of Captain F.E. de Groot of the New Guard organisation who cut the tape at the Sydney Harbour Bridge Opening in 1932 and was arrested, the uniformed image on a book page (17.5x26cm) as published and is signed personally in ink, 'F.E. de Groot/Capt'.
3. Army Book 136 and written on cover, 'Australian Flying Corps "A" Flight Pilots Log Book commence 10/8/17' and inside hand-written details of all service and operations to 23/6/18; also Training Brigade Transfer Card for history of training to be pilot; typed accounts of training at Queen's College and later flying ops as per extracts from letters written by J.W.Wright, 27pp, including an account of the wild 'rag' that ensued in camp following news of Captain Cobby's DSO award.
4. Soldier's WWI Pay Books (2) for J.W.Wright; Flying Instruction booklet; The British Soldier's Colloquial Arabic Pocket Guide second edition, written on cover, 'Aerodrome Camp Heliopolis Nov 12 1915'.
5. Silver ID bracelet inscribed, 'J.W.Wright./R.F.C./C. of E.' and on the reverse, 'NX12233/A.I.F.', hallmarked for London 1916 by maker 'HJH' (Henry James Hulbert).
6. RAF pilot's embroidered wings (KC), AFC pilot's embroidered wings (KC) (2, one a copy) and a very worn AFC colour patch.
7. Small photo frame with dual, oval photos of J.W.Wright in uniform and in flying gear, with miniature DFC affixed at top centre.
8. Small photo frame with photo of G.P.Wright wearing uniform and slouch hat with Light Horse plume.
9. Photo album containing approx 210 b&w photos of WWI service for J.W.Wright, mostly featuring activities with AFC and most photos with descriptive details below.
10. Bronze plaque (approx 12x16cm) in timber frame (approx 23x27.5cm), featuring Trooper John W.Wright 12ALH in uniform and cast from a mould by Arthur H.Wright (architect) just prior to departure for Middle East 1915; also coloured, plaster version mounted on raised timber wall hanging display board (approx 17.5x25cm).
11. Waltham sterling silver full Hunter pocket watch (not working).
12. Small and medium RFC buttons made into a cufflink and replica AIF unit colour patch.
13. The '14-'18 Journal published by The Australian Society of World War I Aero Historians 2005, soft cover, foolscap size pp102, includes 3pp with photos re Capt J W Wright DFC.
14. 'From Horses To Horsepower' From The Light Horse To The Flying Corps Experiences In World War I by John W.Wright, foolscap size 45pp typed and bound in clear covered folder (2 copies).
15. Japanese ID tag for POW, impressed with service number NX12233.
16. POW camp-made arm bracelet featuring on oval aluminium (?) shield on which is fitted a crown above an officer's pip above an Australia title (Lt-Col rank badge), attached to a thin aluminium (?) band on the side of which is inscribed, 'NX12233; and then 'Lt. Col. J.W.Wright/A.I.F.'
17. POW handwritten journal 5Feb-30Aug1944, with cardboard cover and inside is a note that reads, 'This notebook was made in CHANGI, Singapore Island on 3 Feb 1944 and is a sample of Bookbinding done by the Education Dept., No 2 Conv Depot A.I.F.'; personal note book used in Malaya; Soldier's Pay Book for NX12233 J.W.Wright .
18. Portrait photo in uniform wearing pilot's wings of Brian Richard Wright, RAAF, J.W.Wright's son, together with embroidered RAAF pilot's wings (KC); Canada's Air Heritage booklet, inside cover is written, 'Congratulations Wright May you be, even greater than these. 16/4/43' and signed by G.N.Irwin, CO, No.14, S.F.T.S., R.C.A.F.; Tee Emm Number 7, October 1941, a small journal issued by Department of the Air Member for Training Air Ministry, London.
19. Books, many mentioning J.W.Wright and include, Australian Airmen, History of the 4th Squadron Australian Flying Corps compiled by Lieut. E.J.Richards; Men & Machines Of The Australian Flying Corps 1914-19 by Charles Schaedel; High Adventure, The Autobiography of Australia's Most Famous W.W.I Flying Ace, A.H.Cobby D.S.O., D.F.C. & Bars; Light Horse The Story of Australia's Mounted Troops by Elyne Mitchell; Gunners In The Jungle by Cliff Whitelocke; A Doctor's War by Rowley Richards (features fall of Singapore and life as a POW); The Past Has No Future by John W.Wright, a massive 436pp self published story based on actual events in the Malayan War of 1941/2 and dedicated to his son, Brian R.Wright; and a short story titled 'Unofficial Belligerence' by J.W.Wright, typed foolscap 10pp; "Dinner At Brigade" A Singapore Story published in Reveille Feb 1971 (LT-Col J.W.Wright DFC won 1st prize for this story in the 1970 RSL Story Writing Competition).

Special Presentation Photo of 68 Sqn AFC
A large photo (28.5x24cm) under glass in a timber frame (47.5x38.5cm), titled at top in blue calligraphic lettering, '68th Sqndn A.F.C. Queen's College, Oxford, July 1917' and with crest of the college in colour, below the photo in blue ink is printed names of the cadets in the photo and in right corner is calligraphically written, 'Major W.O.Watt with compliments'. On the reverse is written the following,

'After the death of Colonel Oswald Watt, his brother, Ernest Watt gave this photo to me because of my association with his brother during our training period at Grantham (Harlaxton Airfield, Lincolnshire) after we arrived in England from Middle East in January 1917.

The photo is of the group of Cadets who were sent to Oxford University (the 1st Group to go from the Sqd.) 68th Sqd R.F.C. as we were then numbered, later to be numbered as the 2nd Squadron A.F.C. part of the Australian Wing of the R.F.C., later the R.A.F.

It includes 8 from 12th A.L.H.Regt my brother George & myself Frank Power, Alec & Barney Clark, Pengilley, Reg King & Garth Elwyn. We all threw-in for the cost of the photographer and it was subsequently presented to Major Oswald Watt, the C.O. of the 68th Sqd. He later became Colonel and Wing Commander of the Training Wing of the A.F.C. located at Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England. George was sent there when he failed to pass his test for becoming a pilot owing to colour blindness.

Read all about this in my screed from "Horses to Horsepower".

(signed) John William Wright, 1/11/75, 10/1 Mann St, Gosford.'

This signature matches that on the WWI enlistment papers for John William Wright.

(Lt-Colonel Oswald Watt was an outstanding aviator and commanding officer. After the war he was invited to join many businesses and even to enter parliament. Unfortunately he drowned at Bilgola Beach near Newport on Sydney's northern beaches on 21 May 1921. One of his legacies was a bequest to the Australian Aero Club to establish the Oswald Watt Gold Medal for outstanding achievement in Australian aviation. Past winners have included such famous aviators as Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Bert Hinkler.)

DFC: LG 3/6/1919, p7032; CAG 6/10/1919, p1465, to Lieut (Temp Capt) J.W.Wright 4 Sqn AFC.

Recommendation: This officer has been a consistent and brilliant patrol leader. He has in all lead 30 patrols over the lines and himself destroyed 4 machines. At all times he has set a fine example to other Pilots by his determination and fearless leadership.

MID: LG 1/8/1946, p3922; CAG 12/9/1946, p2475, to Lt-Col J.W.Wright 2/15 Field Regt in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malaya in 1942.

Brothers, John and George Wright, volunteered for the AIF as reinforcements for 12 ALH. They joined on the same day, 13 August 1915, at Holdsworthy, NSW and embarked for overseas on 2 October 1915. They both later served with the Australian Flying Corps, first as Air Mechanics and then John progressed to be a pilot but unfortunately, George could not progress as he was suffering from colour blindness. Their service details are listed below.

Brother 1: John William Wright, factory manager, age 22, born at Quirindi, NSW on 04Jan1893, moved to Bathurst, NSW in 1898, to Hobart, Tasmania in 1901 and to Wahroonga, NSW in 1908; educated at the Hutchins School, Hobart, Tasmania from 1901 to 1908 and at Wahroonga College, NSW from 1909 to 1911; (WWI) Enl.13Aug1915 at Holdsworthy, NSW in 12ALH Reinforcement with previous service in School Cadets; Emb.02Oct1915; Trf to 68 Sqn AFC 15Dec1915; Appt'd 2nd Air Mechanic 19Dec1916, 1st Air Mechanic 01May1917, 2nd Lt 29Sep1917, Lt (Flying Officer-Pilot) 29Dec1917; Trf to 4 Sqn AFC in the field, France 28Feb1918; WIA 26Mar1918 GSW to right buttock, France (shot by machine gun fire from the ground while strafing German trenches. Flew back to base erratically and managed to land before fainting in the cockpit from loss of blood.); Appt'd Captain (A) 24Sep1918, and then Captain & Flight Commander 24Sep1918; RTA 06May1919; Appt Terminated 11Aug1919. (WWII) Serving with AMF in RAA, volunteered for AIF 15Aug1939; appointed Major, 2/15 Field Artillery Regt 01Jul1940; Emb.17Sep1941; Appt Lt-Colonel and placed in command of 2/15 Field Artillery Regt, 11Nov1941, with Australian 8th Division in Malaya; 14Feb1942 Japanese bombers attacked and Lt-Col Wright was blown through the door of a bombproof shelter at Regimental HQs on Tanglin Hill. Luckily he only suffered a lacerated knee that was stitched up by Dr Rowley Richards (see above book, A Doctor's War); on fall of Singapore 15Feb1942 he became POW in Changi Prison; recovered from Changi 05Sep1945; arrived Sydney 18Sep1945; a 'Welcome Home Dinner' was held for Col Wright in The Gloucester Room of Hotel Australia on 22Nov1945; Disch.20May1948; Died 03Nov1986.

Brother 2: George Plant Wright, clerk, age 18, born at Bathurst, NSW; Enl.13Aug1915 at Holdsworthy, NSW in 12ALH Reinforcement with previous service in NSW Lancers; Emb.02Oct1915; 10Dec1916 Attch'd to 67 Aust Sqn RFC for 'Trade Test'; Passed test and transferred from 12LH to 68 Sqn AFC as 2nd Air Mechanic 14Dec1916; granted leave from 18Apr-17Oct1919 without pay; RTA 01Jul1919 at own expense; Disch.23Aug1919.

With copies of both service files, other research and numerous photos in addition to those referred to above.

Please note: No mail out for this lot, collection only from the Sydney Office or by other arrangement.

Estimate / sale price does not include buyer's premium (currently 22% including GST) which is added to hammer price. All bids are executed on the understanding that the Terms & Conditions of sale have been read and accepted. For information on grading and estimates please refer to the Buying at Auction advice.

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