Michael Wright, a native of Ulster, who joined the Army in 1946, died suddenly after a stroke on 8 April 1995.

He was commissioned from Sandhurst into The Royal Artillery in 1948, with whom he served in the UK, the Middle East and BAOR, transferring to the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars in 1957.

He stayed with the Regiment which had become The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars until his retirement in 1968, throughout which time he was in ‘B’ Squadron and commanded it in Aden and Malaya.

In December 1962 a rebellion broke out in Brunei, on the island of Borneo, and Michael’s squadron was sent to support a force of Ghurkas, Royal Marines and Queen’s Own Highlanders to put it down. a task that they accomplished. From there they moved to Kuching, in Sarawak, to continue on active service in what had become the confrontation with becoming the administrative officer of Queen’s University Belfast Indonesia.

A year later Michael was posted to his homeland to Contingent. This lasted until 1967, and he decided to leave the Army on premature retirement the following year to farm in Ulster.

For the next 11 years, he worked and lived with his wife and family in Crossmaglen, a ‘no man’s land” in the troubles between Ulster and the Republic. There were occasions during those turbulent days when he could not cross the farmyard due to the crossfire knew how The Major, as he was popularly known to loyalists between the Army and the IRA, and it was mystifying to all and terrorists alike, could possibly survive. But thanks to his qualities of calm phlegmatic courage he did, and successfully latter became too dangerous due to the threat of setting off a mine indulged his sporting hobbies of shooting and hunting until the or a booby-trap.

After the death of his father in 1979, the family returned to Gilford Castle on the outskirts of Belfast. There he and Christine entertained generously and the large old rambling house was always full of people and laughter. There was nothing Michael liked better than entertaining his old Army friends and young officers. He fulfilled his civil responsibilities with enthusiastic energy, being a JP in County Armagh and County Down throughout his years in Ulster, and being elected a Deputy Lieutenant of County Down in 1980.

He was Regimental Secretary of The Royal for nearly 12 years. To all these activities he brought assurance to, Irish Regiment and ran the museum of the Irish Fusiliers in Armagh quiet humour and quick wit endeared him to his many friends, who will remember him as the epitome of all that is best in the regimental officer, and by whom he will be sadly missed.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  2. Aden and The Persian Gulf 1961
  3. Malaya and Borneo 1962-64