Page 144 - The Chapka 2016
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 The prospect of Brooke opening the cupboard door to hang up his mess kit and the ram bursting out had them in stitches. Per- haps, they conjectured, the unfortunate officer would conclude that it was all a hallucination and that he had simply drunk more than was good for him.
The plan went ahead but unfortunately the ram broke out of the cupboard and spent several hours venting its frustration on the bedding and the furniture. When Brooke returned, there was an explosion of rage. The subalterns spent the night with brooms, mops and buckets of water before returning the creature to its more familiar surroundings. Brooke’s anger, however, quickly subsided and he took no action against them.
After the war, he could have gone up to Trinity College, Cam- bridge, to read Mathematics but he felt that he was too grown up to live as an undergraduate. In 1950, he moved to the War Office as GSO3 and subsequently became brigade major at the HQ of an armoured brigade.
From 1958 to 1961, he was at GHQ Middle East Land Forces in Cyprus first as DAA & QMG and then as Military Assistant to the Commander-in-Chief. Following a staff appointment at the MOD, he assumed command of 16/5L at Tidworth in 1966. He was offered command of at least one other regiment but he only wanted to command 16/5L. As a result, command came very late and, arguably, this may have damaged his future career pros- pects. He had further staff jobs at Allied Forces Central Europe and HQ UK Land Forces before returning to the MOD. In 1977, he retired from the Army.
Brooke was a keen follower of flat racing where betting was part of the attraction. He was a good poker player and also enjoyed spending time at the gaming tables in the south of France. Art was another of his passions and his house in Chelsea was full of fine pictures. Computers were a great interest and his large col- lection contained models from early days until the present.
Henry Brooke looked after his mother devotedly for the last 19 years of her life. He was an outstanding Colonel of the 16th/5th Lancers and served from 1979 to 1985. His Regiment was the central feature in his life and he never married. He died on Feb- ruary 4.
Brigadier J A Wright CBE
Brigadier John Wright, who has died aged 75, served with distinction in the Aden Emergency, Borneo, Northern Ireland and Cyprus; he later became the chair- man of Pony Club Polo and was an in- fluential and much-respected chairman of the Hurlingham Polo Association, the governing body of the sport in Britain.
John Wright was born on October 10 1940 at Peshawar (then in India but now in Pakistan). His father, Thomas Wright, was serving in India as a colonel in the British Army. His mother Joyce was also born in India, at Gulmarg, Kashmir. Her father had been the chief engineer in charge of building canals from the Himalayas which had been designed to irrigate large areas of the country.
John’s early childhood was spent in Shimla, which he recalled as an idyllic time. It was, therefore, something of a shock when the family moved back to Britain, settling in Salisbury.
After Copthorne Preparatory School in West Sussex – where, aged 11, young John won prizes for his garden of sweet peas, lupins, nasturtiums and phlox interspersed with lettuce and cab- bage – he went on to Wellington College. There he had an undis-
tinguished academic career, but was a great athlete and sports- man; in later life he claimed to have run the 100 yards dash in under 10 seconds. Wright went on to Sandhurst and in 1960 he was commissioned into the 4th Royal Tank Regiment (4 RTR). The following year he was on duty during the building of the Berlin Wall before being sent, in 1963, to Aden, where he was ADC to the British High commissioner.
Wright’s time in Aden coincided with the Aden Emergency, an insurgency against British forces which began in December 1963. Wright himself was at Aden Airport on December 10 when a grenade was thrown at British officials. He only survived be- cause a woman crossed in front of him at the moment of the attack. She was killed by the grenade.
Between 1964 and 1967 he served with 4RTR in Aden and then in the Borneo campaign during the Confrontation with Indone- sia, taking part in Operation Claret in Sarawak. This was jungle warfare at its most basic and he spent days on end fighting in- surgents with no communication to HQ and no food or water.
From 1967 to 1969 he served with the Junior Leader Regiment at RAC, Bovington, before being seconded to the Royal Hong Kong Regiment, where he remained until 1971.
Thereafter Wright served with the 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers (16/5L) and his staff appointments included command- ing A Squadron 16/5L in Northern Ireland from 1971 to 1972. Between 1974 and 1976, he commanded B Squadron 16/5L, a period which included service in Cyprus in 1974 with UN Peace- keeping Force during the Turkish invasion, notably when his squadron liberated Nicosia airport.
From 1975 to 1977 he was an Exchange Officer at the US Armor School, Fort Knox, USA, after which he spent two years in com- mand of C Squadron 16/5L with the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).
Following two years as AQMG at HQ UK Land Forces and Command of 16/5L from 1982-1984, Wright held a number of appointments with HQ UK Land Forces, Wilton, and with the Joint Planning Staff at the MOD.
Wright came to polo while he was commanding his regiment at Tidworth; he loved the game, despite having never been a great player himself. He was chairman of Pony Club Polo for eight years from 1990 to 1998, and he inspired children from many different backgrounds to take up polo.
On his retirement from the Army in 1995, Wright took over Tid- worth Polo Club. During his time there the membership grew from 65 to 160, the most of any club in England. Wright oversaw the completion of the building of stables outside the Tidworth garrison and added an indoor arena. His final project there was the addition of a large outdoor arena.
In 2002, following his success with the Pony Club and at Tid- worth, Wright was elected as a steward of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), and was chairman of the Disciplinary Com- mittee for eight years. Having handed over Tidworth Polo Club in 2012, he was elected as chairman of the HPA.
He was a fierce advocate of low goal polo but enjoyed meeting up again with the England Squad players who had come up through the Pony Club during his time there.
Fiercely loyal to Queen and country, Wright was particularly proud to have organised the Guidon parade for his Colonel-in- Chief (the Queen), when he positioned the Scarlet Lancers on horseback standing motionless on the hills of Salisbury plan.

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