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It is with great sadness that I have to write of the death of Laurie Wright on 9th April 2008. He was in his 80th year.


Laurie was an early researcher in the military vehicle field, in fact long before it was the hobby it is today. As a young high school boy in the early war years, he observed and made notes of military vehicles passing his school on the Pacific Highway near North Sydney. He regularly walked around the 3rd Ordnance Vehicle Park (3 OVP) at Ryde, and made notes of his spottings.


He continued his interest, which later expanded when he joined the re-formed Citizen Military Forces (CMF) in 1948, where he served in the artillery and intelligence for a number of years.


He began researching in the Australian War Memorial in the 1960s and continued this for over 30 years. He was an enthusiastic photographer and had a number of special spots around Sydney where he extensively photographed military vehicles. He attended many Army, Navy and Air Force open days, amassing much information and photos which was carefully noted and catalogued.


Although an intensely private person, he helped a number of overseas writers, in particular Bart Vanderveen, with their specialist military vehicle publications. He never publicised himself or his work, and was quite happy to work away and collect information without thinking about publication.


His two articles for Anzac Steel were about as much as I could get him to write in the public domain, yet he was a prolific and interesting documenter of his hobby.


He will be sorely missed by his friends.





I should also note at this time the passing of another friend, Mick Bell, in August 2007, who also wrote an article for Anzac Steel. Mick had been preparing military vehicle drawings for a number of years and had been producing drawings for a book on Australian AFVs at the time of his death.


His drawings were of the highest quality and his 1/76th scale models were second to none. He made master models for a number of manufacturers, including his good friend Barry of BW Models.


Much of Mick’s work was published in the MAFVA Journal “Tankette”, and at this year’s MAFVA Nationals to be held at IWM Duxford on 15 June 2008, a prize in his honour will be presented for the first time.


I consider myself very fortunate to have known both gentlemen personally for a number of years.



Paul Handel

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