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Veteran commando of WW2 dies at 93

By Rebecca Black

Published 07/11/2015

War hero: Bob Wright
War hero: Bob Wright

One of Northern Ireland's oldest veterans has died.

Bob Wright (93) was a familiar face to many due to his work giving tours at the Northern Ireland War Memorial - a job he only retired from in August.

Mr Wright, originally from Sandy Row, joined the Army aged 15, first serving with the Welsh Regiment before volunteering for the Commandos.

He was deployed to Burma in 1943 during the Second World War aged 19, and was later one of the first British troops to arrive in Hong Kong to liberate it.

It was here that he met his wife, Cheung Sui Ping, now Joan Wright (89). The pair went on to establish the first Chinese restaurant in Ireland in 1959 - The Hong Kong and Anglo on Belfast's Donegall Street.

On his arrival back in Belfast in 1947, Mr Wright was shocked by the devastation caused during the Blitz.

He worked a number of jobs including for Walls Ice Cream, Sirocco and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

The Northern Ireland War Memorial hosted an event to honour Mr Wright in August when he stepped down from his post.

At the time, John Steele, the vice-chair of the Northern Ireland War Memorial, thanked the veteran for his service.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Wright described bringing the fight to the Japanese during the Second World War in the Far East.

He described the style of warfare as "slit trenches" which held just two men, instead of the ones that went on for miles in the First World War. "When we advanced we just left them as they were or chucked a bomb into them as a booby-trap," he added.

"There was these 28-stone wrestlers who would chuck men over their shoulders.

"People got very afraid of them when they shouldn't have been. I was not afraid of them - you can't go in half-hearted."

Mr Wright also recalled the people of Burma fondly, describing them as "lovely".

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