Wrigley, Arthur Edward Lees

He was the only son of Arthur Edward Wrigley, of Wyck Hill, Stow-on-the-Wold, and then Gaines, Whitbourne, Worcester. His mother, Alice Mary Wrigley, was the daughter of James Lees, of New Zealand.

After a year as a House Prefect, he went to Canada and then on to India with a Public School tour arranged by Dr. Rendall.  On his return he went up to Pembroke College, Oxford, to take a degree in Engineering.   He entered the family cotton-spinning business of Messrs. Lees & Wrigley, Ltd., of Greenbank Mills, Oldham.   In 1935 he married Minna Dorothea Sprang (daughter of Friedrich Sprang); he and Dorothea had two children and lived at Southfield House, King Edward Road, Minehead.

In April 1939 he joined a Territorial Army infantry battalion, which became almost at once 41 (Oldham) Royal Tank Regiment (RTR). After El Alamein this regiment became a ‘Scorpion’ and later a ‘Flail’ tank unit, responsible for clearing mines. The unit was thus often at the forefront of attacks, clearing the way for other units to follow. Serving with the Eighth Army from El Alamein to Tunis, and through most of Italy, he then transferred to 51 (Leeds Rifles) RTR, a Churchill tank unit. This unit (51RTR) formed part of the independent 25 Armoured Brigade, along with the North Irish Horse (NIH) and 142 RTR. In September 1944, the NIH and 51RTR in support of 4th Division, which was facing the enemy on the Coriano Ridge.

Wrigley was wounded on September 19th, during heavy shelling of the battalion’s tanks which had just managed to cross the River Ausa.  He died of his wounds the following day, aged thirty-three. He rests in grave XIX.G.4 of the Coriano Ridge War Cemetery, and was posthumously mentioned in despatches.


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Wrigley
  • Forenames or initials: Arthur Edward Lees
  • House: F
  • Years in School: 1925-1929
  • Rank: Captain
  • Regiment: 51 (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 8th November 1910
  • Date of Death: 20th September 1944
  • How Died: Died of Wounds
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner F1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Coriano Ridge War Cemetery: Grave XIX.G.4