Biography of Kenneth Raymond Wright

Portrait of Kenneth Wright, 1939Summary A biography of Kenneth Raymond Wright, service no. 445257, one of six biographies of Canterbury veterans of World War II by Kim Newth.

In 1939, Ken Wright was a young Christchurch tap dance teacher with 100 pupils. In 1943 his tap shoes went with him to war. In August that year he danced on mess tables aboard a troop ship bound for the Middle East. Once there, he entertained American officers in Cairo and later dressed in drag to lift the spirits of wounded soldiers in Italy. He served his country by driving trucks carrying petrol and ammunition to supply frontline forces.

Collection location Digital collection; private collection.

Publication information Published

Additional information

Kim Newth applied for and received the Canterbury History Foundation: 2014 Canterbury Community Historian Award after seeing the photographic record created by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers for their nationwide WWII Veterans Portrait Project. These portraits were gifted to the RSA and form an archive of images for veterans, families, communities and New Zealand's generations to come. With the award Kim Newth was able to add biographies to some of the portraits, to uncover stories behind the faces. Christchurch members of NZIPP helped put Kim in touch with some of the veterans they photographed.

The collection includes the biographies written by Kim Newth, interview files, and some images.

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This material has been supplied to Christchurch City Libraries by Kim Newth.