Boat is named as tribute to Weymouth Marine James Wright

MARK OF RESPECT: David and Sally Wright with Weymouth and Portland Mayor Margaret Leicester at the unveiling of the rib named after Marine James Wright,

STANDING PROUD: Marines stand next to the new rib

FALLEN: Marine James Wright, who was killed in Afghanistan in August, 2011

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

THE memory of a fallen marine will be kept alive in the community as a special boat was named after him.

A new Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) rib was named in honour of Marine James Wright, who was killed in Afghanistan in August, 2011.

Friends, family and comrades of the 22-year-old gathered for the ceremony at Wey Valley School in Weymouth where James was a pupil.

James’s parents David and Sally Wright, and Weymouth and Portland mayor Margaret Leicester performed the honours on Saturday.

It was the idea of Wey Valley School caretaker Geoff Bright, who also volunteers with the MVS.

James’s dad David said: “We are very proud and also honoured that the MVS wanted to make this gesture to keep his name at the forefront of the community.

“He really enjoyed the waterborne part of his marine training and would go up to Poole to charge around on the ribs.

“Geoff Bright has been quite closely involved in some of the charity fundraising events we have done.

“It’s nice that when this boat has finished its work and a new one replaces it, James’s name will carry on.

“One of things I’ve wanted to do to raise funds is some sort of kayaking.

“The MSV have offered to assist us with that and perhaps The James Wright would be used as a support boat.”

Marines from 42 Commando, James’s regiment, also attended the ceremony along with James’s girlfriend Shelley Robertson and daughter Lily Wright.

Robert Chick, MVS head of unit, said: “It was a nice opportunity to talk about James and keep his name in the local community, as well as making people aware of the work the MVS does.

“The name will carry on for years to come.”

The James Wright will be used by the MVS to assist in its voluntary work, which includes helping at maritime events across the country.

The MVS also supports the Weymouth harbour master with various duties such as manning the slipway, helping on the harbour office, harbour and bay patrols and assisting with maintenance.

It is a charity funded by membership, voluntary contributions and grants – such as the lottery funding, which help buy The James Wright.

Coun Leicester said: “The family were pleased that this will be a constant reminder for the community of their son and the effort he put in.

“The name is very clear on the boat too, which means that everybody will know it is the James Wright.”

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