Campaigners on the march in search for creator of HMS Warrior song

Fiona Poustie the Campaign Director on board HMS Warrior, with a copy of the sheet music for the The Warrior March.
Fiona Poustie the Campaign Director on board HMS Warrior, with a copy of the sheet music for the The Warrior March.

Museum bosses in Portsmouth are appealing to Mail readers for help as part of a new fundraising drive for HMS Warrior which was restored in Hartlepool over 30 years ago.

Fundraising managers at the National Museum of the Royal Navy where Warrior is berthed are trying to trace descendants of Heselden man Reginald Wright who wrote a piece of music called The Warrior March.

Setting sail for her new home in Portsmouth in 1987.

Setting sail for her new home in Portsmouth in 1987.

It was played by the Blackhall Youth Band during a visit by Prince Philip on a freezing March day in 1980 to inspect the progress of the warship’s restoration.

Fiona Poustie, campaign director for HMS Warrior, said: “It is now nearly 30 years since HMS Warrior was moved to Portsmouth and in order to raise funds for its ongoing restoration HMS Warrior would now like to have this march played and recorded, earning money from the royalties.

“However before it does this the descendants of Reg Wright need to be found and permission granted.

“HMS Warrior has tried all avenues and been helped along the way by the Blackhall local history society and found that his wife Doris Wright and his daughter, Wendy Wilson, moved to Chesterfield in Derbyshire, probably in the 1980s but aside from some blogs posted in the year 2000 no further trace has been found.

HMS Warrior has tried all avenues... but aside from some blogs posted in the year 2000 no further trace has been found

Fiona Poustie, HMS Warrior campaign director

“Tim Ash, the chief executive of HMS Warrior, and the whole team would be very grateful for any contact ideas.”

This year marks the start a major fundraising appeal to fund essential restoration works.

She is owned by independent charity, the Warrior Preservation Trust and earlier this year secured a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It has now raised £2.6 million of the £4 million needed to save Warrior.

Launched in 1860, HMS Warrior was Britain’s first iron-hulled, armoured warship and the pride of Queen Victoria’s fleet.

As the largest, fastest and most powerful ship of her day she proved the ultimate deterrent and never fired in anger.

HMS Warrior arrived in Hartlepool in September 1979 from Milford Haven, Wales and over the course of the next eight years was fully restored by Gateshead-based Locomotion Enterprises.

Anyone who can help with Wendy’s whereabouts are asked to contact Fiona Poustie at HM Naval Base Portsmouth, P013QX, or call 023 9277 8613.