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Bures man begins mission to discover more about war veteran grandfather's military achievements for new book





The grandson of a former war veteran, who was responsible for training soldiers while stationed in Sudbury during the 1930s, has embarked on an ambitious project to discover more about his ancestor’s military achievements.

In 1936, Paul White’s grandfather, Frederick Wrapson, was appointed as a non-commissioned officer (NCO) of the 58th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery, which was established in Sudbury before the Second World War.

Having served in the First World War at the age of 15, Mr Wrapson acquired extensive experience in the military.

Sudbury Heritage Centre, Sudbury Town Hall, Sudbury.Paul White is seeking further information about the 58th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery, which was a territorial army unit based in Sudbury before WW2..His grandfather, Frederick Wrapson, served as a non-commissioned officer who trained the unit. Picture by Mark Westley. (41800410)
Sudbury Heritage Centre, Sudbury Town Hall, Sudbury.Paul White is seeking further information about the 58th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery, which was a territorial army unit based in Sudbury before WW2..His grandfather, Frederick Wrapson, served as a non-commissioned officer who trained the unit. Picture by Mark Westley. (41800410)

While based at the Drill Hall in Gainsborough Street for four years, Mr Wrapson trained members of the Territorial Army in artillery and tactics, before being deployed to military posts across the globe, including France, North Africa and Italy.

“He ended up doing amazing things all around the world and I’m immensely proud of him,” said Mr White, of Bures, whose grandfather died from lung cancer a month after he was born in 1961.

“It’s a great regret that I never got to meet or talk to him,” said the 58-year-old.

Frederick Wrapson, grandfather of Bures man who has launched a project to find out more about the 58th Meium Regiment Royal Artillery. (41716633)
Frederick Wrapson, grandfather of Bures man who has launched a project to find out more about the 58th Meium Regiment Royal Artillery. (41716633)

Before moving to Bures in 2010 with his wife, Karen, and three children, Mr White, a former police officer, was unaware of his grandfather’s military ties to Sudbury.

While visiting the village, his mother, Hanora, shared fond memories of her childhood living in Great Cornard with her mother, Maeve, and three siblings, Fred, Carol and Patricia, when Mr Wrapson was stationed in Sudbury.

“I was astonished that we had moved back to where she had lived for part of her life, and where my granddad had served as a soldier,” said Mr White.

Frederick Wrapson, grandfather of Bures man who has launched a project to find out more about the 58th Meium Regiment Royal Artillery. (41716694)
Frederick Wrapson, grandfather of Bures man who has launched a project to find out more about the 58th Meium Regiment Royal Artillery. (41716694)

Keen to learn more about his grandfather’s time in the territorial unit, Mr White began researching its history, but was disappointed at the lack of information that had been documented.

“There’s lots of history about the other Army units, but not much on the 58th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery,” he said.

Determined to discover more, Mr White has launched a project called The Lost Boys, which he hopes will encourage any surviving members from the unit, or the ancestors of those who served in the force, to come forward and share their memories, along with photographs of the serving comrades.

“I’m happy to talk to people about what they remember, or to hear the stories that have been passed down,” he said. “Anything that can help fill in the gaps.”

Highlighting the significance of the project, Mr White said it was important that the experiences of the force were shared.

“It’s the personal aspect that will help to bring the history alive and make it more interesting for people to read about,” said the father-of-three.

Once the project is completed, Mr White plans to compile all his findings into a book, so the comrades can be commemorated in the town.

“I want to re-establish their recognition and the contribution they made,” added Mr White.

To get in touch with Mr White, email wpaul2000@aol.com.