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Alexander James Wright, 1980 - 2008

On 26 September over 300 family and friends of Alexander James Wright met at St Mary’s Church, Charlton Kings to celebrate the life of Alex Wright and say their farewells. Alex was born on 4 October 1980 in Charlton Kings near Cheltenham and tragically passed away on 5 September aged only 27. In this time, however, Alex achieved a tremendous amount in his family, personal and professional circles.

Growing up in North Gloucestershire surrounded by the Cotswolds Alex was always keen to take part in outdoor activities such as cycling or canoeing. These idyllic surroundings brought out Alex’s thirst for knowledge about the world at an early age, and so it seemed almost inevitable that he should decide to become a geologist.

Alex was educated locally before gaining his BSc in Geology at Imperial College, London (2002). While at university Alex particularly enjoyed and excelled at fieldwork exercises. The foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 meant that field mapping projects had to be carried out overseas and he spent an enjoyable six weeks on the Greek isle of Samos. Always passionate about his subject it came as a surprise to no-one that he decided to embark on a career in geotechnical engineering.

His first venture in the geotechnical industry was with Norwest Holst in the North London area. Here he learnt the harsh realities of working as a geologist - with drill crews to manage, and inquisitive local residents to placate. After a short period of time working outside of the industry in Cornwall Alex went back to his family home in Charlton Kings and was offered a position with a small but well established geotechnical firm just outside Cheltenham. Working with a smaller, but very busy firm allowed him to gain a lot of experience quickly - particularly in soil engineering and land contamination.

Alex’s personal life was dominated by a love of literature, music and sport. His generous nature and a willingness to help anybody with anything led to his role as an assistant Scout Leader. Giving large amounts of time each week to the local Scouting organisation, he was a popular instructor and this was poignantly marked by a guard of honour from outside the church at his funeral. In addition, a fund to help support under-privileged Scouts take part in field trips and excursions has been set up in his memory called the “Alex Wright Scouting Development Fund”.

Alex’s loss is mourned by his close family, many friends and in particular his partner Marleen, his soulmate, with whom he was intending to spend the rest of his life.

Peter Williamson