George Arthur Charles ('Sonny' ) WRIGHT


WRIGHT, George Arthur Charles

Service Number: NX48618
Enlisted: 3 October 1941
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Forest Lodge, New South Wales, 6 September 1918
Home Town: Arncliffe, Rockdale, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Injuries sustained in a vehicle accident, Japan, 22 April 1946, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Yokohama War Cemetery
B.C.O.F. Grave Reference: Aust. Sec. E. C. 2. Cemetery:YOKOHAMA WAR CEMETERY
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

3 Oct 1941: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN NX48618

Occupation Force Japan - BCOF Service

1 Nov 1945: Involvement Australian Army, Private, SN NX48618
22 Apr 1946: Involvement Australian Army, Private, SN NX48618

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PrivateService No:NX48618Date of Death:22/04/1946Age:21Regiment/Service:Australian Headquarters A.I.F. HQ. B.C.O.F. Grave Reference: Aust. Sec. E. C. 2. Cemetery:YOKOHAMA WAR CEMETERYAdditional Information:(Served as O'NEILL, Pte. C.R.). Son of George Edward and Alice May Wright, of Forest Lodge, New South Wales, Australia.


'Sonny' Wright was the son of George Edward  and Alice May Wright originally of Forest Lodge NSW.  Sonny had a younger brother named Keith.

In the mid 1930s, George  and Alice had parted ways and George, with his two boys in tow was living with Winnifred (known as 'Winnie' or 'Lucy') Larkins in Station Street Arncliffe. Winnie had a son and daughter named Frank and Dorothy respectively.  Winifred had divorced her husband Jack in 1937, a non-trivial event in 1930's Catholic society. 

The two Wright boys and Frank Larkins (/explore/people/378847) became lifelong friends.

When war broke out it wasn't long before Sonny tried to enlist.

One minor problem;  at the time of enlistment Sonny was only 15 years old.  Solution, he used the driver's licence of Frank's uncle Colin Ross O'Neil as proof of identity (and age).  Colin was only a few years older than Frank and Sonny, and Sonny got away with his subterfuge.  So Sonny ultimately served out the war as C. R. O'Neill.  

He served in the Middle East and later in New Guinea and Borneo.  He deployed to Japan with the Occupation Force but was killed in a vehicle accident aged just 21 years old having served throughout most of the the war and beyond.

He was originally buried under his assumed name of C.R. O'Neil, but the record was subsdeuqently corrected, and he is now listed in the Yokaham War Cemtery by his correct name.


The WW2 nominal roll records the details against this service number as those of Colin O'Neil - due to Sonny's use of Colins licence on enlistment.  His alter ego, the REAL Colin O'Neill, was NX37021.


Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Served under alias of Colin Ross O'Neill