Elizabeth Wright - Obituary

Scottish Fencing recently heard the sad news that Elizabeth Wright passed away peacefully at home. Elizabeth was a major influence in coaching and the Schools committee for decades and with her husband Bob contributed so much to Scottish Fencing.

For anyone in the fencing community who wishes to attend her funeral and celebration of life this will take place on Monday 23 January at 4pm at Seafield Cemetery and Crematorium, Seafield Rd, Edinburgh, EH6 7LD.

Patsy Nicholls writes, we all knew her from Schools fencing, but besides that, Elizabeth was a lovely person. She helped me a great deal, as I met her shortly after the death of my husband and the warmth of the welcome from her and Bob helped me to come to terms with it. Elizabeth was responsible for me getting in to fencing, so she has much to answer for! 

I don't think I ever saw her lose her temper, and even when she was seriously annoyed, she was never anything but polite. The number of people who benefited from Scottish Schools, under the guidance of Elizabeth (and that includes the Committee members) is unknown, but we will all mourn her passing, and our thoughts are with Mark and the rest of her family. Scottish Fencing has lost a coach, ambassador, organiser and all-round benefactor, and would not be where it is today if she had not been involved.


Neil Melville writes,

When the Scottish Amateur Fencing Union, as it then was, gained a new lease of life with the revolutionary appointment of a permanent national coach in the late 1960s, Elizabeth Wright very soon came to be regarded as one of its most important figures.   She was a teacher of Physical Education in Dalkeith and took to fencing under the guidance of Bert Bracewell the national coach,  rapidly becoming an accomplished coach herself.  Since she was already involved with schoolchilren it was an obvious move for her to join the newly formed (1969) Scottish Schools Fencing Committee under its convenor, Neil L'Amie. 

This committee managed all the activities of schools fencing in Scotland, especially the week-long annual championships in the Easter holidays and the selection and management of schools teams to compete in annual matches against the other home countries.  When Neil relinquished the reins of the committee Elizabeth took them on  and led Scottish schools fencing most successfully for many years. 

The Scottish Schools Award Scheme, set up by Neil L'Amie and overseen by Bert Bracewell to mark technical proficiency, was vigorously encouraged by Elizabeth and continued to award hundreds of certificates and enamel badges. Scottish Fencing saw schools teams perform often beyond expectation and many individuals, Elizabeth's own son Mark among them, win medals of all colours at British age-group championships. 

Her love of the sport and engaging nature enabled her to establish a loyal team of helpers on the committee and an equally loyal and enthusiastic succession of young fencers, many of whom became notable senior fencers and coaches in their turn.  

Scottish youth fencing owes an enormous debt to Elizabeth Wright.

There are also some lovely tributes on the Scottish Fencing Facebook page.