A former Tidworth army officer’s "dying wish" has seen three schools across Tidworth and Ludgershall receive a bequest of over half a million pounds.

The Wellington Academy, Wellington Eagles and Wellington Lions will receive £522,000 over the next three years thanks to the legacy of Brigadier John Wright CBE, who commanded a regiment in Tidworth as well as running the town’s polo club for many years. His brother, Robert, now runs a trust to advance education in the local area, and paid tribute to his brother.

He said: “My brother John was gifted with a personal style that appealed to young people. He was able to guide teenagers to develop the necessary self-belief and reliance to help them settle well into adulthood.”

The money will be used to cover the costs of a range of facilities for students and pupils, including a teaching and learning library, development of a music technology suite and a climbing wall.

It will be given through The Robert and Rosie Wright Charity, who will also be providing support for the mental health charity Place2Be by providing funding for mental health practitioners to support the social, emotional and mental health of students, pupils and parents. Students who face financial barriers to taking part in trips and other experiences will also benefit from support with funding.

Money will also be used to fund two boarding scholarships at The Wellington Academy, as well as developing a community suite in John’s name to provide outreach to Tidworth and Ludgershall.

The headteachers of the schools, which are all part of the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust, said they are delighted with the donation.

The Wellington Academy headteacher, Steven Paddock, said: “It was John Wright’s dying wish for his brother Robert to support education in our location and we are so happy to develop this project and relationship deeply over the next three years.

"We are particularly pleased to offer additional mental health support across all years from Reception to Year 13 as, although our pupils have inbuilt resilience, sometimes everyone needs additional help and the charity Place2Be is an exceptional provider of school mental health support.”

Claire Addis, executive headteacher of The Wellington Primaries, added: “Our school community is so grateful to The Robert and Rosie Wright Charity for their commitment to the mental health of the youngest and most vulnerable pupils.

“By supporting pupils as early as possible with professional counselling, through Place2Be, we are able to provide pupils with the tools needed to live healthy and productive lives.”