Wilbert Awdry

British vicar and author

The Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry, OBE (15 June 1911[1] – 21 March 1997), was an English Anglican cleric, railway enthusiast, and children's author. Simply known as the Reverend W. Awdry, he was the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine, the central figure in his acclaimed Railway Series.

Wilbert Awdry

Awdry in 1988
Awdry in 1988
BornWilbert Vere Awdry
(1911-06-15)15 June 1911
Ampfield, Hampshire, England
Died21 March 1997(1997-03-21) (aged 85)
Rodborough, Gloucestershire, England
OccupationAnglican cleric, railway enthusiast, author
EducationDauntsey's School
Alma materSt Peter's Hall, Oxford
Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
Notable worksThomas the Tank Engine
Years active1945–1997
Margaret Wale
(m. 1938; her death 1989)
Children3, including Christopher Awdry

Awdry was born on 15 June 1911 in Ampfield, Hampshire, England. He was raised in Box, Wiltshire, England. Awdry was educated at Marlborough House School, Sussex (1919–24), Dauntseys School, West Lavington, Wiltshire (1924–9); St Peter's Hall, Oxford (BA, 1932), and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

He was married to Margaret Awdry from 1938 until her death in 1989. They had three children, Christopher Awdry, Hilary Fortnum and Veronica Chambers. Awdry died on 21 March 1997 in Rodborough, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England from natural causes, aged 85.


  1. Belinda Copson, ‘Awdry, Wilbert Vere (1911–1997)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2007 accessed 17 Aug 2010

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