Rev. Wilbert Vere Awdry OBE (1911 - 1997) was the author of the popular series of children's books, "Thomas the Tank Engine". He studied for a period at St. Peter's Hall (now St. Peter's College) before completing his studies in Wycliffe Hall. Rev. Awdry created the stories to entertain his son Christopher whilst he was ill with the measles but eventually in May 1945 the first book was published and Thomas the Tank Engine followed in 1946.
He was awarded an OBE in 1996, and he died peacefully at his home in Stroud, Gloucestershire on 21st March 1997, aged 85.