“A light from our household is gone. A voice we loved is still.”
Derek passed away in the care of Leighton Hospital on 13th January, aged 94 years. The beloved husband of Mayda, he will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by all his family and friends.
Derek’s parents were born in the Victorian eara, Derek himself, was born on Easter Monday 1924 in his maternal grandparents house in Russell Street in York. He had an elder sister and brother.
The family eventually moved to 164 Fifth Avenue in Tang Hall, York and in 1929 he started school at St. Aelred’s Primary. In 1935 he went to Nunthorpe Secondary School and was there when the Second World War broke out. When he left school he went to York Commercial College to study Business Studies and at the end of his course in 1941 he found work as a Junior Clerk at a solicitors in York. That same year he volunteered, with two friends, to be a firewatcher for St. Winifred’s Church, fortunately, they were never called into action to put out any fires.
On 5th November 1942 at the age of 18 he joined up. He started basic training for the amry in Perth, moving to Edinburgh, where he was taught morse code and how to drive amongst other things.
In May 1943 he moved to Firbeck, near Doncaster where his unit formed the new 659 Air Observation Post Squadron RAF. Training here became useful as seven days after D-Day his unit was moved to London where they boarded a ship and sailed to Normandy. They moved to NE France, Belgium and Holland and in March 1945 they entered Germany, finally being stationed at what is now Kiel Airport. After celebrating VE Day in a transit camp with a weak glass of orange juice! In October 1945, after two and a half months on leave, he sailed from Liverpool to Bombay, returning in May 1947 where he was demobilised at Fulford barracks and returned home to Fifth Avenue.
He now had to find a job and after two years working for the Ministry of Works as a ledger clerk, he found his true calling as a travel agent for Thomas Cook. Coming from a family of railway men, he loved trains and travel, his role would take him to Newcastle, Leeds, Hamburg and Cairo and it was there that he met his future wife, Mayda and on his birthday in 1963 they were married. In January 1963 they were blessed with a baby daughter, Christine.
His job as a travel agent took him all over the world.
In 1966 the family moved to Second Avenue, just a few streets away but they moved to Wistaston in 2004 to be nearer to their new grandson Oliver.
His funeral will take place on Wednesday 23rd January in St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception RC Church, Crewe at 9.30am, followed by burial in St. Mary’s Parish Churchyard, Wistaston.
Donations in memory of Derek will be gratefully received on behalf of S.V.P.
For any further information please contact our funeral home on 01270 584447.