Derek Julius Marcus

Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, 15 OTU
Service number 1360363
Died 5 Dec 1941
Buried Kempston Cemetery, Bedford
Age 25

Headstone Inscription

Derek was born on 6 August 1916 in Willesden, London to Rudolph, a stock broker, and Lottie May née Miller and had a younger brother Colin.

Derek’s grandparents Julius and Ida nee Semple were born in Hamburg and soon after their marriage in 1875 they emigrated to England and lived in Paddington where Julius was a manager of a bullion depot. Julius and Ida had four children, Rudolph, Eveline, Gladys and Dudley. In 1916, Dudley was killed in action at the Somme serving as a rifleman in the 12th Battalion London Regiment. He is buried at Gommecourt British Cemetery, France.

In 1939, Derek was listed as living with his mother at 41 Teignmouth Road, Willesden and was working as a bank clerk, he was also a volunteer stretcher bearer. In 1940, he enlisted into the RAF in Blackpool, and a year later married Regina Fooks in October 1941 two months before he was killed.

Derek was the wireless operator/air gunner on Wellington X9799 which departed RAF Harwell at 23.00 on a night cross country training exercise. The aircraft collided with Tiger Moth N6968 of 6 EFTS (based at Denton), between 800-1000 feet. Both aircraft crashed north east of Piddington Station, near Denton, Northamptonshire, and were completely burnt out. All crew in both aircraft were killed – eight in the Wellington and two in the Tiger Moth.