Born: October 18th 1922
Died: April 30th 1945
Derek was the eldest son of the 2nd Baron Melchett and his wife, Amy Gwen Wilson
He travelled with his mother from an early age. On February 1st 1924 they sailed for Cape Town on the Edinburgh Castle, arriving back on March 22nd, on the same ship. Their address was 17. Wilton Place, Knightsbridge. Miss Wethered, the nanny, was with them. On February 6th 1928, with his younger brother and mother he came home from Madeira on the Windsor Castle. They had moved to 45, Green Street, W. On February 5th 1932 with his mother and her social secretary, Miss A. Mockford, he sailed for Colombo, returning to England with Miss Mockford on the Orantes on April 6th.
He was educated at Eton and Matriculated in 1941. He came up as an Exhibitioner and was Secretary of the Union and President of the University Boat Club. He was up for one year.
On July 18th 1942, he married Yvonne Victoria Searle at Cheltenham.
He was serving on HMS Philante when he was killed in a flying accident near Lochalsh on April 30th 1945. His wife was living at 6, Museum Road, Oxford
Philante was an “armed yacht” used as a convoy escort vessel. Built in 1937 for Sir Thomas Sopwith by Camper & Nicholson, she became the Norwegian Royal Yacht “Norge” in 1947 when the people of Norway subscribed to buy her.
Derek is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial Panel 95, Column 3. and on the War Memorial at St. Peter’s Church, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire.
His widow remarried in 1951.
Image found on the website:
This picture shows a page from the diary of Donald Gillies dated 30th April 1945. It records the tragic accident in which naval officers attached to HMS Philante based at Kyle were killed when the seaplane they were flying crashed in to the water off Avernish. Only a few days before, one of them, Dr Blyth, had visited the pupils of Kyle School where teacher, Miss Laing, was a personal friend.