Derek Julius Marcus

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

Headstone Inscription
‘WITH A FULL HEART AND EAGER SPIRIT HE GAVE HIS ALL’


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

Derek’s grandparents Julius and Ida Marcus 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. In 1916, Julius’s brother 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.

Before enlisting in 1940, Derek worked as bank clerk and was a volunteer stretcher bearer. He 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.