Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour

 

 

Derek John Andrews

Derek passed away in April 2020

Derek joined 9 Indep Para Sqn RE in 1958 along with Ken Bowen, Billy Davison and Vincent (Paddy) Byrne. He was extremely fit and also an accomplished boxer, I believe that he boxed for the Sqn and I know that he did several exhibition bouts.

He met his wife while at bridging camp, Wyke Regis, Weymouth, (older Sqn members will remember Valenti’s ice cream parlour, Anna was family). When circumstances and/or military duties permitted we would hitchhike down to Weymouth nearly every weekend. I had the pleasure of being the best man in 1960.

There was one occasion just before they married when Derek said that we had to go to a Monastery (Anna was Italian and a Catholic, Derek was Agnostic) to receive “pre-marital instructions, I did not believe it but it was true. Three visits for me and five for Derek.

On leaving the Sqn/Army Derek went to live and work in Australia, (he met several ex Sqn members while he was over there). Derek, and later with his sons, had a successful career in the building trade and this continued when he returned to England.

Derek and Anna settled down in Hale, Cornwall and we did manage to meet up 3 or 4 times, the last visit just two months ago.
As with most friendships formed in the military even though you may lose contact for many years you still remain friends. RIP Derek.

 

 

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23 Para Engr Regt