Geoff Chapman - Admiration for Tom Derrick VC

Running time
2 min 1 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


"I went through Tobruk, Alamein, New Guinea and some of them but the ones who had been in Tobruk, were then, after New Guinea were discharged and they were allowed to apply and they got out and the only one who didn't was a bloke Diver Derick who was VC, DCM and he wanted to carry on and the army wanted him to get out as they reckoned he'd had enough and he said "No, I'm going back".

So he went back and, of course, he suffered the ultimate price. He was the platoon lieutenant. He was a very brave bloke, very foolish in many ways, he was a funny bloke actually.

Originally, I'm told when he got into the army and they had trouble with him a hell of a lot of trouble and eventually the command said, a couple of lieutenants, "What can I do with him?" and one of the lieutenants said, "Ah well, promote him. Give him a job to do".

And so they made him a sergeant and he blossomed. He was a pretty hard man in some respects but he was, you know, very brave, very loyal.

I reckon there were a couple, well several in the battalion who I think probably stood out more than other men anyway. So, he was a great bloke and I admired him and I think everyone did."

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