I have known Derek for 56 years when we both joined
the army namely the Lancashire Fusiliers and after our basic training
at Wellington Barracks in Bury were posted south to Bulford in Wiltshire.
Little did we know at the time that both of us having musical experience
we were to be enrolled in the re-formation of the 2nd Battalion band.
We became great friend's even playing similar instruments, gaining promotion
at the same time over the next few years, serving together in Trieste,
Austria, and Germany as well as many places in the UK. On leaving the
army some 10 years later we went our separate ways and after a few years
met up again in Rochdale were Derek had taken over a public house.
More time went by and later on in our lives we met up again at regimental
reunions and associations.
Derek was devoted to his music, his family having formed the Radcliffe
Brass Band, he also spent time as musical director of his local amateur
Derek did not die after a long illness as indicated in the local press,
his cancer appeared only 15 months ago and he then told me he had only
two years to live, which obviously has been cut short.
It is now my intention to say farewell to my friend, you will never be
forgotten Derek, you will always be remembered by your many friends