Derek Bamforth

Derek, born in 1919, became a Casual, according to the records, in March 1956. He recalled playing occasionally, in the 1940s. He went to Worksop College, where they played a term each of rugby, hockey and cricket. Whilst he denied being any good at sports he was keen, turning out for The Old Boys as well as The Casuals.

Derek’s grandfather founded Bamforth & Co, Station Road, Holmfirth in 1870. They made lantern slide shows which, apart from the theatre, were one of the few sources of entertainment at the time. They often had religious themes. Family members would pose for the camera, illustrating a hymn or other form of religious text. Derek’s grandfather also painted the scenery. Later, they also became famous for cheeky postcards and, up to 1915, they were in the movie business. Derek retired when he was 67.

He fondly remembered meeting Brian Johnson. Some time later, after Derek had been in hospital, Jonners wished him well during one of his radio programmes.

He was proud of his war record. He joined the TA in 1937 along with other members of the Old Boys. Commissioned in 1938 with 51st Medium Artillery Regiment, he was with the 19th Field Artillery at Dunkirk when they were the last to leave. In 1941, with the 144 Field Regt. RA (Leeds TA), he hung around for a year, awaiting the Germans in the Caucus mountains. After the Germans lost at Stalingrad, his regiment helped out with the Alamein Barrage in the western desert, before moving to get rid of the Vichy French who were causing trouble in Damascus. He returned to England after 4 years in the middle east, and completed his service in Germany with the HQRA Guards Armoured Division.

He died October 20th this year, 2010. I met him a couple of times. First, he and his wife entertained me to tea one rainy afternoon whilst I tried to interview him and second, at the recording of Songs of Praise at Christ Church, New Mill. Upright and mannered. A pleasure to be with.

This is the link to the Examiner obituary page.

Written Autumn 2010


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