Monday, 27 April 2015

Holgate, Deryk - Petty Officer Radio Mechanic

(No soldier photo available)
H.M.S. Asphodel,
Royal Navy
Died 9 March 1944
Age 21

The 925 ton corvette, H.M.S. Asphodel was part of the escort of a convoy of merchant ships sailing up the English Channel. As the convoy was passing Cape Finisterre, France, it was attacked by German U-boats. As the Asphodel manoeuvered to engage a U-boat, its commander forgot to release the 'foxer' device which deflected the German's new acoustic torpedoes. One struck the Asphodel, and she sank in three minutes with the loss of over 70 men. Petty Officer Deryk Holgate was one who lost his life.

Deryk was the son of John William and Gwendoline Bessie Holgate. He was 21. Deryk attended Helmshore Council School, of which his father was the headmaster, and then Haslingden Grammar School. He worked at William Robinson's Union Mill with the intention of learning the cotton trade before going to university. He joined the Royal Navy in 1941. Deryk was strongly connected with King Street Methodist Church.

Deryk's name is on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. The Memorial is an obelisk on Southsea Common and commemorates almost 10,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War and almost 15,000 from the 1939-1945 War who have no grave but the sea. Deryk is on Panel 86, Column 3.