Lieutenant THOMAS CURRIE DERRICK
Died 24 May 1945
Age 31 years old
24. A. 9.
- Country of Service Australian
- Awards Victoria Cross, Distinguished Conduct Medal
- Additional Info Son of David and Ada Derrick; husband of Beryl Violet Derrick, of North Adelaide, South Australia.
- Personal Inscription HIS DUTY FEARLESSLY AND NOBLY DONE EVER REMEMBERED
- Additional Citation note
The following details are given in the London Gazette of 23rd March, 1944:-On 24th November, 1943, Sergeant Thomas Currie Derrick, D.C.M., was in command of a platoon of a Company of Australian Infantry ordered to attack a feature from the township of Sattelburg. For over two hours many unsuccessful attempts were made, under heavy fire from enemy strong points at the top of a precipitous cliff which the Company had to scale to reach the objective. The task appeared impossible, and shortly before last light the Company was ordered to retire. Sergeant Derrick requested, and was granted, permission to make one last attempt. Moving ahead of his forward section he personally destroyed with hand grenades an enemy post which had been holding up this section. His second section were heavily attacked by machine guns and grenades from six enemy posts. Without regard for his personal safety he went ahead of the leading men and with grenades so completely demoralised the enemy that they fled leaving weapons and grenades. The Company was thus enabled to gain its first foothold on the precipitous ground. Then on four separate occasions Sergeant Derrick dashed forward and threw grenades at a range of 5 to 7 metres until the remaining three posts were silenced. In all he reduced ten enemy posts, and from the vital ground he captured the Battalion moved on and took Sattelburg. Undoubtedly the capture of Sattelburg was due to Sergeant Derrick's fine leadership and refusal to admit defeat in a seemingly impossible situation. His outstanding gallantry, thoroughness and devotion to duty were an inspiration not only to his platoon and company, but to the whole Battalion.