Lieutenant Thomas Derrick V.C.Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A grandstand commemorates Victoria Cross recipient Lieutenant Thomas Currie Derrick.

On 17 November 1940 Derrick had embarked for the Middle East with the 2nd/48th Battalion, which was to be the most decorated unit in the A.I.F. In that distinguished company Derrick was outstanding and awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

The 2nd/48th returned to Australia in February 1943 and trained in North Queensland and Papua before helping to capture Lae, New Guinea, in September. By 24 November the battalion was attacking the heights of Sattelberg, overlooking Finschhafen. Late that afternoon, while leading the advance platoon, Derrick confronted an almost vertical slope of thick jungle hiding Japanese machine-guns.

Derrick was told to withdraw, but he decided to go on. Covered by his mates, he scrambled hands and feet up the cliff, hurling grenades into enemy posts and clearing them out with his rifle. Even in peacetime the climb is barely possible, yet Derrick cleared ten machine-gun posts, stopping just short of the crest as dusk fell. It was one of the most astonishing feats of the war. He was awarded the Victoria Cross on 22 March 1944. He was killed in action in Borneo in May 1945.

A meeting was held in the Berri RSL Clubrooms on June  7 to discuss plans for a war memorial at Berri.  Mr. Westley (president of the Berri Sub-branch) occupied the chair and explained the objects of the meeting. After considerable discussion Mr. J. McKay moved, "That this meeting approve a plan for the construction of a 'Lieut. T. C. Derrick, V.C., D.C.M., Memorial Grandstand', to be erected on the Berri Memorial oval, and for a District Honour Roll to be affixed to the back wall of such Grandstand, the stand to be erected directly opposite the present Memorial Gates, and the Honour Roll to be so planned and constructed as to appear from Gilbert Street to be framed in the present Memorial Gateway."The motion was carried unanimously.
Murray Pioneer (Renmark, SA), 15 June 1950.


Address:Wade Street, Berri Memorial Oval, Berri, 5343
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.286088
Long: 140.60491
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:23-May-1945
Actual Event End Date:23-May-1945


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 22nd April, 1951
Front Inscription

Lt. T. C. Derrick V.C., D.C.M. Memorial Grandstand

Plaque :

This grandstand is dedicated to the memory of Lt. T. C. (Diver) Derrick VC, DCM

2/48th Infantry Battalion, 2nd AIF

Killed in action,

Tarakan North East Borneo

23rd May 1945

Lest We Forget 

Source: MA,TOH,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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