Deryck Edwin Thomas Wicks was a native of Norfolk who worked at Chelmsford's Hoffmann's bearings factory prior to joining the Royal Navy in 1942. He married in May 1944 and lost his life in October 1945 when the vessel he commanded foundered in rough seas in the Indian Ocean. His parents lived in Galleywood Road; his wife in New London Road.
Deryck was born in Norfolk in 1924, the third son of Frederick Wicks and Kitty Ethel Wicks (nee Burbidge). His parents had married in Gloucestershire in 1915. Deryck's siblings included Iris Molly Wicks (1915- 2000). Peter F. Wicks (born 1918), and Bernard Wicks (1919-1955).
Prior to joining the Royal Navy in 1942 Deryck had worked in the planning office at the Chelmsford ball-bearings manufacturer Hoffmann's. He served as a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
On 15th May 1944 Deryck married Doris Bertha Gladys Ricketts at St John's Church, Moulsham. At the time he was 21 years old, serving with the Royal Navy, and resident at 26 Galleywood Road (renumbered since), Chelmsford. His bride was two year older and lived at 65 New London Road in Chelmsford. Her father, David George Ricketts, was a fire officer. The Essex Chronicle reported:
“THE MARRIAGE took place at St. Church on Monday of Miss Doris Ricketts, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D. G. Ricketts, of " Oakhurst." 65 London Road, to Sub-Lieut. Deryck Wicks, R.N.V.R.. youngest son of Mrs. E. Wicks, of "Thrift View," Galleywood Road. The Rev. E. H O. Bennett officiated. Given away by her father. the bride wore a dress of heavy figured satin, with heart - shape neck. sleeves and train, and long veil (lent by her godmother): her headdress and bouquet were of red carnations. Miss Enid Ricketts was bridesmaid, in petunia moire taffeta dress, and she carried a posy of stocks and pink carnations to match. Mr. George Brown. R.A.F. was best man. Mr. Geoffrey Beckett was organist for the hymns. The bride's going-away dress was of floral blue silk. A cheque was received by the bride from the staff of her department of Hoffmann Manufacturing Company.
Deryck served for a time on a minesweeper.
Deryck Edwin Thomas WICKS, Sub-Lieutenant, H.M.L.C.T. 7020, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Killed when his ship sunk in the Indian Ocean. Aged 22
In October 1945 Deryck was in command of His Majesty's Landing Craft Tank 7020, was one of a large number of such vessels that were being transferred from Britain to serve in the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately Deryck's vessel foundered in rough seas in the Indian Ocean off Madras on 17th October 1945 and he was lost along with at least eleven other servicemen. He was 22 years old.
At the time of his death Deryck's parents were still living at 26 Galleywood Road, while his wife was living at Oakhurst in New London Road, Chelmsford.
Deryck has no known grave and is commemorated by the Portsmouth Naval Memorial in Hampshire.
Deryck's widow remarried in 1947 and died in 1989.