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NABARRO, Derrick D.W.

NABARRO, Derrick D.W.[1, 2]

Male 1921 -

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  • Name NABARRO, Derrick D.W. 
    Born 4 Jul 1921 
    Gender Male 
    Medals 1942-1943  [3
    Recommendations for Honours and Awards for Gallant and Distinguished Service (Army)

    Rank: Serjeant
    Service No: 999513
    Regiment: Royal Air Force
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Escape and Evasion and Special Operations
    Award: Distinguished Conduct Medal
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 18 December 1942

    • Derrick D.W. Nabarro earned a D.C.M. in World War II. For an account of his escape from a prison camp, see [18] or [8 pp. 155-157]. Escape from Germany, Aidan Crawley. Her Majesty's Printing Office.1985. Wait For The Dawn, Derrick Nabarro. Cassell, 1952
    • Nabarro, Derrick D W Athletic Section, since the end of last season has joined the RAF, H12-1940. Sergeant, H-Christmas-1942.  The London Gazette last night (19th January 1943) announced that Sergeant Derrick D W Nabarro, a pilot in the RAF, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, in recognition of gallant and distinguished service. This is the first award since the announcement on Saturday last that the DCM, an Army decoration, would be available for members of the RAF for gallantry on the ground.  Nabarro joined the RAF as a volunteer in July, 1940, direct from Preston Grammar School, where he was champion athlete in 1939, and captain of the football and cricket teams, H-Midsummer-1943.
    • Derrick David William Nabarro was born in London. In 1941, his plane was shot down by the Germans and he was kept as a pow in several prison camps. After several attempts he managed to escape and succeeded in reaching England. He wrote an account of his escape in Wait for the Dawn (1952). Nabarro was also an economist.

      Titles and year of publication:

      1) The Rod of Anger (Also published as: Too Hard to Handle) 1953
      2) The Seeds of Destruction 1954
      3) The Chariot of Desire 1956
      4) North from Singapore 1956 [4]
    • (typed copy from a hand written letter. Simon Nabarro was surveying a property and found this letter addressed to him)

      Derrick Nabarro

      Trained as bomber pilot straight from leaving school 6th form. Shot down into sea off Kiel, fished from sea by Germans and placed in hospital, then Stalag P.O.W. camp.
      Escaped, caught, escaped again. Caught in South of France, impisioned, group escape. Finally made it home to England - one of very few to ever do so.

      Worked for M19 advising air crews, film workers, etc on escaping etc.
      Trained for war against Japan.
      Wrote two books - one on escape (was amused that cover illustration showed him breaking out of camp at night in full uniform!)

      Awarded M.M. for escape and writing second book, more a 'fiction', being a story of Burmese and political intrigue, based on his experience in the Far East.

      Sent to Manchester University by R.A.F. after war, then became (I think) Wing Commander, stationed in Cyprus during Greek/Turkish troubles there. Then returned to Devon and farmed with second wife Valerie.
      Finally retired and my wife and I became close friends with him in 1980's.


      Father: Orchestral conductor, music hall/stage, whose brother was conductor of Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra.
      Mother: School teacher, Lancashire.
      Cousin: Sir Gerald Nabarro M.P. (Derek was amused by fact that one of Gerald's books received 'worst book of the year award - but I found in contrast , his non-fiction work on steam locamotives and trains excellent).

      Two children by first marraige: son qualified in building planning/ clerk of works/ site management. Daughter qualified nurse.
      Died in car accident on tricky Devon road.


      Told camp commandant to 'f... off' when being interegated - who didn't shoot him, thinking his name was Italian!
      Pretended to be itinerant French workman when making his escape - always complimenting Germans who questioned him on the excellence of their French.
      Wonderful character - one can understand why he was a rarity in actually making it back to England, when most would have given up.

    Person ID I582  Nabarro Genealogy
    Last Modified 17 Dec 2010 

    Father NABARRO, Joel,   b. 1892, Whitechapel, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1964  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother DEARDEN, Ethel 
    Family ID F279  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 HASWELL, Joyce M. 
    Married 1946  New Forest, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Living
     2. NABARRO, Gail,   b. 1953, Uxbridge, London, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 4 Aug 2010 
    Family ID F281  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 BLOOMFIELD, Valerie 
    Married 1970  Greenwich, Greater London, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 4 Aug 2010 
    Family ID F282  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Nabarro, Derrick D.W. - 1921 - I582
    Nabarro, Derrick D.W. - 1921 - I582

    NABARRO, Derrick D.W. - 1921 - I582
    NABARRO, Derrick D.W. - 1921 - I582
    Letter about Derrick Nabarro addressed to Simon Nabarro (part 1)
    Nabarro, Derrick - 1921 - I582
    Nabarro, Derrick - 1921 - I582
    Letter about Derrick Nabarro addressed to Simon Nabarro (part 2)
    Nabarro, Derrick - 1921 - I582
    Nabarro, Derrick - 1921 - I582
    Featuring Novel: Rod of Anger by Derrick Nabarro - The Glasgow Herald

  • Sources 
    1. [S150] England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-2005.

    2. [S151] England & Wales, Birth Index 1916-2005.

    3. [S75] Miscellaneous Sites Online,

    4. [S75] Miscellaneous Sites Online,

    5. [S102] Suki Nabarro (b.1981), Simon Nabarro c/o Suki Nabarro.