Derek George White 1930-2019

Sad news from John Eason, who has heard that Derek died on 28 March 2019 following a stroke.

Derek joined HMSO Publication as a Clerical Officer in January 1947, when the salary for a 17 year-old was £170 per year. Among other COs in Publications at the time were Alex Laing, Bob Carey, Ken Langford, Geoff Porteus, Tom Herridge, Alf Giles. He later worked to Tony Gummett in Supplies Division, S1b.

By 1969 Derek had been promoted to HEO in Reprographics. John Eason worked with him in Atlantic House and in Basildon, where he says ‘he was the nicest person you could wish to meet.’

Norma Groom adds: Dear Reg, So sorry to hear about Derek White: he was such a gentleman and a very fair boss. I always remember when I wanted to go to Moscow for the New Year and had just been promoted to EO in charge of Editing and Confidential section. Derek called me to his office and said Norma I am sure you won’t do this but PLEASE be very careful and do not get yourself into any compromising situations while you are in Moscow. I wanted to giggle but managed to tell Derek who was obviously very embarrassed that I would behave myself. Happy memories. Regards, Norma.

Jim Wretham adds: Thanks for letting me know Reg. As you and John say, Derek was a lovely chap: one of life’s real gentlemen. I didn’t know him all that well although I had a chat with him before applying for a job at Basildon and he couldn’t have been more helpful – save for not warning me not to apply, perhaps. I am rather hazy as to where Derek went to after he left the Basildon Unit. By the time I arrived in Spring 1984 he had already left. I think he may have been filling the manager’s role on temporary promotion until John Brunton took over the reins.

John Nash adds: Hi Reg, My heart sank when I read this news. Everyone who had a connection with reprographics knew and worked with Derek. As John Eason says “he was one of the nicest people one could wish to meet” – indeed a true gentleman. A very sad loss. Kind regards, John.