Marsden-born sailor Derek Shaw who was the youngest member of a battleship’s 1,500-working crew in the closing stages of World War Two has died.
Derek Shaw, who has died aged 88, was a mere 17-year-old and nicknamed ‘The Babe’ by his shipmates on HMS King George V which undertook heavy shelling of Tokyo Bay as the Japanese neared surrender.
One of five boys, he was brought up at Old Bank Bottom on the outskirts of Marsden and volunteered to become a naval trainee when he was 16.
In July 1944, after training on the Isle of Man, he joined HMS King George V until November 1946.
His naval career took him all over the globe on ships large and small, including King George V’s sister ship, the Duke of York, the submarine Theseus, aircraft carrier Albion and four periods of service as a guide on HMS Victory.
Mr Shaw also served on the frigate, HMS Whitesand Bay, sister ship of the Amethyst, rated for its race for freedom along the Yangtze River after being trapped for three months during the Chinese Civil War in 1949. The incident was later recaptured on film.
After leaving the navy in 1957 Mr Shaw worked as a bus driver, ambulance driver and for 20 years as a GPO telephonist.
His medals included the 1939-45 star with Pacific clasp, Burma Star, Italy Star and the Malayan Medal.
Mr Shaw married a Portsmouth girl, Stella Johnson, who survives him with their two sons. He had lived at Havant, near Portsmouth for about 50 years.
His hobbies included photography and travel.
His funeral will take place at Oaks Crematorium in Portsmouth on Wednesday, December 21.