Torpedoes, Tea, and Medals

The Gallant Life of Derek 'Jake' Wright DSC** RNVR

Chris O'Flaherty

Whilst Hitler's U-Boats were torpedoing shipments of tea bound for Great Britain, Jake Wright reciprocated by torpedoing Axis coastal shipping off Europe. This is the life story of a determined, brave and innovative individual, who went from a tea trade trainee to a highly decorated naval officer.
Publication date:
February 2022
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Language:
English
Illustration :
35 photographs
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9781636241401

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
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Not Yet Published. Available for PreOrder.
£16.99

Overview
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• Tells the story of Jake Wright, who left school at 16 to join the global tea trade, and was one of the first Volunteer Reserves to be called up to fight for his country; plucked from training, his warfighting initiation was on the beach at Dunkirk, helping evacuate stragglers after Operation DYNAMO
• Wright volunteered for Motor Torpedo Boats, where he served with distinction, becoming one of only 44 World War II officers to receive three DSCs during his career
• In later life he became the Tea Trade representative to the United Nations and helped develop the International Standard for the perfect cup of tea!
• Written by a serving naval officer with superb access to many primary sources

Derek Wright learnt about small boats from his father, who tragically died when Derek was just 14 years old. Sent away from his family to finish his education, he left school at 16 to join the global tea trade. Soon after he finished his training with Brooke Bond, famous for their 'Dividend' tea, Hitler invaded Poland and Britain was at war.

By then known to his friends as 'Jake', he was one of the first Volunteer Reserves to be called up to fight for his country. Plucked from his naval training in HMS King Alfred, his warfighting initiation was on the beach at Dunkirk, helping evacuate stragglers after Operation DYNAMO. He then volunteered for Motor Torpedo Boats, where he served with valour and distinction.

Whilst Hitler's U-Boats were torpedoing shipments of tea bound for Great Britain, Jake Wright reciprocated by torpedoing Axis coastal shipping off Europe. His first Command was MTB 331, trained for a daredevil mission to puncture German boom defences protecting their battleships. In his next Command, MTB 32, he was wounded in action whilst torpedoing a German convoy, but kept his small ship fighting against the odds to win the action and sink his enemy; for his bravery he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Further acts of gallantry in action, combined with tactical innovation, saw him earn two bars to his DSC as well as a Mention in Despatches; he became one of only 44 officers in the Second World War to receive a DSC with two Bars.

After demobilisation he returned to the tea trade, rising to become one of Brooke Bond's senior directors supplying Britain's beloved beverage. He even helped refine how to make the perfect cup of tea.

This is the life story of a determined, brave, innovative and decorated officer who has earned a place in the hearts of our nation. It is the story of Derek 'Jake' Wright, DSC**.