I was saddened to learn yesterday of the death of Colonel Derek Ivan Mathie Robbins, OBE, a veteran of World War II and a survivor of the Normandy landings. Colonel Robbins is connected to my own branch of the Cruwys family through his first marriage to my father's cousin Mary Elizabeth Cruwys, the second and youngest daughter of Thomas Cruwys and Clara Mascord. Colonel Robbins served with the Wiltshire Regiment in North West Europe from 1941-1944. He served as town major at Bergen-Belsen in Germany in 1945. He modestly credited his rapid promotion through the ranks to the fact that so many of his colleagues were killed. After the war he served with the 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment in Cyprus from 1956-1958 and subsequently worked for the Ministry of Defence in Oman from 1976-1979.
His first wife, Mary, died of cancer in 1962. He is survived by his second wife, Fleur, his three children and his seven grandchildren.
An announcement of his death was published in The Daily Telegraph on 2nd May which can be read here. An obituary was published in The Times on 11th May 2007 which can be viewed online here.