Derrick Earnest Frank Burney - 1926 - 2011
We heard with sadness that Derrick Burney died on 13th June 2011, aged 85, about a year after having to give up collecting and FPHS membership, when overtaken by dementia. Derrick was a stalwart of the Society from the beginning - he was elected vice chairman at the second meeting on 24th January 1953. He became newsletter editor from issue 4 (November 1953) until issue 49 in 1961. He added to his responsibilities by taking on the job of secretary from 29th January 1955 (when he relinquished his vice chairmanship) until 1960. Derrick's collecting interests varied over the years, but British FPOs WW1 was a subject he was greatly interested in - he always regretted not having bought a very large collection which was on the market in the late 1950s (subsequently dispersed by Rigby Auctions). Derrick's collections had all been sold by the end of 2010. When I joined the Society in 1957 Derrick encouraged my interest in British FPOs, and particularly recording and research. The Society owes much to Derrick for his work in the early years.
Derrick did not renew his subscription in 2010 due to ill-health. His high membership number (1150) belies the fact that Derrick joined the Society in its very first year. He was Newsletter Editor from 1953-1961 and during the period 1955-1960 he was also Secretary. A dual role I think many of us would shudder to cope with nowadays. He dropped out of membership for a time, but rejoined (hence his high membership number). I have a membership list for 1957 and at that stage we did not include membership numbers. He also wrote a fascinating insight into the early days of FPHS and military postmark collecting with his “Recollections of Military Postmark Collecting in the 1950s” which appeared in our 50th anniversary booklet.