Derek Bond

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Derek Bond
Actor Derek Bond.jpg
Publicity still, 1947
Derek William Douglas Bond

(1920-01-26)26 January 1920
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died15 October 2006(2006-10-15) (aged 86)
London, England
Years active19381998
Spouse(s)Ann Grace (1942–?) (divorced) 1 child
Gail Miller (1970–?) (divorced) 1 child
Annie Glover (1977–2006) (his death)

Derek William Douglas Bond MC (26 January 1920 – 15 October 2006) was a British actor. He was President of the trade union Equity from 1984 to 1986.


Life and career

Bond was born on 26 January 1920 in Glasgow, Scotland. [1] He attended Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Hampstead, London. [2] Bond enlisted into the Coldstream Guards soon after the outbreak of war where his education marked him out for officer training, and he was duly sent to Sandhurst. Opting to transfer to the Grenadier Guards he was invited, with other hopefuls, to dinner by the Adjutant, Captain E H Goulburn. After being plied with drinks and subjected to a grilling, at which most of the cadets managed to maintain a suitable air of sycophancy, Bond was asked: “So, Bond, you were an actor! Aren’t all actors sh*ts?” After replying “no more than regular soldiers, Sir!” – his future was assured. After the evacuation of Dunkirk in May 1940 such was the apparent threat of invasion that the cadets were deployed in the defence of Camberley. However, with only one Bren gun between three hundred their effectiveness must have been limited. Finally, Bond was commissioned in July 1940. [3] [4]

Serving with 3rd Grenadiers, Bond saw action in Tunisia and on 12 December 1942 was wounded in the leg by a machine gun bullet. Evacuated home and awarded a Military Cross in February 1943, [5] [6] he dined with future prime Minister, Harold Macmillan who had commanded the same Platoon until wounded in the Great War. [3] He spent the last few months of the war in Stalag VII-A, a Bavarian POW camp. [2] [7]

He enjoyed a varied film, stage and television career, which began in 1938 with experience with the Finchley Amateur Dramatic Society. His conventional good looks secured him a number of dramatic and light comedy roles. He made a lasting impression in the title role of the Ealing Studios production of Nicholas Nickleby (1947). [8]

As well as acting, he wrote a number of scripts; a stage play Akin to Death written in 1954, which he took on tour in 1955. [9] [10] His first drama for television was Unscheduled Stop, produced for ITV's Armchair Theatre in 1968 and directed by Toby Robertson. [11]

He was president of the Actors' Union Equity for a tempestuous period during the 1980s. Because of his intention to perform in South Africa (the country's apartheid system was the cause of a UN-backed cultural boycott), a motion urging Bond to resign was proposed, but rejected, in July 1984. He resigned when a ban on members working in South Africa became union policy after his return to the UK. [2]

Derek Bond was married three times. He died on 15 October 2006, at St George's Hospital in Tooting, London, [1] and is survived by his third wife Annie, a son, a daughter and a stepson.

Selected filmography

Selected television appearances

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  1. 1 2 "Bond, Derek William Douglas (1920–2006)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/97443.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. 1 2 3 Gavin Gaughan Obituary: Derek Bond, The Guardian, 8 November 2006
  3. 1 2 Bond, Derek, 1920-2006. (1995). Steady, old man! : don't you know there's a war on?. Ulverscroft. ISBN   0-7089-3216-9. OCLC   60103318.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "No. 34888". The London Gazette . 2 July 1940. p. 4080.
  5. Steady, Old Man! Don't You Know There's a War on? Derek Bond, Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 1990. ISBN   0850520460
  6. "No. 35898". The London Gazette . 9 February 1943. p. 744.
  7. A Welsh Uncle, memories of Tom Morgan 1898-1957, John Dann, FastPrint Peterborough, 2018, ISBN   978-178456-597-8
  8. "Derek Bond – Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos – AllMovie". AllMovie.
  9. "Derek Bond". 24 October 2006 via
  10. A Welsh Uncle memories of Tom Morgan 1898-1957, John Dann, FastPrint Peterborough, 2018 pages 31-32 ISBN   978-178456-597-8
  11. White, Leonard. Armchair Theatre: The Lost Years. Kelly Publications, 2003: p. 211


War Memoirs, Steady, Old Man! Don't You Know There's a War on? Derek Bond, Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 1990. ISBN   0850520460