Derek Anthony Seagrim was born at Bournemouth, Hampshire, England on September 24, 1903 the third of five sons of the Reverend Charles Seagrim and Amabel Emma Halsted Seagrim. His younger brothers was Hugh Seagrim GC, giving these two brothers the distinction of being the only siblings to receive the Victoria Cross and George Cross. Derek was educated at the Norwich School, Norwich, where Derek and his younger brother Hugh also attended later.
Derek received his commission into the Green Howards in 1923 and served in Jamaica, Palestine and China. He completed a three-year tour with the King’s African Rifles in East Africa and, in 1939, returned to the 1st Battalion the Green Howards in Palestine as Intelligence Officer. At the outbreak of World War II, he was an Air Liaison Officer in East Africa before working on the staff for the Greek Campaign between 1941 – 42. He was given command of 7th Battalion the Green Howards at El Alamein in October 1942.
The citation in the London Gazette of 11th May, 1943, gives the following details, “On the night of 20th/21st March, 1943, a battalion of the Green Howards was ordered to attack and capture an important and strongly defended feature on the Mareth Line. The battalion was subjected to intense fire; it appeared more than probable that it would be held up and that the main attack would fail. Lieutenant-Colonel Seagrim realized the seriousness of the situation and at the head of his battalion led it through a hail of fire to the assault, personally attacking two machine-gun posts; it is estimated that in this phase he killed, or captured, twenty Germans. By his personal courage, disregard for his own safety, and outstanding leadership he so inspired his men that the battalion successfully took and held its objective, thereby enabling the attack to proceed. Lieutenant-Colonel Seagrim subsequently died of wounds received in action.”
Derek Anthony Seagrim died at a military hospital near Sfax on 6th April 1943 after being severely wounded at the Battle of Wadi Akarit. He is buried in Sfax War Cemetery, Tunisia, Plot XIV Row C Grave 21.