Able Seaman (Sonar)
Derek was born in Prudhoe, Northumberland, on 21st January 1960 and was educated at Prudhoe High School. He left at 16 and went to work at Adams and Gibbens at Hexham before joining the Royal Navy at 18. He did his basic training at HMS Raleigh before joining HMS Vernon to train as a sonar operator.
He joined HMS Alacrity in 1979 and traveled the world, including a memorable visit to Shanghai when Alacrity became the first warship to sail up the Yangtze River in 30 years.
He then spent nine months with Second Submarine Squadron before joining HMS Ardent in 1981 as a trained deep sea diver. He was on fire watch when the Ardent was first attacked in Falkland Sound. Many of the fires were put out but the ship was bombed again in a second attack that resulted in the loss of the ship in Grantham Sound whilst under way to San Carlos Water.
Derek is remembered in Prudhoe Parish Church with a plaque dedicated to him and all his shipmates on HMS Ardent.
Prudhoe High School also remember him with the ‘Derek Armstrong Memorial Award’ presented each year to the best sportsperson, and a memorial plaque in the School Foyer.
“Remembered everyday, in our heart always”
In 2022, as part of the 40th Anniversary commemorations, geographical features were identified and named after the fallen of 1982. ARMSTRONG COVE is a Cove near the entrance to West Arm in Port Abermarle, West Falkland.
It is in position
52° 10′ 58.33″ S, 060° 30′ 30.68″ W