Torpedoes, Tea, and Medals

The Gallant Life of Commander D. G. H. ‘Jake’ Wright DSC** Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Captain Chris O'Flaherty Royal Navy

The biography of Jake Wright, a highly decorated Coastal Forces hero who served throughout World War II.
Date Published :
March 2022
Publisher :
Contributor(s) :
Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd CBE
Illustration :
35 photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636241401
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Jake Wright's initiation to war was on the beach at Dunkirk, helping evacuate stragglers. Then volunteering for Motor Torpedo Boats, he served with valor throughout World War II, becoming one of only 44 officers in WWII to receive a DSC with two Bars.

Derek Wright learned about small boats from his father, who tragically died when Derek was just 14 years old. Sent away from his family to finish his education, he left school at 16 to join the global tea trade. Soon after he finished his training with Brooke Bond, famous for their ‘Dividend’ tea, Hitler invaded Poland and Britain was at war.

By then known to his friends as ‘Jake’, he was one of the first Volunteer Reserves to be called up to fight for his country. Plucked from his naval training in HMS King Alfred, his warfighting initiation was on the beach at Dunkirk, helping evacuate stragglers after Operation DYNAMO. He then volunteered for Motor Torpedo Boats, where he served with valor and distinction.

While Hitler’s U-Boats were torpedoing shipments of tea bound for Great Britain, Jake Wright reciprocated by torpedoing Axis coastal shipping off Europe. His first Command was MTB 331, trained for a daredevil mission to puncture German boom defenses protecting their battleships. In his next Command, MTB 32, he was wounded in action whilst torpedoing a German convoy, but kept his small ship fighting against the odds to win the action and sink his enemy; for his bravery he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Further acts of gallantry in action, combined with tactical innovation, saw him earn two bars to his DSC as well as a Mention in Despatches; he became one of only 44 officers in the Second World War to receive a DSC with two Bars.

After demobilization he returned to the tea trade, rising to become one of Brooke Bond’s senior directors supplying Britain’s beloved beverage. He even helped refine how to make the perfect cup of tea.

This is the life story of a determined, brave, innovative and decorated officer who has earned a place in the hearts of our nation. It is the story of Derek ‘Jake’ Wright, DSC**.

About The Author

Captain Chris O’Flaherty joined the Royal Navy in 1987. Having served for much of his early career as a diver and underwater bomb disposal officer in the navy’s smallest warships, he qualified as a Principal Warfare Officer deploying in frigates and aircraft carriers around the globe. For his operational achievements in the Middle East the President of the United States of America awarded him the US Legion of Merit, and in 2017 he was elected as Hudson Fellow by St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.


Attach with Torpedoes
Tea and Sea
Any Stragglers?
The Operation that Never Was – MTB 331
East Coast Adventures
Praying Mantis
The Big Boats
Sent Ashore
Home for Tea
Sailing By


"If small boat action is of any interest to you, this book is a must enthralling look at motor torpedo boat operations off the coast of France and Belgium during World War II."

- Naval Historical Foundation

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