Sir Derek Thomas
Honorary Fellow, Alumnus 1950 Modern and Medieval Languages
After reading modern languages (French and Russian) at the Hall, Derek Thomas spent two years doing his National Service in the Navy – first learning to be a naval interpreter in Russian and then six months driving an MTB round Malta.
His career as a diplomat was divided between Embassies abroad and spells at the FCO in London. Postings abroad included to 2½ years in Moscow, then Sofia, Manila, Ottawa, Paris, Washington, and finally Rome – where he was Ambassador to Italy. For one spell in London before going to Paris, he was seconded to the Treasury to learn about international financial issues.
After retirement from the FCO, Derek was recruited in 1990 by N. M. Rothschild and Sons and spent 14 years as adviser to the Chairman on the development of the bank’s European business, particularly in Eastern and Central Europe.