David Bickerton

Location: Waterlooville, Hampshire
About me...

I am a retired civil engineer living in Waterlooville, Hampshire. Since retirement, in addition to investigating my parents’ wartime experiences, I have researched my own ancestry. By then, researching into people’s ancestors had become something of a consuming hobby and I have now researched around twenty other people’s ancestry.

About my Talk...

I use PowerPoint to present my talks. I bring along my own projector and laptop but require the venue to provide a screen or clear wall space. My talks normally last for approx 45 minutes and I am happy to answer questions at the end. I can provide a shortened version of the talks if required.

My talks can be given as virtual presentations (zoom).


Fee is £45 within ten miles of my home in Waterlooville, Hampshire and modest travel expenses if further afield. I can often be available at short notice, so if you have been let down, do contact me.

My Contact Details:

023 9259 1482

Parents at War

I was drawn on a journey of discovery after finding nearly 150 letters that my parents had exchanged between 1942 and 1945 before they were married. With the help of the letters and extensive research I have been able to piece together a detailed picture of their wartime experiences through my book, Parents at War.
I discovered how my father was in the crew of HMS Dorsetshire when she took part in the pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck. My mother was a radar operator in the WAAF and served at 5 RAF radar stations and found herself tracking enemy aircraft on their bombing missions.
The young lovers met by chance in a Haverfordwest hotel in 1942 and had only a short relationship before my father was sent to the hostile waters of the Mediterranean where he commanded a minesweeper and was involved in 6 invasions.

The Pursuit and Sinking of Bismarck

Public Speaker in Hampshire David Bickerton presents his talk The pursuit and sinking of Bismarck

The pursuit and sinking of Bismarck is one of the enduring stories of WW2 which continues to fascinate. More than a hundred British warships were involved in the 5 day, 1,750 mile hunt. The British battlecruiser, HMS Hood was sunk within 10 minutes of engaging the mighty Bismarck which disappeared for more than 24 hours and she was almost within reach of safety before the British won the day.

I was inspired to delve further into this historical event as my father was a crewman aboard HMS Dorsetshire which was involved in the final showdown and I have compiled a 60 minute PowerPoint presentation. A shorter presentation can be offered on request.

It is worth noting that 2021 sees the 80th anniversary of this event.

Operation Torch – The Invasion of French North Africa

Operation Torch was the codename for the Allied invasion of French North Africa with landings taking place in November 1942 at Casablanca, Oran and Algiers. This Anglo-US operation marked the first significant presence of the US into the Mediterranean Theatre following their entry into the war the previous December. The subsequent Allied push into Tunisia was soon halted by a combination of stiff Axis resistance and heavy and incessant rain. Victory arrived in the spring as the Axis were trapped in a pincer movement as Montgomery’s British Eighth Army approached from the east.

As my Bismarck talk has been well received, the addition of this talk seemed appropriate as my father commanded HMML 338 during the Algiers landings.

It is worth noting that 2022 sees the 80th anniversary of this event.

Operation Husky – The Invasion of Sicily

Public Speaker in Hampshire David Bickerton talks about Operation Husky

Operation Husky was the codename for the Allied Invasion of Sicily with landings taking place in July 1943. General Patton commanded the US Seventh Army and General Montgomery the British army. Despite the terrain favouring the defenders, the campaign took just 39 days although the Allies failed to prevent the Axis evacuation across the Messina Strait.
The talk includes an account of Operation Mincemeat and, as with my other talks, my interest was inspired as my father also commanded HMML 338 during the Sicily landings.

It is worth noting that 2023 sees the 80th anniversary of the event.

Testimonials & Reviews

‘ David gave a well researched and very interesting talk on the sinking of the Bismarck which was very well received by our members. ’

Nigel  – January 2024


‘ David recently gave the PROBUS Club of the New Forest his talk on Operation Torch. It was excellent, meticulously researched and full of surprises! A worthy follow up to his previous talk on the Bismarck! ’

Howard – Probus – November 2023


‘ David gave the Shaftesbury & Gillingham U3A members a very informative and interesting – well presented and made easy to understand – talk on ‘Operation Husky – The Invasion of Sicily’ in September 2023 the 80th anniversary.’

Libby – U3A – September 2023


‘ The Oribus Club of West Chiltington very much enjoyed David’s talk on the Bismark. It was informative, well presented and in places delivered with a little mischievous fun.’

Nicki – Oribus – May 2023


‘  Our club membership enjoyed David’s well researched, informative and lucidly presented talk on ‘The Pursuit and Sinking of The Bismarck’

Ian– Probus – April 2023


‘ David gave his talk ‘Parents At War’ to the Civil Service Pensioners’ Alliance East Solent Group on 12 April 2023. Group members enjoyed this very interesting talk which was professionally presented.’

Mike – CSPA – March 2023


David Bickerton Contact Details:

023 9259 1482

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