Derek Ralph Hall Caine was born in
France on the
26th of August 1915. He was the only son of Gordon Ralph and Lillian
(nee Deacon) Hall Caine.
He attended Bray Court Prep School
in Bray, Berkshire and went on to graduate from Canford Public
School in Winborn, Dorset UK. He then
completed his University studies at La Sorbonne in Paris, France
From 1933 until 1935 he performed internship duties at his
father’s publishing company, Greycaine Ltd. He spent
1935 and most of 1936 as Assistant Editor of Readers Library Ltd., another
family owned company.
From 1936 until the summer of 1939, he ran a motorcar
concession for Adler cars Ltd. and was very active on the race car circuit.
Prior to WW II, Derek joined the Middlesex Regiment of the
reaching the rank of Sergeant in 1939. In 1939 he received his
Commission in the Gordon Highlanders infantry and was sent to France and North Africa.
By 1941 he had been promoted to Captain and had been assigned to the Tank
Division in India and later Burma. 1943 saw
him reaching the rank of Lt. Colonel and being named Head of British Counter
Intelligence for China
and the Pacific area. In 1946 he returned to Germany
as G.1 at the British HQ Staff Military Government. He retired from Military
Service in 1947 and for his gallant service was awarded the Distinguished
From 1947 to 1950 Derek served as Export Sales Manager and Assistant to the Chairman of
Thomas Owen, Ltd and British Coated Board and Paper Mills, Ltd..
From 1950 to 1951 he served as Sales
Director of H.H. Brands Ltd., a large paper and pulp merchant company based in London.
From 1951 to 1958, he went out on his own in the paper and
pulp merchant business and representing Kaare
Andersen Shipping Ltd.
1951 was also the year he married Margaret Louise
Wildman-Watson in London.
In April 1955, his only child, Melissa Jane was born.
His company, Derek Hall Caine Ltd.
closed in 1958 and he moved to the United States with his wife and
daughter. He took up duties as an executive with Continental Can Inc. but then
suffered a near death experience from complications arising out of a perforated
ulcer. As the story goes, after passing out at Grand Central Station at the
height of rush-hour, a catholic Priest was called to administer last rights
assuming Derek to be of perhaps Irish descent. Apparently, the incantations
penetrated his coma and brought him to his senses. Upon seeing and hearing the
Priest in the midst of his performance, Derek became so enraged that he sat up
and bellowed at the poor Priest : “where I come from (meaning the Anglican
Church and Scotland) , they burn people like you at the stake !”. Evidently the
surge of adrenalin was enough to save his life.
He became a property manager for a large estate in Connecticut and eventually became a partner in a group of
restauranteurs which founded the Raffles Club in New York based on the original clubs by the same name in London and Hong Kong.
After several years of success, he joined with the French nightclub genius, Regine, in opening her first club in New York. She went on to open other clubs in
Miami and Rio
Derek’s unique voice and appearance became quite in demand
by advertising and music video producers. He and his wife appeared in numerous
music videos and it was not uncommon to see them on subway billboards or TV
ads. On one occasion, he was flown to Romania to appear in a music video.
His wife, Maggie, died in 2002 of cancer and Derek began to
think about joining his sister in Florida.
However, he would loudly complain about having to leave his “burgeoning acting
career” behind. He remained in New
York with his daughter, Melissa, and following his
sister’s death at the end of 2003 he found little reason to go on living. He
died peacefully in his sleep in early 2004 and was buried next to his wife and
sister in Woodlawn Cemetery in Westport,
Derek spoke fluent French and Urdu and some Spanish as well
as Cantonese. Throughout his life he was very athletic mastering such sports as
skiing, polo, fencing, and rugby. He was also a skilled shooter and experienced