West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Years in Focus 1944

YEARS IN FOCUS
LOCAL NEWS AND EVENTS OF THE 1940s

PONTEFRACT IN 1944

January 1944
UNUSUAL EXPERIENCES

Unusual experiences during seven years in foreign countries, most of the time with the K.O.Y.L.I., were recalled this week by Corporal Albert Matthewman, of 15 Coburg Street, Pontefract, who recently returned to this country and is now spending 28 days leave.

Twenty-five years of age, Cpl Matthewman joined the K.O.Y.L.I. in 1935.  In 1936 he was sent to Gibraltar where he completed 18 months service during which time many visits were made to Morrocco. Then he went to Rangoon, where he stayed until the evacuation in 1941. He fought in the Burma Campaign and it was while fighting the Japanese that he encountered his worst experience, having to swim the Sittany River to make an escape. He also participated in the blowing up of the Yenan Yung oil fields, when the Japanese threatened them, and the Chinese helped to get them out.  He speaks highly of the Chinese as soldiers but as for the Japanese - "What I think of them would not be fit to print; they dare not fight in the open, and are quick to run if outnumbered."

In India, at the time of the Madras floods, his unit had the misfortune  to be flooded out of camp, and one man lost his life. "Whole villages were completely washed out", he said. During the two months journey home from India, a visit was paid to Australia, and a month was spent in America. He says the American people were very hospitable and gave the troops a real good time. During the past few months Cpl Matthewman has been serving with the Yorks and Lancs Regiment.

1944 INDEX


 

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