LOCAL NEWS AND EVENTS OF THE 1940s
PONTEFRACT IN 1944
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."
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.