West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Memories and Recollections

COLONEL CHARLES G. DELANY


A PONTEFRACT FAMILIES AMAZING
MILITARY JOURNEY


CHARLES G. DELANY

PROLOGUE

In January 1922 my father William Arthur Delany, following in the footsteps of his father, Lt. Col. C. W. Delany OBE, late of the Army Gym Staff and founder member of the Army Physical Training Corps, joined the Regular Army as a private soldier in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

His recruit training was at Pontefract Barracks, the Regimental Depot and Headquarters of the Regiment. On completion of his recruit training he was posted to the 1st Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. which was part of the British Rhine Army of occupation following World War One, the British Battalion being stationed in Cologne.

In 1925 he returned to the regimental Depot as a Sergeant Instructor and whilst in Pontefract he met Sarah Rebecca Wakefield, and they were married in April 1927.

A return posting to the 1st Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. in Dover and Tidworth saw the arrival of their first child Charles Gerald (the writer) on the 22nd December 1928 in the maternity wing of Louis Margaret’s Hospital, Tidworth. 

Their second child Doreen May arrived on the 28th December 1930.

A further tour as an instructor at the Regimental Depot saw the addition to the family of Peter George, born on the 13th December 1933.

Whilst in Pontefract the Duchess of York visited the regiment as its Colonel-in-Chief and called on the Delany household, meeting the family and being introduced.

The next move was a return to the 1st Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. stationed in Gibraltar, their fourth child Kenneth arrived on the 13th March 1936.

In 1937 a posting to the Far East was for a period of not less than six years and it was in this year that my father was posted to the 2nd Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. in Burma.

Life was to change dramatically for the Delany family. They were most fortunate that their journey to Burma was on board a P&O liner rather that what would have been a most uncomfortable journey on a normal troopship.

A four week voyage traversing the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, Red Sea and Indian Ocean saw the family arrive in Rangoon, a train journey to Maymyo followed where the story begins… 

Charles G. Delany


 

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