Conisbrough Man Flown From India for Freedom Ceremony (picture)

October 1946

South Yorkshire Times, October 12, 1946

Conisbrough Man Flown Home
From India for Freedom Ceremony


Flown from India specially for the occasion, a young Conisbrough soldier, Sgt Vincent Eric Rich, 14, Castle Grove Terrace, took part on Sunday in the ceremony on Doncaster racecourse when the freedom of Doncaster was conferred on his regiment, the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Sgt Rich arrived in Conisbrough at 11 pm and had to knock his wife, Mrs Margaret Rich, up. It was a pleasant surprise for her as there had been no time to dispatch a cable and they had not seen each other for two years.

“The journey came as quite a surprise, Sgt Rich told the “South Yorkshire Times” yesterday. “We were warned 2 or three days before that we might be making the trip, but in the end it was quite a rush affair. We had only two or three hours notice and then we were away from Bombay. The trip took five days – 35 hours flying time.”

“Quite a number of men in my battalion come from South Yorkshire,” Sgt Rich said, “and I have quite a number of messages to take back with me from relatives here to their sons in India. Several people came specially to the ceremony in Doncaster on Sunday in order to look out for us and give us these messages.” Sgt Rich, who returns to India by air on November 2, expects to be demobilised in January. Before joining the army in August, 944, he was employed at the ICI works, Denaby. During his home training he was in the West Yorkshire Regiment, but transferred to the K. O. Y. L. I. When he was posted overseas. In December 1944 he was in India.