14th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, 1942

The photograph above has been copied from a poor quality postcard (has anyone got a better version?) and features officers and men of the 14th Battalion, the Durham Light Infantry in August-Sepember 1942. Click here for a left hand enlargement. And here for a right hand enlargement. One of the soldiers on this photograph (somewhere!) is Pte Evan Darlington of Oldham (4470373) who was called up to Number 4 Infantry Training Centre, Brancepeth Camp on 14/4/42. Posted to 14 DLI on 18/8/42, he was there just long enough to have this photo taken and was then posted to C Company of 16 DLI (my father’s 15 Platoon) on 18/9/42. Darlington was taken POW during the Battle of Sedjenane--see the envelope below. He successfully escaped from Camp 46 in Italy in September 1943 and eventually reached neutral Switzerland in 1944. Repatriated to the UK on 24/10/44, he was posted back to the 14th DLI on 8/12/44. He was then sent to the 2nd Battalion DLI in the Far East on 27/10/45. He was demobbed on 13/3/47. The photograph above, details of Evan’s Army service and all other items here were supplied by his nephew Roy Mills. Further identifications and information about this photograph most welcome.

It seems likely then that many other men on this photograph will have also have been posted to the 16th DLI in 1942. Several casualties on the 16th DLI Roll of Honour have Army Numbers very close to Darlington’s and thus could well be part of this group, too. For more on this see this page of the Army Numbers part of the site. Like the 16th Battalion, the 14th and the 17th Battalions DLI were both formed in mid-1940, but neither saw active service abroad. The envelope at right below, marked ‘Missing’ is signed by Lt R J Elliott, who was a D Company platoon officer in 1942-43. He later commanded the Pioneer Platoon. A portrait photograph of Evan Darlington, possibly taken during his internment in Switzerland, is at bottom left. The following items are also on the site:

POW Postcard from Camp 146, Italy

Group photographs of Pte Evan Darlington and fellow escapers in Italy, 1943-44

An envelope and the address of his Swiss internment camp

Two group photograph taken in a Mess Hall, possibly at Changi, with 2 DL1 in 1945-46.

With two other 2nd Battalion DLI soldiers in 1945-46.


Pte Evan Darlington, 4470373, 14 DLI & 16 DLI
Pte Evan Darlington 4470373, 16 DLI
Returned Letter, 15 Platoon, 16 DLI
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