Roy Clifford DARLEY

DARLEY, Roy Clifford

Service Number: SX6305
Enlisted: 21 June 1940, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Narridy, South Australia, 14 April 1918
Home Town: Narridy, Northern Areas, South Australia
Schooling: Narridy Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Main Road Department employee
Died: Natural causes, South Australia, 13 December 2009, aged 91 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Derrick Gardens, Path 60, Grave 1541B
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World War 2 Service

21 Jun 1940: Enlisted Private, SN SX6305, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion, Adelaide, South Australia
21 Jun 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Corporal, SN SX6305
10 Apr 1941: Involvement Private, SN SX6305, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion, Siege of Tobruk
10 Oct 1945: Discharged Corporal, SN SX6305, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
10 Oct 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Corporal, SN SX6305

“Setbacks” are great for “comebacks”.

Roy Clifford Darley
Roy was the last surviving of Jim and Myrtle Darley’s eight children. Born in 1918 in Narridy in the mid-north of South Australia, Roy went to the local school then initially returned to the family farm where hard work was overseen by his father. Later, he then drove trucks for the Georgetown Council. Roy also enjoyed working on weekends shovelling and carting of fine sand from Pt Germain to the Yorke Peninsula areas, to be used for local pipeline construction. He played Football & Cricket for Narridy & Georgetown with ‘Spider” Noonan with great success and he loved his sport. He was also reputed to be the best dancer in the region.
Aged 19, and after a hard day’s work in the truck his Uncle Bruce asked him to pop into the back of the local hotel and get two bottles of beer. It was a Sunday and outside of trading hours. That foray enabled him to meet Kathleen O’Loughlin who was working at the hotel. Despite not knowing who she was he returned to his uncle declaring he had just met the most beautiful girl in the world; unfortunately, he forgot about the beer. That meeting led to 66 years of marriage with Kathleen; they were inseparable. Family meant everything to Roy, and Kathleen was his life.
Post war in the 1950’s, the family lived at Crystal Brook. Roy and his best mate Jack Liddle decided they deserved nick names; there were two people they each aspired to – Tiger Potts – Norwood footballer was Jack’s selection but Roy chose a local Warnertown footballer, Augie Christofant who wore baggy old shorts down to his knees, no football socks and holey football jumper. Roy became “Augie” and that stuck.
Roy was employed with the PMG, becoming foreman of the local Crystal Brook division. He closely followed the achievements of both sons, Gerald and John, including with cricket and football. He rode every wide John delivered and cringed if Gerald failed to play in front of his opponent in football. Eventually Roy took over pigeon racing in which the boys had been involved.
Roy relished physical hard work and making a quid. For example, local friends would buy a live sheep on sale day which Roy then slaughtered in the garage to provide the families with fresh meat.
Eventually Roy received a Transfer with the PMG (now Telecom) which lasted until his heart attack at 59, giving him 33 years’ service before he retired. He continued to support his sons who by then played with the South Adelaide Football Club and was a great supporter of the Adelaide Crows. Roy created a productive fruit and vegetable garden, supplying others with this produce. He also began walking up to 10 Kms every day for the next 25 years which was probably a secret to his longevity. He would collect and recycle discarded cans, carrying them in an old sugar bag, looking like an old Swaggie. Easier than bag sewing, he claimed.
Roy was inordinately proud of his children and great grandchildren. One grandson is Dr David Darley, the first in the family to become a doctor. Roy used to have a second job over the harvest time, sewing bags of wheat and barley. He cheekily claiming some genetically transferred skills to a surgeon’s but modernised and not in wheat paddocks with 44-degree heat; adding that his grandson should also earn more than 3 pound 10 shillings a hundred without needing his own Dad in attendance threading the needles and watching out for snakes.
In later years, a bad car accident ended Roy’s driving career. However, when he reached his 90th birthday, a letter of congratulations from the Prime Minister of Australia Mr Kevin Rudd, was proudly displayed. He was always a Labor man.
Roy believed that the most important things in life were: Your health, your family and close friends and a quid in your pocket. And that “setbacks” are great for “comebacks”. His song was “There’s a bridle hanging on the wall” – which he would sing (after a few beers) and on special family occasions.
Roy died on the 13th December 2009 after a very full, productive life. Vale.
Tribute contributed by Roy’s son Gerald and extended family.

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