Herbert Anthony (Tony) Daley
Remembered by Lesley Bryant (daughter) and written by Theresa Kilbride
Herbert Anthony Daley was known as “Tony”. He was born on the 3rd July 1927 in Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Eastern Kingston, Jamaica. Tony enlisted in the West Indian RAF in 1944 and did his training at RAF Hunmanby Moor, Filey, Yorkshire. After his training Tony was stationed at RAF Fauld, Tutbury, Burton-on-Trent.
On 27th November 1944, just before Tony arrived at RAF Fauld, there had been a massive explosion of 4,000 tons of ordinance. It killed about seventy people from the site and around the small village. Because of this Tony decided to become a RAF fireman.
In the village of Tutbury, Tony remembers while walking up a country lane, “two timid old ladies were walking by and one braved it and said, "good afternoon." I said "good afternoon" back and then she said to her friend “see, I told you he could speak English!”" He was also invited to tea by a family who lived in the village.
After Tony was demobbed in 1949 he eventually went to live in Nottingham where he met his wife at a local dance. They had two children. He started his working life in Nottingham as a carpenter. Tony was very involved with the Nottingham West Indian Combined Ex-Services Association which was started by the ex-RAF men in Long Eaton, Nottingham. There were about forty members who met once a month in Long Eaton. The association attended many parades with their standard; Remembrance Sunday being one of them. Tony has given lots of talks about the West Indian RAF to the Nottingham people and surrounding areas.
Three years ago Tony generously gave all his information and display boards to The National Caribbean Monument Charity which aims to build a commemoration in 2021 at the National Arboretum, Airewas, Staffordshire to honour those from the Caribbean who fought in the wars including WW1 and WW2. The information will be digitalised and displayed in the Imperial War Museum, London.
Tony and his wife Eileen are now cared for at home. Unfortunately Tony now has dementia, but he can sometimes recall things he did with the RAF during the war and it is lovely to hear his stories.
Tony's service number was 714764.