I am currently living in Australia after living half my life in England and India. I am answering this with my grandchildren (two of evelen) and wife of 61 years. In the second world war I served in the 9th Gurkha regiment for six and a half years. During my time there I met Mahatma Ghandi briefly. Ask me anything!



Edit: Grandson is typing this so please excuse any spelling mistakes, I THINK one or two of you mentioned that I spelled Gandhi wrong.

EditEdit: Thank you so much reddit, my grandfather appreciated your participation and thanks you!

EditEditEdit: Called Grandpa back and he's basically asleep so I'm afraid that's it for tonight! He has said he will get back to you though and I'll get him finishing off some of the questions that he was looking to answer tomorrow. Feel free to keep asking away as he is amazed at all of your interest in his life and wishes to read through each comment (much to my frustration). Thanks again guys, cliché you're the best here. Also a few people are doubting the authenticity so if you can think of any way to further identify my grandfather then drop me a line!

Comments: 1244 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

ConorPF625 karma

You, sir, are a badass.

dlarkworthy715 karma

Takes on to know one

Depreciated308 karma

61 years of marriage, that's incredible! I just celebrated my 4th with my bride... what words of advice can you (or you wife) offer to have a long and lasting marriage?

dlarkworthy1289 karma

We are both of the opinion that our 60 years of marriage is due to the fact that we have never lost our tempers simultaneously.

dinkleberg31237 karma

  1. What was Ghandi like?
  2. What did you do in India?
  3. Be serious: how much of the world do the Masons actually run? How has the financial crisis affected them?
  4. How many black freemasons are there?

dlarkworthy320 karma

  1. A controversial political character, but someone I admired.
  2. I was an officer in a Gurkha regiment. I had a range of duties including being an animal transport officer(mules and horses), an adjutaint and finally a company commander(of 100 men).
  3. None, is the answer.
  4. Thousands, in Africa and India that i've personally met.

Qcumbaman170 karma

What's your take on the various conspiracies that have surrounded the Freemasons? Any cool secrets you can share?

dlarkworthy291 karma

The various conspiricies about freemasonry are simply the figments of the minds of non-freemasons. It is simply a way of life, and those are the only secrets I could share. It is based on brotherly love, relief and truth.

[deleted]72 karma


dlarkworthy180 karma

Grandson here, I was just explaining some of the many conspiracy theories associated with Freemasonry and it was all unthinkable to him. That is just not the organization that my Grandpa knows or participates in. Related to the god part, Grandpa acknowledges that one can most certainly have brotherly love, relief and truth without believing in a supreme power, you just can't join the group that is the Freemasons that hold the belief in a supreme being. I hope this wasn't offensive or irritating in any way :\

[deleted]159 karma


dlarkworthy262 karma

Grandson here typing, noted.

shhhhhhhhh108 karma

As I noted above, because I really hate when people insist on 'correcting' other peoples' transliteration, isn't it महात्मा गांधी?

dlarkworthy73 karma

Thank you specifically, for reminding me. I can just remember sufficient Hindi to say we've been spelling it wrong (he's chuckling)

MarineSTA146 karma

What advice would you give to someone currently serving in the military when it comes to being a good leader?

dlarkworthy438 karma

You've got to know your men I think is the answer. To be familiar with all details of their life. That's what a leader does, leads, but he can't lead people he doesn't know.

theberg13138 karma

What do you consider to be your proudest accomplishment?

dlarkworthy462 karma

Having a terrific family.

Tell-Me-Fun-Facts125 karma

Very fascinating! Do you have any particularly exciting episodes from your Second World War experience you would like to share?

dlarkworthy594 karma

This is the shortened version: We were near Mytkina in Northern Burma, we saw an American C-46(Dakota) shot down by a Japanese Zero. Four parachutes appeared from the shot down plane. We took compass bearings on all of them. My job was to go and find one of them, who had landed in the jungle. I took a platoon of my soldiers in case there were Japanese present and marched off to find him. We had been walking for about an hour and thought we'd be near where he landed when my orderly said to me, "Look Sahib, two men have been past here." he looked again and said, "Come to think of it, it's the same man twice". I immediately ordered a halt to brew tea, because if he's been there twice, he'd probably come back a third time. After about 20 minutes my scouts reported a man walking down the track. I stepped out from behind a tree, and said "Good afternoon" and observed this man, who had his jungle emergency pistol in his right hand and in his left he held his jungle emergency compass.

yoinkmasta107123 karma

It sounds like you have led a very interesting life.

In your brief meeting with Mahatma Ghandi, did you exchange any words with him? If so, what was said?

dlarkworthy240 karma

Repost: Just putting this onto the top comment though it was adressed further down.

Meeting Mahatma Ghandi was one of the most impressive moments of moments of my life. He had what could be called a "presence". Which made him ten foot tall. We talked in hindi, because he spoke in hindi first, granted that he probably spoke english better than I did. We talked about vegetable gardens for the soldiers, as it was necessary that any conversation with him should be non-political.

ttotherizzle98 karma

as it was necessary that any conversation with him should be non-political.

What do you mean?

dlarkworthy291 karma

This was because he was against British rule of India and as a serving officer, I could not endulge in political conversation with him without being guilt of treason I suppose.

Boogeyboogey96 karma

Since you spoke in Hindi........ "App ki hindi ab kesi hai? thori yaad hai, ya bhool gayi?"

Sorry just having fun, you have led a most meaningful and exciting life. Most of us can only wish we will have one only as half as amazing as yours.

dlarkworthy132 karma

Main thora yad kar sakta hun, magar ajkal bahut bhool gaya.

SilentExchange90 karma

First of all, I want to say thank you for doing this AMA and for protecting the free world. Also, if any of the following questions are too personal feel free to skip them.

  1. If you could change one decision in your life which one would it be?
  2. What has been the most profound change in the world since you were in your 20's?
  3. If you could give one piece of advice to today's youth what would it be?

dlarkworthy257 karma

  1. Oh god I've made so many wrong decisions I cannot single one out.
  2. Email, by extension the internet. But mostly email.
  3. What I would advise you all is that whatever you do, make sure you can live with yourself by being honest with whatever you do.

wrestlingteamcaptain84 karma

What was it like meeting Mahatma Ghandi? Did you speak with him? If so, what did you speak about?

dlarkworthy173 karma

Meeting Mahatma Ghandi was one of the most impressive moments of moments of my life. He had what could be called a "presence". Which made him ten foot tall. We talked in hindi, because he spoke in hindi first, granted that he probably spoke english better than I did. We talked about vegetable gardens for the soldier, as it was necessary that any conversation with him should be non-political.


what advice would you give one to live a good life?

dlarkworthy388 karma

Fear god and honor the Queen (he says laughing) "And having a damn good bloody wife" (from Gran)

LoneStoner65 karma

How long have you been a brother?

dlarkworthy98 karma

63 years.

planification64 karma

What to you does it mean to be a freemason?

dlarkworthy138 karma

To me, it means a very great deal. it points to a way of life which leads to true friendship regardless of religion, race or creed.

[deleted]62 karma

Thanks for your service, sir! I have a few questions.

  1. When did people find out about the Holocaust?
  2. How did the public find out?
  3. What was the initial public reaction? Disbelief? Horror?
  4. What kept you going during the war?

dlarkworthy143 karma

  1. Not until the end of the war, I didn't know too much about it as I was over in India.
  2. From the newspapers and radio
  3. Horror, the fact is that I didn't come home until 1947, two years after the war ended.
  4. There was a job to do.

strugle59 karma

The Burma theater, which you mentioned you served in, seems to have been largely forgotten, at least when compared to the fighting in Europe or the Pacific. I believe Field Marshall Slim even described the 14th Army as the "Forgotten Army." Does it bother you that the Burma theater is so obscure, especially given the heroism of so many soldiers there, or do you not mind?

dlarkworthy174 karma

It doesn't bother me in the least that we were known as the "Forgotten Army". There was some very fierce fighting at a village near Imphal whose name escapes me. A famous memorial was afterwards erected there, which read: "When you go home, tell them and say: For their tomorrows, we gave our today." That just about sums it up.

Thinking_WithPortals51 karma

I believe you are referring to the Battle of Kohima.

4,064 British/Commonwealth casualties to 5,764 Japanese casualties, to which British Field Marshall Bill Slim wrote after the battle: 'Sieges have been longer, but few have been more intense, and in none have the defenders deserved greater honour than the garrison of Kohima.'

dlarkworthy38 karma

Kohima, that was exactly right

tastes_like_thumbs51 karma

What was your worst experience in India or Burma? The most difficult thing to cope with at the time? Now I believe it's traffic heh.


dlarkworthy148 karma

I was talking to an Indian chap on the train who was a lawyer, a very cultured man. When the train stopped we got out to go and have a drink at the station. He was very rudely spoken to by an officer in the British regiment and I found this incredibly embarrassing.

DillyG10144 karma

What is the standard process of joining the Freemasons? Also, was Ghandi as godly in person as what our society views him as?

dlarkworthy83 karma

To join, you need to talk to someone who you know to be a freemason. If you do not know anybody who is a freemason then visit a local masonic hall when there are people there. Yes he was, that's why be was called Mahatma, which signifies a saintly person.

Malcolm_Y40 karma

Do you think that Freemasonry, in its diminished modern size, is still a worthwhile pursuit for a young man?

*edit for spelling

dlarkworthy73 karma

Yes I do. Because it hasn't deminished all that much and anything that is founded on such principles must be considered to be a worthy thing to follow. In fact it is very much in need of the young people.

[deleted]38 karma

I've always wondered this.

What was the aura surrounding the world during WWII? Was there fear in the air? How did people live and continue their lives knowing the atrocities being committed on the other side of the world?

dlarkworthy70 karma

We tried to ignore as much as possible. They didn't always knnow about the atrocities, war in itself is the biggest. Some people were afraid and others not. In England and Europe there was always the fear of air raids.

Hazza3235 karma

First of all, MASSIVE respect to you sir. Secondly, how do you feel you and other Gurkhas have been treated by the government?

dlarkworthy45 karma

It's difficult because the treatment of the Gurkhas was originally decided by a treaty between England and India, both of whom recruit Ghurkha soldiers, resulting in lowered pay. It was therefor necessary that a rate of pension was to be decided between the countries. To the best of my beliefs the situation has been resolved.

[deleted]26 karma

How do you feel about the portrayal of war in movies and television? Do you feel any of it has been done tastefully or is worth watching?
EDIT: spelling

dlarkworthy86 karma

Some war movies, yes, the BBC series 'The World At War' was factual and excellently done. Another one, 'Zulu', was particularly well portrayed because it was true of the action at Rorkes Drift. In general I don't watch war films (he says chuckling), unless it's the Duke (John Wayne).

Schizophrenics23 karma

Honestly, I just want to hear some stories. My grandfather was a Freemason as well. My grandma said 32nd degree if that means something special. I haven't looked into it much. I never listened to his stories and I regret that.

Fire away with any unusual or just fascinating stories you have! Thanks!

dlarkworthy58 karma

To start with 32nd degree is the second highest degree possible in orders allied to masonry. I don't have directly related to freemasonry but I was comanding a recruit company at the depot where we layed on a swimming demonstration. The fact is that the Gurkhas who live at the top of the hill cannot swim, but those in the valleys, can. At the end of the demonstration we told the men that they could go into the pool and warned the non swimmers to go in the shallow end. But they didn't. It took me and 3 PT NCOs to drag them all out.

reidpants18 karma

Do you believe it would be in an atheist's interest to join the freemasons?

dlarkworthy71 karma

The fact is he could not join, because you cannot become a freemason unless you believe in a supreme being.

soul_hacker17 karma

  1. When did you leave India?
  2. Have you gone back?
  3. If yes, then how was it compared to your earlier stay?

dlarkworthy36 karma

I left in Christmas 1946 and I've never been back unfortunately. I've never been able to afford to, I'd like to though.

wardialer197616 karma

Thanks for your service first off, WWII vets are becoming far fewer far faster than ever. What was the most significant change you have seen in your 90 years of life? What was the biggest surprise as technology evolved? If you can leave one piece of advice to all those younger than yourself, what would be the single most important bit? Good on yer mate, Bob's yer uncle and all that :)

dlarkworthy23 karma

Had a laugh at Bob's your uncle, refer to above

[deleted]10 karma

first off id like to thank you for your service. my father was in the military and i grew up a military brat. heres my questions:

What are some of the perks of the freemasons? what does being a freemason actually involve doing? Where did you serve in WW2? Branch in Military? What did you and Ghandi talk about? What is he like?

dlarkworthy14 karma

Served as an infantry officer in Burma and my battalion was in 111 brigade, which was part of the Chindit operation in Burma. Our divisional commander was Orde Wingate, so we were part of 14th army commanded by Bill Slim. Refer above for the rest.

TheSwolk10 karma

  1. What led you to become a Freemason (i.e. how/why, etc)?
  2. How has being a Freemason played a role in your life?
  3. What changes have you seen the organization go through?
  4. How 'serious' would you describe Freemasonry to be (i.e on a sliding scale from religion-like, to more of just a group of guys) in your experience?

Thanks for doing this AMA!!

EDIT: Spelling

dlarkworthy21 karma

  1. Two grandfathers, a father, and uncle were all freemasons. I admired them and decided to follow their example.
  2. Provided me with fellowship all my life, aprticularly when going from England to Australia to find oneself still among friends.
  3. The organizations has become much more open and lost a lot of the cloak and dagger, and pointless secrecy.
  4. Certainly much nearer to religion than to just a social group. Although it should be emphasised that is NOT a religion.

LTchimpo9 karma

When you were fighting in the war, what division did you serve in? Did you ever meet General Slim? If so, what was he like?

dlarkworthy17 karma

I never met General Slim but everyone respoected him and liked him, he had been a Gurkha regimental officer when he was younger. I did meet General Wingate, I also met General Wavell when he was Commader In chief of india, a wonderful man.

Noxtavious8 karma

Every armed force out there seems to create its own internal culture and traditions not necessarily shared by the nation that created it. Could you tell us a few particularities about Gurkha regiments not shared by other armed forces? Dirty marching songs count.

dlarkworthy17 karma

They don't have any 'dirty marching songs' but they certainly have their own. Their songs were all sung in Nepalese (proceeds to sing).

Edit: Their discipline is second to none