The vast majority of British soldiers who served were National Service and once their time was up they often came home, were demobbed and went straight back into the workplace with little recognition of their sacrifice.
Rouba Al-Fattal. Korean War, -- Drama. In this camp we were about in this village. He was a man of few words but when he spoke you listened. Teaching the young about the Great War is a monumental challenge and responsibility.
But it was by chance, when shooting a feature on the Dorset coast over a year ago, that I met veteran Harry Hawksworth, who put me in contact with the remnants of the now defunct British Korean Veterans Association. I have photographed and interviewed a dozen men who fought and served with a variety of regiments during the conflict. I have been deeply touched by not only their heroism and humility but also their willingness to talk about experiences that many had kept to themselves for decades.
What struck me most of all was the importance of feeling amongst all 12 that someone was telling their story; the majority seemed to share the sense that British governments over the years had done very little to remember the sacrifices of soldiers. In fact, the relatively new Korean Memorial on the Embankment was gifted by the South Koreans and some smaller private donations. Perhaps Korea has just been drowned out. Included in these dozen portraits are an officer, a medic, some infantrymen, a gunner and a military policeman, all with very different experiences of the war.
Nearly half the number were photographed and interviewed at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, where they receive the very highest quality of care, along with veterans from many other wars. The others I met either in their private residences or residential care homes.
All in their late eighties now, most were either in their teens or early twenties at the time, fighting in a country that, until their orders came through, most had never heard of. Although I personally can never see a time when the human race will be at peace, I strongly believe the importance of never forgetting the sacrifices made nor the horror we force upon each other in times of conflict, often for little gain.
South Korea was worth fighting for — look at them today. He is photographed at his home in Byfleet. Nineteen and stupid I was scared stiff. Oh god, you could smell it drifting. Alan was promoted to sergeant and joined up with the 10th Field Hygiene section and set up a forward operating base in an advance party close to the frontline.
You can imagine the relief! Any aspect of health really. It was quite amusing, in a way. I remember we ran a little seminar for some of the frontline troops, who were grateful for a little rest, as it were. One of the things we showed them was we found the dirtiest ditch we could find that was full of water and we filtered it and offered it to them to drink. They then realised that could really be useful if they were stuck somewhere; it could really save their lives.
It was only later that we got worried. Earlier on in the war an F, an American jet, attacked us. It came in machine gunning and then released two napalm bombs, but they landed on the hill behind us.
The only casualty was one of the fellas who dived into his bunker and landed onto something he was cooking and got burnt. At the British positions there were no lights showing. With the Americans there was lots of noise and lights flashing; with us, they never knew how many of us there were. You could see for bloody miles, there was a river going through, but we kept our eyes on the barbed wire and the scrub in front of us and if anything moved we shot at it.
But all they sent was a lorry for the kit bags.
We had to march to the castle in Norwich. All my friends I was at school with joined the army; a couple got killed in Malaya. It was more closer kind of warfare, so we used the Sten gun. Some had the magazine on the top but we liked the side ones. We went on the Orwell, a German liner. It had big eagles stamped into where the funnels were.
The first time I looked out the porthole I saw a camel with a guy wearing a red fez. It was the whole regiment; on the quayside there was a black American band doing the St Louis blues.
It was great. We got mortared on the hook. The Chinese were mortaring all the time. It landed about a yard from the Jeep and blew me out about 40 yards. The Chinese were just like us; they were young kids just like us and national service. Everything was so close-call, we used to have American stuff, like flak jackets.
Gerry went out in the Jeep on another mission with four signalers, who were caught smoking in the dark by the Chinese mortars. When Gerry tried to speed off, the Jeep went into the river and all five were trapped under it at the river bottom for some time before finally getting to safety. After Gerry left Korea, his friend Cpl Derby was shot and killed mistakenly by a sentry at night, shortly after agreeing to stay and serve another year. As a Victoria Cross winner, Speakman was one of the better-known soldiers of the Korean conflict and would regularly be seen on Remembrance Sundays at the Cenotaph in his wheelchair, with all the other British Service men and women who pay tribute to the fallen.
But he had this to say:. I never saw my father, my mother brought me up. I think I was always a bit of a loner but I was happy with it. I just decided that the Army was for me. I falsified my age the first time but they tumbled it. We fought all over Korea wherever we were needed, that was it really. It made South Korea what it is today, you know.
That was a massive hill. They were being briefed by our officer when a mortar landed in the trench. It killed the two 2nd Lieutenants but never harmed the officer. So it was a matter of holding all the best hills in the area. You were normally awake all night on stand-to and in the day you did all your chores. We lost quite a few lads altogether, most on Hill It went cold, absolute cold.
We went all the way to the border of China ; we were to meet a company commander. They were guarding a load of engineers getting ready to blow a bridge. We got into quite a number of scrapes actually.
The Unforgotten War [Bok GEO-IL] on wandrobbidar.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Size: x x inches Weight pounds But then, old wars. The Unforgotten War: Dust of the Streets [Thomas Park Clement] on wandrobbidar.tk . *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Autobiography of a half and half Korean.
I was just a sprog then, literally the youngest. The regiment was full of reservists — all the blokes in the OP Party were all years older than me. They had been right through the war WWII. The Old Man told me to take first stag sentry duty , so I did. It was getting dark and I was sitting in this thing with my headset on making my reports and responding on the radio.
I had a revolver, but also a Sten gun. You started to fire back, whether you hit anyone or not. There were thousands of them, shadowy figures wearing these funny, little, quilted shell-suits. My orders were to assemble and go round and entertain. Several Chinese armies had managed to creep up to the thinly-stretched UN positions unseen and were preparing for an all-out push to obliterate the line defending Seoul.
And of special interest was the section under the command of the British 29 Brigade, protecting the route across the Imjin river north of what is now the South Korean capital. I got back to my unit and the old man said go and get some batteries, because they the Glosters are surrounded. I missed it by not being able to get back. There was a feeling of wanting to be there with the chaps but then realizing a bit of self-preservation really.
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https://morthatertiruc.tk The work of coming to terms with the past and connecting it to the present is essential. The five stories that follow are about recovering lost history and understanding what happens when innocent young people are caught in the machinery of hatred and war.
Our main story is by Renia Spiegel, a spirited Polish teenager who spent her last days hiding from the Nazis.