Korea - even more forgotten

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by pandaplodder, Mar 16, 2009.

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  1. Why is it no one ever mentions Korea?

    I spent a bit of time last year going through what the BBC had collected for its WWII Voices project, its a shame no one is doing the same with Korean vets.
  2. It's the same for every conflict since 1945 and there have been quite a few. Saying that, huge chunks of WW2 are not remembered either.

    Even Northern Ireland has slipped from memory, despite recent events. Try your local bookshop and try to find a book on it, the listings jump straight from Berlin to Tora Bora.

    GW1 has already gone the same way and Telic will be forgotten about by about June this year
  3. Might see what can be done about Korea, a friend of my family served with Guards there and I remember just over 20 years ago working with someone who had been in a troop train with the Glosters VC winner.

    Korea Vets must be well into there 70's now
  4. Max Hastings: The Korean War.
  5. Father in law was a serving Major there at the time, he is well into his eighties.
  6. We have a former Dukes, Colour Sgt who served in Korea. Joined Battalion just after the Hook Battle. Hes Mid 70s now.
  7. My old man is in his mid-70's
    Served in Korea. He has in my experience said almost nothing about the War that I know of.
    About all I know (not from want of asking as a lad). He was Gloucester's Hill in 1953 (showed me his position on a map in Keegan's book)
    Walked through a Minefield, Poohed himself when he realised, ground was frozen solid got away with it.
    Blew up bridges and "stuff" (They shouted "Nampo!" to warn of the "bang")
    He was in a Battle in 1953
    He went on to Hong Kong
    Oh, he hated the US M1 Carbine, compared to a Sten.

    So much for Korea!
    Lets forget Op. Banner too!

  8. Check out the 'stories to frighten civvies with' thread, Trip Wire gives an account of him having to use a spade in self defence when his trench was overrun in the Korean War.
  9. The only people who remember are the Military historians and some serving soldiers who take the time to read on such matters. As someone once said 'T'was ever thus'

    There are many,many campaigns that are now beyond the memory and even interest of most of the population. Who recalls Palestine or the North West Frontier or hundreds more like them? I make a point of never mentioning my own very minor contribution, this site excepted, as most people have never head of the places in which I served. The NFD with the Kenyan Army and up country with the British in Aden. May as well attempt to discus hieroglyphics for all the understanding it brings to people obsessed, and probably rightly so, with jobs and property prices.

    Perhaps these memories can only be preserved in Regimental archives for future scholars of things military. WW1 and WW2 were mighty events in the nations history and do deserve more attention. The rest of us must be satisfied with obscurity and the occasional footnote in the history books.

    Having served as part of the Thin Red Line must be honour enough for us.

    As the Sgt Major used to say "If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined'

    Having just chuntered on and not wishing to retype, it does occur to me that given time, the battles being fought currently by our blokes may be seen as pivotal. History will be the judge.
  10. Can you link please AJ? My powers of search have failed me.
  11. A Bloke who posts here, has a book coming out on the Glosters defense of the Imjin River crossing.

    Andy S.

    What's it called and when does it come out?


  12. When I joined my Bn the CO, 2ic, QM, RSM, all Company Commanders, CSMs, CQMSs and a goodly leavening of Sgts, Cpls and a few L/Cpls and Ptes were Korean War veterans. We had a serving VC in our ranks a couple of DCMs, several MMs, MCs & MIDs - all won in Korea. Of the Korea vets most were also veterans of Palestine - all were Malaya veterans. We went on to further operational service in Aden, Radfan and Borneo and of course the frustrations of Ulster right up to the end of the 70s when the last of the Korean Warriors left the Bn.

    Sadly, as others have pointed out, those campaigns, the service of the men who fought in them in unbelievably bad conditions, and the reasons for them being there have largely been forgotten by the nation they served.
    One hopes, at least, 'Regimental History' is still being taught, particularly in those Regiments who were involved - if only to recall the sacrifices of their predecessors.

    BTW there were no Guards units in Korea.

    XXV Once A Borderer Always A Borderer
  13. Guys likely to have been in Korea during the aggro were of the generation that got on with their soldiering and did not bitch about conditions. The first lot sent from HK had only their basic uniform in the winter when they arrived. I went through a winter with all the cww kit + what I could scrounge from the Yanks and still froze half to death - engines would freeze up whilst in motion, battery acid froze and split the casings.
    Farrar Hockley wrote a good book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0016RMUY0/?tag=armrumser-21)
    It seems to take a fair while for battles to get covered. We now know 3 times as much about Wellington and the Peninsular Wars than we do about WW1. Not all due to Sharpe either.
  14. My Old Man was with the Royal Leicesters (Tigers) out there, 'Kid 36' as his nickname, he is 76 now. He was 19 when he went out to Korea, I have his discharge papers, 'a good soldier, physically brave in battle and trustworthy' They didn't waste words I guess when they filled in these things back then?

    Coldest he has ever been in his life he reckons, it takes a lot but when he does get to talking, by God it makes you think.

    Asbestosis is killing him off by degrees but he is an incredible Guy and immensley proud of having served.
  15. I'm getting my second hand family history mixed up, It was my dads cousin who was in the Guards (obviously never went to Korea) the family friend was Beds & Herts Regiment who did go.