KOREA

Korea 1950 – 1953

History records the meritorious Korean War service of many Light Infantry soldiers, and soldiers of other Regiments also, but sadly leaves a tremendous gap in the availability of individual stories of hardship, deprivation, heroism and mateship. Can we, who have a greater inkling of military mateship, do something about this by developing a platform for ‘conversation’ via this Blog Page? Particularly we seek any Old Mates of Bill Griffiths, ex KSLI and Korean Vet, pictured above. Bill’s personal military story is hotlinked under his bolded name below.

We are receiving many requests now to assist in the search for “Old Mates” – many from the families of soldiers KIA in the Korean War. We are also publishing stories from surviving Korean Veterans who are able to recall with magnificent clarity, those events of over 56 years ago. See our reference to WO2 Bill Griffiths and the crosslinked websites under his name. Others will follow, hopefully well before it’s too late. Scan the photo entitled “Cornishmen in Korea” sent in by Geoffrey Tremain on the Most Wanted List web page.

We can restore old photographs to near originality and invite your participation. Just send an email to the Editor for details. It’s simple to post a Comment here – just type away in the box below and ‘click’. The Editor will correct any typo’s and errors and conceal your email address – so your privacy is protected. If you in turn, would like to record a “Mention” on our Most Wanted List then just click this hotlink to travel and follow the prompts. The ‘Poppies’ photo above is kindly donated by Bill Griffiths from his recent contribution to Clive Yapp’s website Welcome to Korea

Tempus Fugit!!

37 Responses to KOREA

  1. Gary Oliver says:

    Hello to all the KSLI. My Dad Henry Oliver, served in Korea with the KSLI. We started to find out more about his time in Korea as he got older, but sadly dementia has taken hold, so just wondering if any one who visits this site new him or served with him.

  2. Lynne Morgan says:

    I’m new here so ‘Hello’. I’m writing on behalf of my husband whose father served in the KSLI in Korea. His name was Anthony Edward (Tony) MORGAN. Born October 1932 he would have been conscripted 18 years later and we believe served in Korea throughout 1951-1952. Word has it that he boxed and played football – breaking his leg (ankle?) playing football in Japan where he’d gone for R&R. Does anyone have any memories of Tony? any anecdotes/photos etc? He (very) sadly passed away in 2001. His close friend was Andrew (Drew) Bastable who is still around. Many thanks, Lynne Morgan

  3. Gavin Liddle says:

    I was wondering if anyone can help me. I think my grandad was part of the Durham Light Infantry during the Korean war. His name was John Stephenson born 1930 in Durham and died in 1991. He apparently met a Japanese woman in Korea and had a daughter with her called “Kim” the army wouldn’t let them return to the UK with him and he left them behind then went on to marry my Nanna in 1957.

    He would never talk about them but heard a rumour about ten years ago they eventually made it from Korea to Tyne and Wear. Does anyone have any memories of him or of the woman and their daughter? How would I find the records if the Army denied his request?

    ED: G’Day Gavin. In the history of this site (9 years) we have heard naught from former DLI squaddies and only one Old LI Mate Bill Griffiths who served in Korea with the KSLI, makes any effort to contribute. It is unlikely therefore that you’ll get a helpful reply. Would suggest that you pursue old regimental trails in the UK – former Light Infantry Museums etc, but certainly you’ll need specific details such as regiment, rank, service number etc for any researcher to assist. Good Luck.

  4. David Semmens says:

    My father served in the Korean War, he was Pte Donald Semmens of St. Just Cornwall. He is featured in the photo of Cornishman in Korea. Sadly he passed away on the 9th of February 2003 at the age of 73 but cannot see his name on the roll of honour.

    ED: David, we appreciate your comment but unfortunately if it is the KSLI Google web page, or another Google web site you refer to it is no longer editable. I have however on your advice, updated DCLI Memoriale to include Donald.

  5. Colin Kent says:

    Hi. My father-in-law served in Korea 1950-53 with Durham Light Infantry a (1st -?) Battalion, his name is Kenneth Fothergill from Witton Park, Co. Durham. Does anyone remember him?

  6. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello everybody. I don’t get to visit this page a lot these days as Korea is more or less forgotten and Korean Veterans are sadly leaving us all too often. Only last night I was told of a great pal of mine, Ken (Konk) Williams who passed away just the other day. Sadly I will not be able to go to his funeral in Shrewsbury later this week BUT my thoughts and prayers will be with him. We had a memorial service at a church in Hereford just over a week ago to remember the end of the Korean War, sixty years ago. One top ranking ex officer who was KSLI was General Sir Peter De La Billiere (of Gulf War fame} who I was able to chat to, a really nice guy.

    Well I hope all is well with those who are left and that they WE have a few more years to go yet. God willing. Bye for now. Bill

  7. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hi all Korean veterans. Friday 27th July is the 59th Anniversary of the cease fire day and there will be a commemoration at the National Memorial Arboretum, also a parade in the presence of H.E. The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea. I unfortunately will be unable to go, but it should be a fantastic affair. If you know any Korean Veterans please let them know.

  8. James says:

    Hi, my grandfather was in the DLI and served in Korea, his name is Trevor Smithey and is from Bath. He was friendly with a man called Brian Chamberlain who unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago.

    I just wondered if anyone had any memories of my Grandfather as he will be celebrating his 80th birthday this Sunday and I would like to pass on names/photos if anyone has any?

    Thanks.

    James

    • Debbie Cetra says:

      Hi James. Brian Chamberlain was my Dad. Could you ask your granddad if he has any memories or photographs he could share about my Dad? I would love to hear from someone who knew Dad at that time in his life. My Dad donated many of his photographs to the DLI museum. I hope you heard from people so you could make your granddad’s special birthday a fantastic day. Thanks hope to hear from you. Debbie

  9. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Nick,
    I made a few enquiries through my Korean Veterans Branch, but unfortunately nobody remembers about David Davies. Sorry about that, but there were a lot of out there and we didn’t have a great deal of time to get to know everyone. Hope you eventually find something.
    Bill Griffiths

  10. Nick Dixon says:

    Thanks for this and to Sgt Major Griffiths for his work.

    Nick

  11. Editor in Brisbane says:

    Pte David Davies DLI. KIA Korea 1952

    D Davies RIP

    Nick, we are informed by Sjnt Major Bill Griffiths, one of our honoured KSLI Old Soldiers and a Korean Veteran, that he has read your comments and is undertaking more research on your behalf. At this moment he has little more to add other than an image of the Roll of Honour and the grave plaque in Japan, which we respectfully publish here in the hope that the visual image will promote additional response. Bill is making enquiries with other Korean Vets, with whom he is in regular contact in Hereford.

  12. Nick Dixon says:

    Many thanks, this is what I am hoping for as I know from my own experience talking to my late father’s Burma Star comrades, the life of the ordinary soldier can be very fruitful in such research

    Nick

  13. Nick Dixon says:

    Hi all. I wonder if anyone could help me with some research I am undertaking for a family acquaintance.

    Her grandfather Pte David Davies #22773155 of the DLI was killed in Korea 30/12/1952. We have found pictures of his grave in Yokohama but the family has no picture of the man himself in uniform. Any help would be most gratefully received. My e-mail address is (removed for privacy).

    Many thanks, I have found this site very interesting, my normal field of research is military aviation so coming down to the ground is very interesting. Regards.

    Nick Dixon

    ED: Thanks for posted comment. Your email address has been removed for privacy (unless you want a ton of Spam!). Any replies will be captured and I shall pass ’em on. The best that you can hope for on this site is that another Old Soldier will recognise the name. Good Luck.

  14. Bill Griffiths says:

    Hello Jack,
    We don’t know each other, I was with the KSLI in Korea, it seems like a hundred years ago. You are lucky to have a grandson to help you, keep him at it and lets not forget KOREA. As to the pages that are missing from the site, they were getting out of hand and not really part of our past, and our dedicated friendship and comradeship. But just a lot of rubbish.

    What Derek is trying to do is to keep us old boys alive, sharing our memories, not telling silly dirty stories.
    Let’s keep together sharing our memories and comradeship that we enjoyed so much all those years ago.
    Keep your chin up, chest out and get a couple of glasses of red wine down you. Good stuff, even my doctor reccomends it.

    Best wishes
    Bill Griffiths. ex KSLI

    • John Leeming says:

      Hello, my name is John Leeming. Are you the same Bill Griffiths who lives near Pickering N Yorkshire, If you are I believe you were in Korea with my father, Joe Leeming. He is really ill at the moment and I know that a chat to old comrades would hopefully perk him up a bit. If you are him, please contact me by my email, would very much appreciate it.

      Thank you, John

      ED: JL. I reply on behalf of Sjnt Major Bill Griffiths (KSLI, RAPC) of Eardisley. Herefordshire. Bill has just suffered a sorrowful loss on the passing of his wife Nancy, on 24th May past. He is probably in no position to answer you immediately, but in due course will read the blogs and offer a comment. We do not publish email addresses, but will establish contact where needed. Best Regards to your father from this old Light Infantryman. (1DCLI).

      • John Leeming says:

        So sorry I haven’t been on here for a while, but last December {2012} we lost our father, Joe Leeming suddenly. Hope bill and his family are fine.

        • Bill Griffiths says:

          Hello John, so sorry to hear your sad news on losing your father, please accept our sincere condolences. I know the feeling as I lost my elder brother Bob just a year ago, he was with us with the KSLI in Korea, and wounded in our first major battle. I also lost my wife Nancy in May 2011 after nearly sixty years of marriage, so I do understand how you feel.

          But, life has to go on, and we are here to help each other by keeping in touch, and sharing our sorrows, especially through this wonderful Blogpage which Derek Lovemore has provided for us.

          As to my family, well, I don’t know what is wrong with my five children, as they have not spoken to me now for nearly five years, neither have their partners or the Grand Children, so believe me, I know what it is to be alone. Hope that time will help you to get over your grief.

          All best wishes, and do keep in touch. Bill Griffiths.

          • John Leeming says:

            So sorry to hear of your loss too Bill, a massive part of your life gone. I will keep in touch with you, and the passing of my father has made me want to find out more about what all you brave men went through in that terrible war. My father could only bring himself to talk about it about 5 yrs ago and I have found out so much about him and his regiment, not only in Korea but Suez straight after and will post some photos soon if you would be interested. Once again Bill I am really sorry to hear of your loss, and realize that this is the time of year when you seem to miss them more but like you say we have to keep going on. One thing we do have are great memories. Take care bill and will speak soon.

            • Bill Griffiths says:

              Hello John and thanks so very much for your kind words. I have as you can imagine, had a very quiet time over this Christmas period, BUT I have lots of fond memories of the years gone by both from my own personal life and my connection with old army pals, which sadly, get fewer every year. Yes, please keep in touch and if you would like to email me mention this on this website, and our Editor Derek will put you in touch.

              Only two more days, and we will be starting yet another year, they seem to come along quicker every year. All best wishes, look forward to hearing from you again soon. Bill

  15. Jack Thompson says:

    Dear Sir. My 12 year old grandson is sending this letter for me as I’m a wee bit poorly now and limited to a wheelchair and I have poor sight. I served in Korea in 1952 as a driver and was wounded by some shelling and have been disabled since. I read your emails from time to time and enjoy the chatter that goes on, especially some of the jokes. Where have they gone. I notice that other pages are missing too, the pages where people wrote lots of funny stuff , not army.

    I have recently found some of my Korea pictures and wonder if they are of any interest for you. I don’t keep in touch with my oppos any more, but if someone sees me in my army truck they might remember me.

    Yours truly. Jack

    ED: Hello Jack, nice to hear from a Korean vet. Are you an early riser, or are you not in England? Of course I shall appreciate some of your photos. I will email you directly to tell your grandson how to manage ’em, to send to me for publication, rather than a long instructional on here.

    I’m sorry that you have lost some of my pages, they are part of a site downsizing that I have done to remove many tiresome comments from boring people who need to get a life. I’ll email you with some details of an Old Army Mate who might be able to help.

    Regards, Editor.

  16. Reg Littlewood ex KSLI says:

    Reg is my neighbour and would like to contact any ex Korean War Veteran who would like to accompany him to Korea at the request of their President. Reg was in S Coy KSLI MMG & 3″ Mortar Platoon from 1950 -1953. He can attend either this year or next.

  17. Bill Griffiths says:

    Jack Rumfitt,
    I met up with Geoff Burleigh at the Light Infantry Re-Union last Saturday, in Copthorne Barracks. Geoff was in my brother Bob’s platoon as a bugler. Brother Bob was CO’s bugler. He transported Neil Swanson up to Shrewsbury, so I suggest you get in touch with Neil so that he in turn can get you both together again.

    Bill Griffiths ex 4042838 KSLI

  18. Editor says:

    60 YEAR ANNIVERSARY APPROACHING

    On 25th June 1950, the fighting began in Korea. We mark this approaching anniversary with a sharp reminder that North Korea is adopting a highly aggressive posture towards South Korea that offers a timely suggestion that old lessons haven’t taught the Communists a bloody thing.

    There is enough shit going on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Gaza etc etc – bloody nauseatingly mindful of the warlike mentality of many, with the possibility no doubt, of the West being brought in – yet again – to act as peacekeeper and put our lads at risk. More foreign shit to clean up! and the Pollies at home still can’t get it right.

    Lest we forget.

  19. Jack Rumfitt says:

    Hi to all who served in the KSLI. I think by now there might not be a lot of the lads who were at London Chelsea Barracks in 1948 when we were doing Royal Duties. At the begining I was in C. Company, then later went into the Bugle sec. I met some good mates there, plus had some good times as well. There was one lad I remember called Jeff Burleigh I think thats how his name was spelt, who at the time was in for two years service. When we left Chelsea Barracks and we were going to Hong-Kong, he enlisted as a regular, just so he could go to Hong-kong. All the lads at the time took the mickey out of him for that, but he did not care what others thought, we struck up a great friendship all the way in Hong – Kong, and in Korea, until we left Korea, and I got my demob Sadly we never got in touch when I left, as the Regiment went to Germany. I am now 78yrs old, so he must be about the same. All I know he was from Cornwall, I think in Falmouth, some one might have heard of him, My number then was 22201082 L/cpl J Rumfitt, Well thats all for now, cheers.

    • Michael Mccolgan says:

      Hello, my name is Michael McColgan and I am a nephew of William Hanlon. if you have any info on him I would be very happy to hear from you. He was definitely in London and on royal duties at the time you mention, but other than that I know very little about him.

  20. Fred Perks says:

    I wonder if anyone can remember my brother Cyril Perks who was in the KSLI.

    ED: Might need a bit more information Fred! Like when and where, rank, service numbers etc!

  21. I am now in touch with April Reed, and she has sent me some photos of her Dad, now published on my site..(above )
    Her father sadly is bedridden, so she is trying to help him by showing photos etc.

    Look forward to hearing from more old soldiers

    Bill

  22. April Reed says:

    Hello

    My father Jon Reed was in Korea 1950-52 (he thinks), he has not been well and I am trying to find ways to keep him cheerful, so if anyone remembers him could they drop me a line.

    Thanks

    April

    ED: Our thanks to April for this posting. However it should be noted that very little regimental description is offered, which in turn makes it a virtual impossibility to identify Jon Reed. Also the email address for reply to April is not published, which again denies further contact – except by the Editor. However April has been contacted with an invitation to forward more details and to also refer to Jon those existing websites that publish memoirs of Korean times.

  23. Hello

    My father, Thomas Chadwick MM served under Major JA Tresawna DSO. My dad is no longer with us and sadly Major Tresawna died in Korea. I have been left some photographs and wonder if any family members would like them?

    Kind regards, Dianne Chadwick

    PS from Editor on 20th August 2007

    Hello Dianne

    Thank you for your recent post to “Korea”

    There is in fact a group photo entitled “Cornishmen in Korea” on my site http://hmtships.googlepages.com/britisharmy%27smostwantedlist that features Major Tresawna with other squad members. Scroll to almost endpage. Thus far there have been no responses to that group photo which was published some months ago at the behest of Private Geoffrey Tremain.

    I shall be most pleased to receive any photos of that era from you – hopefully with any captioning that might be available. I shall then publish them appropriately to endeavour to attract attention from interested families.

    My condolences on the loss of your father Thomas Chadwick and further invite your contribution of his service details for a “Mention” in the alphabetical section of the above referred site. I require full name, any nicknames, photo in uniform, rank on discharge, service number, regiment and regimental postings history, DOB, DOD and last place of UK residence.

    I trust that this reply will be of interest to you.

    • John Leeming says:

      My father was near Major Tresawna when he was killed in Korea, I am sorry I have not answered you before now but I have just found this page. Hope you still have the photos. Thank you. John Leeming.

      ED: Unfortunately John, those referred photos never appeared. If there is reaction in due course we shall publish ’em to this site. That applies also to any that your father might care to forward for me to publish. Please forward a .jpeg file by email with captions to djkl157@gmail.com

      • Dianne Chadwick says:

        Hello John

        Have just found your message about your father and the fact that he was near Major Tresawna when he was killed in Korea. My dad actually taped a number of tapes about the Korea War for the war museum (and Tresawna’s death); I haven’t been able to listen to it but it may interest you? I have Major Tresawna’s water bottle, can’t believe no member of his family wants it?

        • John Leeming says:

          Dear Dianne. Sorry I haven’t been on here for a while but we lost our dear father suddenly last year and we are struggling to get over it really ‘cos he was so fit. I have listened to the tapes and they are very interesting, my dad spoke very highly of your father and Major Tresawna. If you want I can send you some of my fathers photos by email. Take care. John Leeming

  24. Where are you now? – in May 2007. Below are captions from a newspaper reprint dated April 23rd 1953, depicting “Cornishmen in Korea” published on http://hmtships.googlepages.com/britisharmy%27smostwantedlist

    We hear a great deal about “The Forgotten War” and the bugle call to remember those awful times. This Blog page offers an opportunity to build the missing parts of British Army history.

    (Quote) Major JA Tresawna, DSO., (KIA June 1953) of 1st Battalion Durham Light Infantry, part of the Commonwealth Division has formed a “One and All” Club for Cornishmen in Korea. He writes “They are making a name for themselves there, as they have done all over the world, everyone is happy, cheerful and in great heart”. The forty members of the One and All Club include Pte Dunstan of 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Penryn.
    Back Row: Cpl Bryan Whittaker, Falmouth: Pte Barry Bailey, Penzance: Pte George Sandy, St. Germains: Pte Richard Pascoe, Mullion: Pte Vernon Day, Luxulyan: Pte Peter Penna, Goonhavern: Pte Frank Tregilas, St. Austell:
    Third Row: Pte Donald Semmens, St. Just: Pte Walter Kent, St. Merryn: L/Cpl Gordon Avery, Truro: Pte C Hodges, Mylor: Pte Claude Denford, Bude: Pte Kenneth Johns, Illogan Highway: Cpl Philip Bray, Newquay:
    Second Row: Pte John Robbins, Grampound Road: Pte Henry Solomon, St. Agnes: Pte Donald McBurnie, Padstow: Major J.A. Tresawna, DSO, Probus: Pte Tamblyn Lane, Newquay: Pte Bernard Matthews, St. Mawgon: Pte Puddle Chapman, Lanlivery:
    Front Row (L to R): Pte Geoffrey Tremain, Truro: Pte I Crabb, West Looe: Pte John Gardner, Saltash: Cpl Fred Whitford, Truro: Pte Derry Rawlings, Banwell Somerset:(Endquote)

    Carpe Diem!!

  25. Editor says:

    Gidday from Brisbane

    Derek Lovemore, ex-1DCLI – Editor, in sunny Queensland, driving all this ‘stuff’, ain’t technology marvellous? YOU – like me – can be anywhere – even on your boat fishing, if you’re so lucky! – but that doesn’t stop you from responding.

    I’ve just today, posted references to other websites that are interested in developing cross linked information about Korea 1950 -1953. Go to my “Most Wanted List” that is hotlinked in the Preface to this page or CLICK HERE – and travel – it’s that simple. Alternatively, post a comment here and see what happens.

    As Denis Waitley said “Winners make it happen” – so GOYA cheps and Blog.

    Carpe Diem!!

Comments are closed.