Ireland – Dublin

Veteran Stories

>> ... from Dublin, so I am at a church. It's called the St. Mary's, and there is a beautiful cross here, a memorial, that lists the names of those who died in World Wars I and II and Korea, and so we were just gathered here, but I have not just two but four Korean War veterans. God always doubles my prayers, by the way, so thank you, God. So here is Grandpa Walter. Oh, Elizabeth! Please come! Come! >> Oh, no, no, no. Just records. >> Well, Grandpa Walter, when did you fight in Korea? >> I went to Korea in 1952 with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and I fought in Korea for 1 year from '52 to '53 and until the cease-fire. I was in the front line when the cease-fire was sound, and then we moved off of the position and put wire up around the hill and then moved off, and then we went home. I was wounded there in Korea in the first few weeks. >> You were? is that why you have a Purple Heart? >> Yeah, I have ... >> Oh, okay. >> Can you believe that I did get a Purple Heart given to me when I was ... >> Wow. [ Chatter ] >> Oh, he lost his Purple Heart. >> Grandpa. [ Chatter ] >> Oh, can you say your full name, Grandpa Walter? >> My name is Walter Leslie Cout. >> So you have a long name. >> And, Grandpa, what is your full name? >> James Doyle. >> James Doyle. >> Yep. >> Oh. Everybody, look. I gave him my shamrock pins. Yay! Okay. When did you fight in Korea? >> It was in 1953. >> 1953 towards the end? >> Mm-hmm. >> Yes. >> And I was Royal Engineers. >> Royal ... With the Royal Engineers, yes. Okay, and so you did a lot of work with the equipment. >> Yeah, on the bridges. >> Bridges. >> Clearing minefields. >> Yeah, clearing minefields. >> Yeah. Yeah. >> Very important. Yes, it is. >> A dangerous job, but we go through it. >> I'm so glad you were able to come today. Thank you. Grandpa Ray. Well, I gave him an American heart because he fought in the American Army. >> Yep. >> Yes. When? >> In the 40th Division in Company G of the 224th Infantry. I was stationed in [INAUDIBLE] gateway to Seoul in South Korea. [ Chatter ] >> [INAUDIBLE], and there were a mile and a half on the inside, and we were [INAUDIBLE]. It was that way for, I would say, maybe 4 or 5 months. [ Chatter ] >> [INAUDIBLE] and I thought, "Jeez, get me the hell out of here and see a different sight than this." So I got back [INAUDIBLE]. [ Chatter ] >> Were you born in Dublin, or were you born in America? >> America. >> Where? Which state? >> New Haven, Connecticut. >> New Haven, Connecticut, everybody. I was there in Connecticut in Danbury. And last but now least, Grandpa ... I think he's the oldest grandpa here, right? >> Yes. >> How young are you? >> Ninety-one. >> He's only 91 years young, and he looks great. Where and when did you fight in Korea? >> '50 and '51. >> 1950, 1951. Yes. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> Wow. Were you born in Ireland? >> Oh, yes. Definitely. >> Where? In Dublin? >> In Dublin. >> Oh, and you left from ... Where did you leave from? >> Belfast. >> Belfast. Okay. Well, I'm going to go to Belfast on Friday. Yes. >> Yes, are you? That'll be fine. >> Yes. Well, like I said, everybody, since I'm going to go to Belfast, I am here in Ireland because I think it's not only important to thank the veterans who fought, the Irish veterans who fought, but I do really want to, as a Korean who knows well about the pain of division and separation, and I just commiserate it with the Irish pain of division and separation as well and praying for peace and unity for all, okay, so that is one thing I do want you to know. I also want to You'll hear and meet a lot about Mr. Michael Schafini, who came and traveled all the way from Mayo, Castlebar, where I'll be tomorrow, so you'll hear a lot about him, but, Elizabeth ... Well, and then before we go to Elizabeth, I have two people from the British Legion to welcome here which was a pleasant surprise and a great honor. >> Oh, our pleasure. >> Yes. Oh, and I want to show you what he gave me because this ... I don't bear ... This, I take it very seriously. He requested that I take this and plant this at the Korean War Memorial in Washington on behalf of the legion which ... [ Chatter ] >> Yes, in Ireland, so that is a huge task, a huge honor, and I am very, very proud to bear the cross. Yes. Thank you. >> Thank you. >> And any words to say about from on the behalf of the British Legion? >> Well, we're very proud of all our veterans. There are so few of them left, and most of them ... Don't forget, every one of them was a volunteer if they left the Republic of Ireland which is something else. They weren't necessarily on scripts. They were volunteers. >> And you? >> I think the ... Korea is called the Forgotten War. I think in this situation, it's not even known about, and that's such a challenge to us as a nation here now to make better known of what these chaps did in the '50s. So ... >> So thank you so much, gentlemen ... >> My pleasure. >> ... for coming here and representing and thanking on behalf of the legion, and last but not least, this is Elizabeth, everybody. >> Oh, goodness. >> Yes. I was so surprised because she said she had actually known about me even before she met me today. >> I did. >> Yes, because we have many, many ... >> Many friends all over the world and in particular in Australia, Ray Rogers, Raymond Rogers. He keeps me in contact with all that Hannah is doing and also Edgar Green who is in London, and we keep contact. >> So I was amazed because she said that she has seen me and received their newsletters and e-mails as I was traveling to South Africa, Canada, London, New Zealand, Australia, so that was very amazing. >> Keep up what you're doing. >> Aw, thank you. Thank you, and last but not least, I want to give a shout-out to Ashley from the Korean Embassy who is here to represent the Korean Embassy as well because as you all know, I am here not as an individual but on behalf of all grateful Koreans. The rector is not here, but I want to give a shout-out to the rector who actually ... This beautiful church, as you can see from the back, is closed today, but he made it an exception to open it for us, so thank you to the fathers of the temple. And last but not least, I want to show you where it says Korea, and we will ... So on the side of the cross, it says, "Korean War," and I guess Mr. John David Foster had passed away, so, everybody, thank you so much for joining me on this journey. This is my official day 1 of my "Remember 727" journey to honor veterans and promote peace, so thank you. Bye.

Paying Tribute

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    Memorial Site

    Ireland, unlike Northern Ireland, was not part of the United Kingdom and not among the United Nations countries that contributed in the Korean War. However, many Irish men who immigrated to the United States volunteered to fight in Korea.

    While there is no accurate count of the total number of Irishmen who fought in the war among the British and U.N. forces, there were 159 Irish casualties, including 21 Irish immigrants who fought in the U.S. Armed Forces. Seven Irish Columban priests and an Anglican nun, Sister Mary Clare Witty, also died during the conflict.

    The memorial in Dublin is located outside of St. Mary’s Church. This memorial was built in October of 2004 to honor the veterans of the Korean War, World War I, and World War II.