Northern Ireland – Belfast

Veteran Stories

>> Hi, everybody, from Northern Ireland. I'm in front of the Belfast City Hall to show you and of course for me to kind of pay tribute to the Irish. There were 157 Irishmen who died in the Korean War, and this memorial actually was erected in 1951 originally, and as you can see, it honors those who died in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Ulster Rifles, the 45th Field Regiment and the 170th Mortar Battery, the Royal Artillery, and I'm going to save this for last, and the VIN King's Royal Irish Hussars. Gave their life for the United Nations and Korea especially by this valley. This valley, meaning Happy Valley, was the ... It was a single battle that took lives of more than 157 Irish on January 3rd and 4th in 1951, and I guess I wanted to show you this because it really doesn't do justice if I just showed you a picture. This is so beautiful, this inscription that reads, "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light." So, yeah, immediately after arriving to Belfast, I wanted to come here because sometimes when I'm with the veterans, I don't get to really show you the memorial itself. Again, it's in front of Belfast City Hall, so I thank the city of Belfast for having this memorial in front to honor those who died for freedom and, of course, Korea on behalf of all the Koreans. So thank you all for following my journey. I will see you soon, and shout-out to my new-friend prince over there. I met a prince in Belfast before taking this video. So thank you. Bye.
>> Wow. >> ... [INAUDIBLE] kind of mold. The actually had the mortar between, and you can see the carriers going back, the centurions going back, they were actually retreating away from the Imjin. >> I've never seen that picture, nor the frame below. That is ... >> That ... Well, the picture's called [INAUDIBLE] at Imjin [INAUDIBLE] with Her Majesty on it. They were all made in Hong Kong. A lot of lads got these made in silk in Hong Kong. The picture to the left of it, that is General Majury. All right. He was a young lieutenant in Korea and was captured and spent a lot of time as a prisoner of war [INAUDIBLE] later on. The other one here, this is Brigadier McCord, who won an MC at Happy Valley as a young lieutenant, and then various pictures of the boys [INAUDIBLE] Belfast and different stories of the forgotten heroes and their stories. This is the [INAUDIBLE]. This was written by an American soldier and Lieutenant Majury. >> Wow. >> The original is in St. Giles' Cathedral. It was written in rice paper, and it's in St. Giles' Cathedral. This is just a copy of it. So each day, they held prayers, and they had different services for Easter, Christmas, all in the prisoner-of-war camp. >> Mmm. >> The original is in St. Giles', just in the cathedral. >> Wow. I couldn't but help notice the ... >> The Korean flag, the North Korean flag. >> Yeah, North Korean. >> That was found in the heist at Seoul when we went back into Seoul, so when we recaptured Seoul again, that was found in the heist. These weapons here: The first weapon is a Russian weapon used by the Chinese, and it had a folding bayonet [INAUDIBLE] that was quite vicious and [INAUDIBLE], and we couldn't heal the wound. Now, the second one is a Chinese copy of a Russian weapon, and you normally see them with the round magazine on them, but the Chinese preferred that type of magazine because it didn't jam. The third weapon is Colonel Charlie's rifle. >> Mmm. >> Now, Colonel Charlie didn't like carrying the big rifle that the militia got, so he swapped it for an American M1 carbine. >> Wow. >> So that belongs to Colonel Charlie, but we don't tell anybody that. >> Okay, don't tell anybody. >> The bottom one is a Mosin-Nagant, which was issued to the Korean ... North Koreans and the Chinese, and it's a Russian rifle, as well. >> So are these artifacts actually donated by the veterans? >> The weapons were brought back by the regiment, and then they were decommissioned. Most of these things were given to ... by people who had actually donated them. >> Wow. >> The little Korean flag [INAUDIBLE] signed by all officers just before ... >> Oh, my God. >> ... the Battle of Happy Valley. And ... >> That is amazing. And one of them must have drawn this, right? >> Yes. Yeah. >> Wow. So this is original, original. >> That's original. That's original signatures of the officers in the battalion just before Happy Valley. >> Wow. >> That's the Ambassador's medal that you seen earlier with a little miniature. The British-Korean [INAUDIBLE] Korean. These are medals issued to Chinese volunteers that fought for the North Koreans. >> That's amazing. >> And this is a book made up by Captain Sully. He found all these propaganda leaflets from the Chinese and ... >> Yeah. >> ... Korean, as well. North Koreans, as well, so it's a booklet of that. That's a little map of the Battle of Imjin. >> Mmm. >> And ... >> Well, Ms. Charlie, I want everybody to introduce Ms. Charlie, who is the daughter of Mr. ... Colonel Charlie, who passed away a month ago. >> Mm-hmm. >> But she told ... He told Ms. Charlie why Happy Valley, which is one of the major battles, is called Happy Valley because I was wondering ... Suffered 157 casualty, and it seemed a little bit ironic to call it Happy Valley. But why was it called Happy Valley? >> Well, it was called Happy Valley because the Regiment had already given the name to the area because they had ... When they arrived in Korea in Busan and Pusan, they had the early November 1951, 1950. Albert was one of those on the troop ship that came in, and they were moved ... It was still ... The war was nearly over, and they were moved up, up, up towards what is now North Korea by train, by truck and things. And they're basically pushing the forces the other ... the opposing forces north. Suddenly, the Chinese Communists, they go up the other river, and so these Chinese Communists ... Troops were involved, and they started moving down. And this was early December, down the Korean Peninsula. And the first time that the battalion was able to stop and have a proper meal and know they weren't going to have to pack up and move on at any minute was in this valley just north of Seoul. And, consequently, I think it was the [INAUDIBLE] Sarge "Shifty" Dawson. I don't know what his real name was, but ... >> Jack Dawson. >> Jack Dawson. He was the one, I think, who gave the name Happy Valley because, at last, he was in charge of the cooking, and, at last, they could do the cooking without being bothered by too much. Another nickname the troops gave it was Compo Canyon. Compo was named for the food ... tins of food they were given. And so Compo Canyon, Happy Valley, has to do with food. That's why that valley was given that name. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> Mr. Glass, can you tell us ... I know it's almost 200 years of history, but what would you say is one of the major accomplishments of the rifle regiment in Korea? >> In Korea, well, we were the only Irish regiment that were there, and the lads came from the north, the south, and we trickled out of [INAUDIBLE] tricked out of [INAUDIBLE] they were all ours [INAUDIBLE] at that time. We lost so many men. The Battle of Happy Valley [INAUDIBLE]. The real reason we lost so many men [INAUDIBLE] was because when the Chinese had started to come down, the Americans, on one flank, had been ordered to move at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, so they moved. The [INAUDIBLE] on this flank were told to move at 6 o'clock. They moved. The Chinese were watching this, so the Chinese infiltrated both flanks of the rifles. Captain Charlie's platoon was the farthest platoon when he was ordered back. We just got back when everybody ... The ambush happened, and the ambush was virtually 2 kilometers long. That's how many, and they just kept cutting the convoy into pieces. And then the small groups [INAUDIBLE] got surrounded and fought [INAUDIBLE]. >> Well, despite the odds, I know that it was a major battle which was significant in the entire war, this battle, so the contributions are immense. And last but not least, Grandpa Albert, what is the significance, because I know even in the Commonwealth, everybody has different color, but why does the rifles ... Why is this called the rifles green? >> What? >> Why is this color the rifles green? >> Well, it's Irish green [INAUDIBLE]. The green of Ireland, the Emerald Isle. >> Yes, I just wanted you to tell it to the people. >> Well, I think the pattern in the [INAUDIBLE] if you look in this cabinet here, you'll see the British army wore red. >> Mm-hmm. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> Yes. >> Yes. >> Even in America. >> Yes. >> Whenever [INAUDIBLE] the Rifle Regiments were formed, and the Rifle Regiments took green to move forward and to [INAUDIBLE], so it was actually a bit of [INAUDIBLE]. >> That is very true. >> So when we turned from the 88th [INAUDIBLE] to the Royal Irish Rifles, we become a rifle regiment, so we took on the rifle green ... >> Rifle green. >> Yes. >> ... which we [INAUDIBLE]. So if we even look at the rifles in the British army now called the Rifles [INAUDIBLE], they wear rifle green. >> Yes. >> So that's ... >> Less conspicuous. >> [INAUDIBLE] and they march faster than everybody else because they have [INAUDIBLE]. >> Well, I was ... >> They walked. They marched faster than everybody. >> Well ... >> Oh, yes. [INAUDIBLE] Regiment march. Normally, the Regiment march is 120 paces to a minute ... sorry, 140 to the minute, but the rifles did 120. Now, people [INAUDIBLE] ... >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> ... [INAUDIBLE]. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> Oh. >> So all Rifle Regiments march faster than normal [INAUDIBLE] regiment. >> Why do you think? What do you think the secret is to the fast walking? >> Get there faster. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> [INAUDIBLE] walk fast. >> [INAUDIBLE]. The other major battle we had was Imjin, was, again, another part. Everybody talks about the Imjin River and the Glosters. The reason the Glosters were captured was ... and quite, I will say, because of where we were, we were holding blocking positions and ordered forward. The Belgians who were there had fell back, and the Chinese stopped in the Belgians and us and cut us in two, captured half the rifles. The other half just about flocked away, but they completely surrounded the Glosters, who were up in [INAUDIBLE] Imjin River. >> Mmm. >> But this was all [INAUDIBLE] Glosters being [INAUDIBLE] ... >> Mmm. >> ... but don't think we were there, but it's because we were in blocking positions [INAUDIBLE] we were cut in two by the Chinese, as well. But the Glosters were captured virtually intact because of where they were. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> And what happened to the Glosters was, they [INAUDIBLE] and the next morning [INAUDIBLE] aircraft come in with supplies [INAUDIBLE]. I'll never forget this [INAUDIBLE] and they couldn't [INAUDIBLE] the drop zone to the [INAUDIBLE]. It was just a catastrophe [INAUDIBLE]. >> Well, I do want everybody to note that the Irish contributed all significantly in the Korean War, and the reason why I'm here is to make sure that these unsung heroes are remembered, preferably honored. As you all know, the Korean War is called the Forgotten War, but that doesn't mean we should forget the heroes that fought then, and especially of the Irish and your father for their sacrifices and the 157 men who died. And thank you so much for opening, not only opening the museum for us today but really being the protector of the memories because this is all not only just history but stories that should be passed down, and I just appreciate you so much for being the keeper and the guardian of their sacrifices. >> Yes. No, we will never forget these. >> Yes, thank you. So, everybody, we're going to go to the memorial and pay tribute and lay some flowers. So I'll see you there. Bye! >> [INAUDIBLE].
>> Hello, everybody. I am back at the Belfast City Hall where the Korean War memorial proudly stands. I am here with the last remaining Korean War veteran, Grandpa Albert. Say, "Hello," and Ms. Carol Walker, who's been extremely instrumental in arranging everything today. She will tell you the story behind this memorial, how it got here and that there is another memorial in Korea, in Seoul, that honors the Irish Korean War veterans. So Ms. Walker ... >> Hi. >> Should we do a little ... We're going to loop around and then show you, so I just want to show you ... >> We just stay here. >> ... how it looks like. It honors the Royal Ulster Rifle, and, again, I love this inscription where it says, "The people that walk in darkness have seen the great light," from Isaiah, chapter nine, verse two, and then another ... So there's three sides that honor different ... So we're going to face way because I think this is prettier, so okay. So Ms. Walker, tell us how this memorial got here. >> Well, this memorial used to be in Korea. The soldiers themselves and [INAUDIBLE] Battle of Happy Valley. Actually ... >> Speak up. >> Oh, speak up? At the height of the battle in Happy Valley ... Afterwards, they decided, the commanding officer decided they [INAUDIBLE] something to commemorate the sacrifice of the 157 men that had made this great sacrifice at that particular battle, which as you can see from the memorial, it was on the 3rd and 4th of January 1951, so the padre set out on a task to go and find something, and he managed to come across a Korean stonemason. >> Mm-hmm. >> And they were able to get this beautiful pink Korean granite, polished granite, and create a memorial. It was on the field at the site, the battle site at Happy Valley on the 3rd of July in the 1950s, 1953, and at the service, there was a service that took place, and many of the soldiers themselves attended it, and they had the padre at the time, and he performed the sermoning, and the words that are on the memorial that you said, Isaiah, he actually used them as part of the scripture during the service that day and during the sermon, in the remembrance sermoning. Also they laid wreathes at the time, poppy wreaths like Albert has just laid. >> I do want to show this. >> They laid these wreaths to commemorate the 150 men that had made that sacrifice and that had died at the Battle of Happy Valley in trying to give Seoul the freedom. >> Oh, yeah. >> You can see ... >> Yes. >> ... it tells the story. >> Oh, it tells the story. I didn't realize that before. That's wonderful. >> But unfortunately, then what happened was after the Royal Ulster Rifles left Korea, there was nobody coming back to visit the memorial, and HMS Belfast, which is actually ironic that it was HMS Belfast, happened to be visiting Korea at the time in the '60s, '64, and it was decided then to bring back the memorial back to Northern Ireland so that the soldiers who were still alive from the Ulster Rifles could still have ceremonies and could attend remembrance services ... >> That is awesome. >> ... for their comrades. So it was brought back onboard HMS Belfast. It was brought to the [INAUDIBLE] barracks which was in Ballymena, and it was positioned there. Sadly then, Ballymena actually closed as an army base, and the memorial went into storage for a while, but people like Colonel Charley and Brigadier McCord at the time were instrumental in making sure that the memorial went somewhere important and had the honor that these men had bestowed wasn't forgotten, and the memorial was actually then given this very prominent place here in Belfast, and it has progressed over the years. It's been looked after. As Albert said, you know, there was a new path has been put in. People are able to come here and visit it, and the Ulster Rifles Association will come here and will hold memorial services and still remember the war dead oftentime. >> I guess I just want to show you that they put up that gate especially for this, you know, walkway because technically, this area right now, there's no pathway. That's the City Hall, and it is in a very prominent location. >> And it's so close to the cenotaph which is Belfast Cenotaph that's here to commemorate and honor the war dead of the First World War and the Second World War, and so it's still fitting to have it ... >> Very fitting. >> ... to have it so close to the cenotaph. >> So over there, Ms. Walker, pointing out the cenotaph honoring those who died in World Wars I and II, and it's literally ... You can see it from here, and this memorial is right here, and I just wanted to thank you because the one that's filming right now is the daughter of Colonel Charley, who was not only instrumental in getting this here, but in Korea, they now have a memorial honoring the Irish Korean War veterans. It's in Seoul. >> It's in Seoul at the National Museum, at the museum, because it's a very fitting site. It's where there's also memorials are from the Canadians, and all the other Commonwealth countries have now started as well on the back of what we did and what the Irish did with their memorial, and there's other countries, you know, from the United Nations have placed their memorials that are in a war memorial garden, and it means people can go and commemorate. The good thing is that every year, as well, the Irish, the Irish Embassy, still hold a remembrance service there and for people, so it's not forgotten. [INAUDIBLE] memorial, we spent a lot of time working out [INAUDIBLE], what shape it would look like, how the memorial would come about. It was decided that it wouldn't be a replica that we had here because it needed to reflect as it is today Ireland's [INAUDIBLE]. >> That's true. This was erected in 1951. >> And the Ireland that we are in today and we were in in 2012 when we started with the project was a very different Ireland. It was an Ireland that had started to come through the the peace ... >> Aw. >> ... process. >> Oh! >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Oh! >> I'm cold! >> I don't want him to freeze. This is Grandpa Albert, everyone. He's 91 years young, and his memory is impeccable, right? Oh, before we close, see, I wore this rifle green to match him, but can you sing [INAUDIBLE] for us? [Lyrics] [INAUDIBLE] >> Yay! Ninety-one years young. He's the last remaining Korean War veteran in Northern ... >> Well, one of the ... One of the last. >> One of the last Northern Ireland ... >> The last Irish one. >> Yes. >> He is. >> An Irish one. Many have passed just in the past month ... >> Yeah. >> Yeah. >> That's it. >> ... including Colonel Charley and ... >> Uh-huh. >> And many of the veterans that we were able to take back to Korea in 2013, many of them passed very quickly after their trip back ... >> Yeah. >> ... when you think about it. >> So I want to thank you because actually Ms. Walker is part of a different organization and association that remembers and honors those that died in World War I, right? >> Yes. >> Yes. >> World War I and World War II. >> World War II. >> And the Korean War as well. >> Yes. So thank you for bringing the [INAUDIBLE] as well of their memories, and thank you again to Colonel Charley's daughter, yay, Katherine, who is filming this video. So, everybody, thank you so much for joining me in both Ireland, all of Ireland now ... I will be on my way to Wales, so thank you. Thank you. Bye!
>> I think it was either [INAUDIBLE] and we stayed and ate there. Now when we stopped, during the summer months, these people [INAUDIBLE] and the ground [INAUDIBLE] stacked up during the summer to dry, and then at the end of the summer, they bring it in and stack up, say, the houses. Now these would be cottages [INAUDIBLE] and they stack them up. That's the fuel for the whole winter. Now having said that, the same applies in Korea. You know about the [INAUDIBLE]. You know the [INAUDIBLE]? >> No. >> [INAUDIBLE] famous thing in Korea, two hands to make a forklift, and the person has a stick with a hook, and when he goes out, he pats it on the ground, and he puts a hook on it and sits there, and he goes around, and gets all sort of stuff, jungle grass or twigs. Anyway, at the end of the day, a pail of stuff, and he'd go back to his cottage, and he'd put all that stuff beside the house. Now that was the winter fuel. Now cooking, they just have the one room, and at the back, they have a kitchen, as you would call it. Now the kitchen comprised of a roof and two sides. The rest was open. Now let's just say the house was [INAUDIBLE]. They have their cooking utensils, like two or three pots, and that was permanent there. That's where they cooked. Now all that stuff is there for the fuel to light the fire and do their cooking. Now I observed this before, seeing what they did, and luckily I had matches, and I got some of the fuel and put it on and lit the fire, and what happened was, the Koreans were very well advanced on the floor heating. Well, as soon as we lit that fire, all the heat went underneath, as well as cooking. It went underneath and heated the floor. Now the floor was big clay again and big clay I say. Holes were there for heat for ages afterwards, and what happened was, the smoke that went out through the back of the chimney, whatever it was, and inside about 1/2 an hour, and it was freezing while were in there, 1/2 an hour. We'd take our jackets off [INAUDIBLE]. It was so primitive but so very good, and that just shows you the ingenuity of the Korean peasants. I'll never forget it. You have your cup, which was aluminium, and you also had what they call a Tommy cooker. A Tommy cooker came in a wee square box of cardboard, and we took this wee metal thing. We [INAUDIBLE] could put either your mess tin ... I don't know whether you know what a mess tin. It's what you cook in, individual cooking. There's two parts, and you do your cooking and that sort of thing on the wee stand with something like if you remember fire lighters to light a fire. Well we had wee small tablets, and they didn't create any flame [INAUDIBLE] just a like a glow, and you cooked your food in that, and that's how you have on the field. Everything was there for you. The Americans' rations was far superior to ours, oh, yeah. >> How about the cold? Do you remember the cold? >> Oh, yes, very much so, yeah, mm-hmm, yeah. Not only that, when we went out there, we just had ... It's hard to explain, so you'll need to see pictures. We just had what they call a [INAUDIBLE] a tunic and trousers [INAUDIBLE] sort of thing, and the Americans and all these other things and Canadians, they had their combat suits and their liners inside, if you remember liners. You could zip them out in the summertime and put them back in in the winter. We didn't have that. All we had were ... You'll see a picture of a red coat. We called it a red coat, like a topcoat and your battle dress, and that's all you had, and whenever we got wet, that was just too bad. [INAUDIBLE] in good weather but nothing in the winter. We were ill-equipped, and not only that, but we only had weapons. [INAUDIBLE] was our main weapon, a very good weapon, automatic fire, and then we had a rifle, .303 Lee–Enfield, a very famous weapon, but it was one action. You have quick-fire. You had to keep loading and unloading every time, and you had a magazine of failed rounds on the rifle. No, no, I never had any Korean food. >> Oh, even now? >> Oh, I have tried it on the way out to Korea [INAUDIBLE]. I thought it was [INAUDIBLE] asked me, "Well, do you want English or Korean?" So I tried Korean, but it was a bit too complicated. It's too much little tubes of different things to add, but I got through it. Having said that [INAUDIBLE] on the last day of our last visit in May there, I forget the name of the [INAUDIBLE]. As I recall, it was a woman, and she had a seven course meal for us on the [INAUDIBLE] before departure and through seven courses, and you would hardly see what was on the plate, and it was very good. It was different what I got on the aircraft. >> Korean food at the time, but did you try Korean liquor at the time? >> No, the only thing we got was two battles a day of Asahi, Japanese beer. >> Oh. >> But having said that [INAUDIBLE] as it seems a terrible ship. You had a hole in the wall, just like the hole, square hole, a square in the wall, and you were issued out two bottles of Asahi beer. That's what we got. >> Oh, I would have never guessed that. So no soju, huh, no Korean alcohol? >> No, no, it was all Asahi beer. >> Oh, okay. Do you think you'll see a unified Korea in your lifetime? >> It's hard to see. I would like to see it. I would definitely like to see it because it's a [INAUDIBLE] having the knowledge of what has went on there, the starvation. Even the soldiers not being able to get [INAUDIBLE] and the feeling of the children and all those big pompous parades with their machinery and rockets and what have you. It's a terrible site. >> Well, I'm hoping for peace not only on the Korean peninsula but in all of Ireland as well. >> Uh-huh, thank you very much. Ten o'clock, 22 hundred hours, and what happened was, as we were going out [INAUDIBLE] and we're going across, and I remember going up this hill here, and I went in the dark and the windscreen I could see ... Sorry. It was heavy gunfire, consolidated gunfire, and you see the tracer bullets on the reflection of my windscreen, and I said to the guy who was with me, "This is good." [INAUDIBLE] our tanks, centurion tanks, and I said to the guy with me, "This is good. They're giving us covering fire to get out." What happened was, I found out later that the medical officer and his driver [INAUDIBLE] was quite some distance behind me. Apparently the Chinese had did a horseshoe movement. Instead of coming across, they came that way, a horseshoe movement, and closed it, and the people behind me, that was them trapped and taken prisoner of war. I'll never forget that. I'm surprised you don't know about the [INAUDIBLE] is famous.
>> ... the door who had been captured and could walk over the UN forces with them, but the UN troops, the Astor Rifles and the others who were with them, who had been killed were just left to lie, and they weren't buried by the cruiser, and they went out, and in this hard, harsh ground, they buried the bodies because they felt they needed to give respect to these people from overseas who'd come to fight for them, so it was very poignant, and then we were told how after the ... What we were shown were the ... Albert showed a picture earlier of the bullet holes on the bridge, which another Astor Rifleman ... I think it was a lieutenant then, Merv McCordy, went on to become a brigadier eventually. He got an MC, a Military Cross. Himself and somebody else protected a sort of area and ... two of those who had died in Korea, and they ... I discovered when I was back recently in Korea that near that side of Seoul is where all the monumental memorial makers were, and so that's how they managed to find ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah. The Padre found ... was told to go and get a stone, and he found a stonemason as well. Apparently, they were in the back of an army truck. I assume he was paid, and they drove around with the ... wherever the battalion was going, and he was told to carve on this memorial to remember the Royal Astor Rifles and the others who'd been there and then in Happy Valley and who'd died there and others of the Regiment, who'd died nearby or elsewhere in battles that included Imjin because the Astor Rifles had heavy casualties at Imjin as well, and that was dedicated July 1951. My dad wasn't there because at that stage he was in Japan training people to go to Korea and things, so he wasn't there but some very famous, very poignant pictures of that. That memorial, we will see later. It came back to Northern Ireland in the 1960s, put up in Palace Barracks ... not Palace Barracks, sorry, the barracks by Mina where the Regiment, the Astor Rifles, had their depot, and then that closed in 2010, and it got moved to outside the city fort here in Belfast, and my father, Merv McCordy got the MC in career, and a lot of the others of the Regiment were very instrumental and moving in that getting it placed outside the city hall, and it's been recently refurbished, and we've now got access to it from the Cenotaph area, the city hall, and they're looking after it well. So my dad and I went back to Korea in 2011. Mr. Kim showed us around Happy Valley, and my dad, I think he never totally said this, but I think, to me, but I think he always felt guilty that he'd survived, and so many hadn't, and he really wanted to do something to remember those who'd died in Korea of the Regiment, and initially we were thinking about putting up a wee plaque or something in Happy Valley. We spoke to the British Ambassador when we were there. We spoke to Mr. Parker when we were there. When we came back, we spoke to members of the Regiment because obviously it would have to have regimental approval, and then when we were sort of just ... We were just thinking of doing something quite small, really, maybe in Happy Valley itself, and then I got ... We met Andrew Salmon out there. He'd already met my father. He'd been to Belfast 2 or 3 years before to interview my dad for his book, "To the Last Round." He interviewed quite a lot of the Royal Astor Rifles for that, and he was delighted to see my father in Korea. They got on very, very well. They enjoyed going out and both good storytellers, so they could sit around and drink and tell stories, top teacher, he was, with the stories. But anyway, Andrew Salmon sent me an e-mail and said that the Irish Association of Korea and the Irish Embassy in Korea were thinking of putting up a memorial in Korea to those from Ireland who had died in the Korean War, and because although Ireland wasn't a UN nation, it ... People from Ireland had thought and for the Americans, the Australians, and then many of people from the south of Ireland were part of the Royal Astor Rifles, which was a British Army Regiment, so it was part of the UN. So and they were also wanted to remember some Padre, some missionaries who died in Korea as well, and there's a link there with the Royal Astor Rifles too, which I'll explain in a wee minute. So anyway, we then started liaising with Ambassador McKee, and again, we had to get approval from the Regiment and from the British-Korean Veterans Association, and there were links between Dublin and Belfast and everything else because obviously, we have these politics involved in this country too, and in among that, that's when Mrs. Carol Walker came on board because my mother used to ... my mother? My father used to be ... He was very much behind the setting up the Somme Association, the Somme Museum to remember those of the First World War from the north and south who'd died at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and he knew that Carol had a lot of experience in memorials. She put up memorials for the First World War in France, in Turkey, in visitors places. I'd asked her initially for advice on that, and then discussion began about taking back veterans from the Royal Astor Rifles and from Ireland. Generally, Carol has had experience of taking back First World War veterans to First World War battlefields, and so that's how she become involved in the ... on the team, basically, and then a representative of the Royal Irish Regiment, the modern regiment for the Royal Astor Rifles, which the Astor Rifles, my dad's regiment in 1968 amalgamated with three other regiments into the Royal Irish Rangers, and then in 1992, that became the Royal Irish Regiment, and they're very supportive of their heritage and interested in their heritage. So lots of discussions about the memorial, lots of liaisons between Korea and Ireland and phone calls at 7 o'clock in the morning and to work with the time difference, and then in 2012, Carol, myself and Trevor Ross, who was representing the Royal Irish Regiment, went out to Korea at the time of the Commonwealth Veterans revisit the following year and met with the British Ambassador, the Irish Ambassador, members of the MPVA in Korea, went to see possible memorial sites, and it was then that it was decided the memorial should ... the key memorial should go up in Seoul because it'd be easier to look after it there by the War Museum and things, and the Irish Embassy said it was look after it and that there would be a panel put up in Happy Valley as well to remember the battle in Happy Valley too. 2013, and you'll hear more about this from Mrs. Carol Walker, the memorial was dedicated in Seoul. My father and I were meant to go to be there for that dedication and for all the other events and be there with the other veterans from the Royal Astor Rifles and from Ireland. Unfortunately, my mother had a very severe stroke just a week or two prior to us going out, and we, anyway, my father and I couldn't go. She died shortly after the veterans returned from Korea, but we were very close in contact with what was going on. My dad was very keen to know. He kept saying, "Have you had a signal from Carol?" because he's not quite into e-mails, but a signal, and so Carol, Trevor and the others sent back information of what was going on, sent photographs of the memorial being dedicated, being put up and everything, but me and my father were ... My father and I were very evolved with Carol and others, and everything had to be approved with the wording on the memorial and everything else. Then with regards to the memorial, my dad ... One of the sides of the memorial, one of the sides is the Royal Astor Rifles and reflects this memorial here in Belfast and the wording on the memorial here in Belfast, and it particularly mentions Happy Valley. Another side mentions those Irish birth and heritage. Another side is ... talks about seven missionaries from Ireland, who died in Korea, and one of those missionaries, my father actually knew. Father ... I think he's known as Father John O'Kane, is it? >> It's O'Kane. >> Yeah. Father John O'Kane, though, my father knew him as Father Jack. Quite often in Ireland, people who are called John are known as Jack, very confusing. Anyway, so my father knew Father Jack. He'd been a Royal Astor Rifles Padre in the Second World War. We think he might have been at D-Day with them, but we definitely know he was with the Royal Astor Rifles in the Second World War. He was older than my father, maybe 10 years older than my father, and then after the war, my dad was in Palestine and Egypt, and he was the Catholic Padre with the Regiment there. The Royal Astor Rifles has a Catholic Padre and a Protestant Padre, and he was Catholic Padre in Egypt, and he remembered him because he was a Padre. He was part of the officers' mess. He had a tent, himself, I think, because he's a Padre ... had his own tent because my father had to share a tent with somebody else, which are all the boys who are over there, had a lot more in the tents, and he remembers them being very good at cards. He remembers them being a lot of fun. He remembers them riding around the camp on a motor bike, and all the guys thought he was wonderful, so my father was very sad when he'd heard that he'd been killed in Korea. He knew he'd gone out to Korea as a missionary, and so that's a link between the Astor Rifles and the others in the memorial as well. Then in 2015, this ... the ...

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Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, participated in the Korean War from November 1950 to July 1953. Most Irishmen served with the Royal Ulster Rifles (RUR) and the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars. Others served with a number of British regiments as well as in Commonwealth and U.S. uniforms.

In total, 157 Irish men of the Royal Ulster Rifles (RUR) died in the Battle of Happy Valley in 1951.

The Korean War Memorial in Belfast is located on the grounds of City Hall. It was initially located in Korea but was moved to the Belfast City Hall in 2010.