Wales Maindy Barracks (6)

>> My name is William Longden Kurris. I was born on the 11th of March, 1932. I went to Korea in 1952 in about September time, and I was there then until September and October in 1953, so I was out there when the war was on, and I was out there when the armistice was signed, and the war never finished. >> Do you remember leading up to the armistice? >> Yes, I remember everything while I was out there. I think so. >> Tell us, and what were you assigned to do? >> To give the country freedom. >> Oh, you didn't fight? You were feeding people? >> Pardon? >> What was your position in the army? >> My position was a private. >> Mmm. >> But before we went in the army, I went in an army ... I went in the army when I was 20 years of age. It should've been 18, but I was in college. I was a student studying in Cardiff here, so I didn't go into the army until another 2 years, so that's why I went to Korea then, when I was 20 instead of 18. >> And what did you do in the army? >> I was a private, and I was in the front line, on ... >> So you were ... >> I was on ... >> You saw combat? >> I was ... Yes, I was on guard this one particular night, and it was a cold night. It was Christmastime, and a friend of mine, just before the morning came, he went down the front path of our hill, and there was Christmas cards on the trees, and I got one here. He came back, and he gave it to me. I was on guard, and he gave it to me, and that's from the North Koreans, and it says, "Merry Christmas," and it's even got the signature of the person that put it there. And it's from the Bank of Korea. >> Wow, this is different. >> I don't think there's many of them about. >> No, I have the ones that are not personalized like this, with a name. >> No, it's even signed by them as well, Bank of England ... Bank of Korea. >> Oh, my god, he's saying, "Don't fight in the war." >> Yeah. >> Oh, my gosh. Did you know any from the regiment personally that died? >> Yes, I did. I was with a personnel that was attached to my regiment for the [INAUDIBLE] and he was with me for quite a few months, and I got very friendly with him, and his name was Keith Stanley Osborne, and I was in the same position with him, and we slept almost together in our separate sleeping bags, and he said, "William." He said, "I'm going on patrol tonight." I said, "What for?" He said, "I volunteered to go on the patrol." I said, "What do you want to do that for, Keith?" and he said, "It will be experience." Anyway, he used to show me photographs of himself achieving a cap and gown from university and college and also a photograph of his fiance that also had a cap and gown, and he said that we were going to get married once he come out of the army after 2 years, and I got quite attached to him, and I thought he was a nice chap, a nice friend, and he volunteered to go on this patrol, and I got up in the morning, and I thought, "I wonder where Keith is. He's a long time coming back," so I went down, further down the mountain, to the CO's position, and the CO said, "William." He said, "I'm sorry, but he's been blown to pieces. There was enemy fire when he was on patrol. They all scattered. The patrol scattered, and he stepped on a mine, and he was blown to pieces," and that stuck in my mind, and I had a jaunt to get over that, and to this day, I still keep on remembering that. He was ever such a lovely person, and he was only doing his 2 years, and he wanted to get out, and he was going to get married to his fiance, but then he was at the end of the story, right? >> What was his full name? >> His name was Keith Stanley Osborne, and he was one of the 24 people that was killed for in our 1st Battalion of the King's Regiment, and four was missing. I don't know if any those was survived, the ones was missing. >> So you were part of the King's Regiment, not the Welch Regiment? >> Yes, I was the King's ... in the King's Regiment, but I went out to Korea with the 1st Battalion, with the Welch Regiment, but the Welch Regiment was in Korea then, but they only had 7 months to go, and they would be coming out, so what they did, they transferred all of us when the Welsh went out, and they transferred us to the 1st Battalion of the King's Regiment. >> But why is his name not among the 32? >> Pardon? >> Keith, Grandpa, Keith, his name is not among the 32 because he was British. He was English. >> He was English, yes. He was English. >> Hmm, he wasn't Welsh. >> Because he was born in Oldham. He was born in Oldham, and he was the only child, and he spoke about his mother, but I can't remember if he said anything about his father, but when I came out of Korea, I would have liked to have gone to see her and told her that I was a friend of her son's. But anyway, I ... >> You wanted to go see her? >> Yes, and ... But I never did that. >> Explain this picture. >> That's the cook. I was in the reserve position ... >> Hmm. >> ... when we went in reserve position. >> He's a cook? >> Yes, I was ... >> The little boy? >> No, he wasn't the cook. The cook was ... >> Oh, how about the little boy? >> And in the background there, there's big drums that held the kerosene that kept the all the transport going, the petrol, also the diesel, and after they were done, they made them the cooking ovens. >> How about the little boy? >> Yes, that boy was South Korean. >> He was a house boy? >> I can't remember his name, but he was a good kid, and he was always there to help. >> He was a house boy? >> Yeah. >> There were a lot of the house boys, huh? >> Pardon? >> There were many house boys. >> Yes, that's right. >> Well ... >> Yes, that's all the ships I ... troop ships that I went on to Hong Kong. I did Korean training in Hong Kong. Yeah, that's it. That's me sending them, my mother and father and my two brothers, and my two brothers, they have passed away since. >> Oh ... >> And they was younger than me. They both died of cancer. >> Sorry to say anything. >> And I've had cancer twice, and I'm under the cancer [INAUDIBLE] right now, but [INAUDIBLE] have saved ... give me more than 20 years life. >> Well, I am glad to hear that.