Wales Maindy Barracks (7)

>> My full name is Emerest Moore. I'm 89 years of age, which means I was born on the 4th of August, 1930. I was called up to do national service at the age of 21 because until then, I was deferred to get qualifications in my particular trade. Prior to that, national service was 18 months, but because of the Korean War, it was increased to 2 years. I trained for 3 months with the Welsh Regiment in Brecon in South Wales, and then we sailed to Korea on the Empire Windrush. I eventually landed in Hong Kong to do some training after 4 weeks on the troopship, and then we were shipped off to Japan to [INAUDIBLE] where I did further training in the [INAUDIBLE] battle school up in the hills above [INAUDIBLE]. And then I was fortunate to remain with the Welsh Regiment, and I was transferred across to Korea to serve with the First Battalion, the Welsh Regiment in July. I didn't spend a 12-month there because I was late being called up, I suppose, a national serviceman. So I served from July and came out with our battalion in October. Unfortunately, I didn't experience the Korean winter, which was very, very bad, but I knew all about the heat and the dust and the dirt and the monsoons, I suppose, and living in the bunkers, which wasn't a very nice place. The one thing that I can recall, I must say I was always a believer in fate and luck. I was lucky to join the battalion in July when a lot of the boys who went out there on my particular drat were transferred into the Black Watch Scottish Regiment, and they served the full 12 months in Korea. Some of the boys then who came out later with a Welsh badge, they were transferred into the King's Regiment, and they served for 12 months, so Lady Luck was on my shoulder, and I didn't do the full 12 months there. During the time I was there, there was no major offensive with the Chinese. It was mainly patrol work into no-man's-land, reconnaissance patrols, ambush patrols and so on, and one thing that really stands out in my mind was that on the 1st ... I'll never forget it, the day, 1st of July, correction, 1st of August, I was detailed to go on an ambush patrol in no-man's-land. We were out there for 4 hours in total, and it was uneventful, no contact with the enemy, and we came back in safely, but I learned 3 days later that the similar patrol from B company, I think it was, went out, and they were attacked, and they lost three dead and seven wounded, and again, I'm grateful that Lady Luck was on my shoulder because it was so uneventful. And then every patrol I went on after that, there was no contact made, so I'm one of the fortunate few who came out from Korea, and I'm standing here today. So whether that is of interest to you, I don't know. >> I don't believe in luck. I believe in God's faith, and He spared ... >> Fate and luck, I've always thought of in that way. >> He spared you. >> So I thought I'd keep it brief and just mention that one thing that really stands out. I could have been on that patrol on ... I think it was the 2nd of August, same patrol. The other things are small. We were shelled. We were shelled so often, we had to run for cover if your boys got killed, and on that particular patrol that was hit the night after we were out, one of the lads who trained with me in Brecon, John Hawkins, he was killed, good friend, and we were in training together. And of course, a couple of the other lads who were transferred into the Black Watch Regiment, they were killed out there as well. So the Welsh Regiment, in all, we lost 32 men. It was nearby. >> Did you know any of them? >> Oh, yes, I knew one particular from North Wales, Idris Evans. He was in the Black Watch. He was in the Welsh originally, but he was transferred in to the Black Watch and went up to Korea with them and served a 12-month there, but no, he didn't serve the 12-month there because he was killed. >> How was he killed? >> Apparently, from what I was told by one of his friends, the Chinese were shelling the positions, and they ran for cover to their bunkers, and a shell landed in the trench, exploded, and the shrapnel obviously flew into the bunker and killed him. Yeah, he was from North Wales, and John Hawkins, the one who was in the Welsh, was killed on patrol. I think he was shot, from what I gather. >> I'm glad God saved your life.