Korean War Legacy Project

Albert Harrington


Albert Harrington served in the infantry of the Royal Regiment of Scotland during the Korean War. He was drafted and sent to Korea where he fought on the front lines. He recalls his arrival and details his typical duties as a soldier while there. He recounts the Second Battle of the Hook in November of 1952 and explains its significance. He speaks highly of South Korea’s developments and shares his thoughts on the current conditions between North and South Korea. He concludes with a message to younger generations of his sympathy and well wishes for the Korean people.

Video Clips

Typical Duties of the Infantryman

Albert Harrington describes the typical duties of a soldier serving in the infantry. He explains these duties consisted of checking ammunition, re-digging trenches after rain, and patrolling. He comments on the dangers of patrolling and details one particular instance where the company nearest his was hit. He also describes the penalties for taking one's boots off as they were required to keep them on during certain services.

Tags: Fear,Front lines,Living conditions

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Second Battle of the Hook

Albert Harrington describes the Second Battle of the Hook between combined elements of British and 1st Commonwealth Division forces and Chinese forces. He acknowledges that the Chinese forces were effective in battle and appeared well trained. He explains the significance of the battle, emphasizing that a Chinese victory would have allowed the enemy a more efficient route to Seoul.

Tags: Seoul,Chinese,Front lines

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Modern Outcomes of the War

Albert Harrington shares that his experience during the war was very educational and that he grew up overnight. He discusses with the interviewer several outcomes of the war including political and economic ties. He expresses his sympathy regarding the current conditions between North and South Korea and wishes for them to unite.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,North Koreans

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Video Transcript

[Beginning of recorded material]

A: Albert Harrington.  ALBERT HARRINGTON.

I: What is your birthday?
A: Eight, seven, 30.

I: Eight, seven?

A: Thirty.

I: So, is it July or August?

A: Uh, July, sorry.

I: July.  So, seven, eight, 30 in American way

A: Yeah.

I: And I found that there are many different British ways to live here.

A: Yeah.
I: What, what is our birthplace?



A: Middlesborough.

I: Middlesborough.

A: Yeah.
I: And tell me about your family when you were growing up.

A: Uh, my own father, um, my father worked in the city works.  He was a blacksmith.

I: Blacksmith?
A: Yeah.

I: Uh huh.  So, what

A: Uh, not, not a blacksmith, uh, shoeing horses.  Not that type of black, a steel work blacksman.

I: Steel work.

A: Yeah, which is entirely different.

I: Um hm.  



And how many siblings did you have?
A: Uh, five.  My mother had five but lost one.

I: And you are the eldest or?
A: No, I’m the youngest.

I: Youngest.

A: Yeah.

I: Okay.  

A: Yeah.

I: And tell me about, when did you finish your school?

A: 1939.  No sorry.  Uh,

I: 37?

A: No.  ’44.

I: Nineteen, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  1944.

A: Yeah.



I: So, it was your 14-year-old.

A: Fourteen, yes.

I: And you finished the secondary, right?

A: Yeah.

I: And what did you do?
A: Uh, first, me first job started as a butcher boy.

I: What is it?

A: Uh, apprentice butcher.

I: Butcher.

A: Yeah.  But I, I worked at that for two years, and I gave that up and I went into the steel works as an apprentice player there.

I: Uh huh.  Let me ask this question.  Up to that point, about 1945 and ‘46



A: Yeah.

I: And when you were in school,

A: Yeah.

I: Did you learn anything about Korea?
A: No.

I: You didn’t know anything about Korea?

A: No, didn’t even know what it was, no.

I: It’s my great nation, and you didn’t know.  (LAUGHS)

A: Yeah, yeah, no,  no.

I: I’m just kidding.  But

A: Yeah.  No, no. I, I appreciate your point, uh.  No, we

I: So, school they didn’t teach anything about Korea.

A: No, no.

I: Okay.

A: What you’ve got to remember is that time, the War was on see.



So, I would think that they would have to be careful what they were saying.

I: Um hm.

A: The teachers, you know, in, in teaching this old history, you know.  So, they would have to be careful with the War being on, although, which you would know about no doubt, yeah.

I: What did you want to become in your life?
A: Uh, I was quite happy as, as a, a semi- Chalmers appraiser.  I was a player there.  I was quite happy in the, uh, steel works.



I: Um hm.  

A: Yeah.  But then I left, when I came out of the Army.

I: When did you join the Army?  Did you  join or were you conscripted?
A: No, I didn’t join.  I, I was conscripted.

I: When?

A: Yeah.  1951, No, November.

I: Uh huh.

A: Yeah.

I: And so you already knew that the Korean War broke out.

A: Oh yes, yes.

I: Hm.  How did you come to know of it?
A: Uh, of all the regiments going out to Korea.  And uh, I had friends over in some of them regiments, yeah.  That’s how I  knew, yeah.



I: So, did you think that you are, you could be dragged into the War?

A: No, uh, because I, me first portion, we were sent to Germany.  And uh, we really thought we were gonna stay in Germany until they got us on parade one morning and uh, the CO said oh, we’re going home.  So naturally we should all go yeah.  But bloody good.  And then he said men, after you’ve had your leave, we’re going to Korea.



I: Um.  

A: I’ll, I’ll be honest.  A lot of us, we didn’t even know where Korea was, uh.  For some, it could, it could have been on the other end of Scotland.

I: So, where, after you were conscripted in November 1951

A: Yeah, yeah.
I: Where did you get the basic training?
A: Eh, I was in Scotland in Perth.

I: Perth?
A: Yeah.

I: Could you spell it?


I: Scotland.

A: Yeah.

I: Why did you go there to get

A: I was in the Scottish reg, I was put in the Scottish regiment.



I: Oh.  

A: Yeah.

I: So, your unit was Scottish Regiment?

A: Yeah, yeah.

I: Okay.  Why?  I  mean, most of them went to Royal Army Service or

A: Yeah well, when you, when you were National Service, you went where, you could put down what you wanted, but you didn’t always get it.  

I: Uh huh.

A: So you, you went where they sent you and all that you said. I got papers like Report of Perth and First Battalion and the Black Watch.  That was their Air Force.



I: So, hold on.  Scottish Regiment.

A: Yeah.

I: And tell me about the details of your unit.

A: First Battalion

I: First Battalion

A: The Black Watch, yeah

I: Black Watch?

A: Black Watch, yeah.

I: Why is it Black Watch?

A: Well, uh, that was the name it was given when it was formed.  When, when it, when it first started in Scotland, it was like a, they were like a police force.  Then later on, it was turned into a regiment, uh.



I: So Scottish Regiment

A: Yeah.

I: First Battalion and Black Watch.

A: Yeah.
I: The Black Watch is a nickname of first, First Battalion.

A: No it, its, its first name.

I: Oh.

A: That’s its first name, The Black Watch, First Battalion.

I: Okay.

A: Then there was, other Battalions would follow during the War like.  But after the War, there was only the one battalion.  And then when the Korean War started, the government picked eight regiments to have a second battalion.  



And the Black Watch was one of them chosen to have a second.  (Did they ally, Alan, or no)t?

Male Voice: Two, yes.

A: Yous were, yous were chosen as well.

Male Voice: Yes.

A: Yeah.
I: So Scottish Regiment and Royal Army service are different.

A: Oh yes.

I: Okay.

A: Yeah.  

I: What kind of, uh, basic training did you get?

A: Um, we got to learn the rifle, stun gun, grenades, and machine gun, uh, and 2” mortars, yeah.



I: Were you good at it?

A: I’d say I was average.  But when I was, when I was in training, I was doing 2” mortars, we’re using live ammunition, the uh, Sergeant said watch where you put it cause he said if you injure anybody, he said, you’ll be in jail.  



So, he just had to make sure and rest.

I: So, you went to Germany.

A: Yeah.

I: How was Germany?  Where were you, in Berlin?
A: No, um a place called Buxdahuti.

I: I never heard of it.  

A: Oh.  I hadn’t till I got there.

I: How was it?  And what was your mission, and what was your specialty?

A: Oh, it was just a, a stationed, where we were stationed.  That was all, you know.

I: Uh huh.



A: All we did there was guard duty and, and training, you know, till we would come back home  Then we did more training up in (NADONDA).

I: No no.  Uh, what was your specialty, Infantry or

A: Infantry.

I: Infantry.

A: Yeah.

I: Okay.  And no other, other special

A: No.

I: No.

A: No.

I: And how much were you paid in, I mean, in Germany?

A: Twenty-two shillings and six pence.  



I was paid that all the way through.  Oh no.  When I reached the (DIZZY HEIGHTS) of a Lance Corporal, I got three and six pence a week extra.

I: So, twenty-shillings per week.

A: Yeah.  Don’t forget the six pence.

I: And at the time, one shilling, what is the worth of it?  What was the worth

A: Twelve pence.

I: Huh?
A: A shilling was 12 pence.

I: Twelve pence.

A: Yeah.  

I: I know.  But

A: Oh sorry.  

I: With the one shilling

A: Yeah.

I: What were you able to buy?



A: Um, oh you could buy shoelaces and go towards a tin of polish, uh, tin of boot polish, tin of brasso polish.

I: What about milk?  One gallon of milk. How much was it?
A: Oh no, you didn’t get, oh no.  Buying all milk out like that.  No.  You depended on the Army to feed you.  You got what they, they fed you (INAUDIBLE)

I: But you were fed by the Army, right?
A: Yes, yeah.

I: And the uniforms were given, and you have a place to live, right?
A: Yes, in the barracks, yes.

I: So, what did you do with that 22 shilling?  Tell  me the secret, okay?



A: Uh, oh I just went out and had a few pints.

I: Did you send the money back to your home?

A: Uh, no.  I couldn’t afford to (22 and 6) no, no.

I: Alright.  So, after come back from Germany, where did you go?

A: When we came back from Germany, we went to, uh, 

I: When did you come back to UK?



A: Oh, UK

I: From Germany.

A: Oh, it was February.

I: Of 19

A: Um

I: Fifty-two

A: 1952, yes, yea.

I: Yeah.  And when did you leave for Korea?

A: I believe it was end of June.

I: June?

A: But it could have been before.  I’m not quite sure on that one, yeah.

I: But it’s 1952.

A: Yeah, yeah.  

I: Did you get any special training to, to be dispatched to Korea?



A: No.  Just normal training, you know.  Just our normal, just how to go faster.

I: And did you learn anything about Korea while you are going there and, and any history , culture, anything that you learn from Army about the, the war that you are going to join?

A: No.  We, we were just told we were going out there to help the Korean War.  That’s all we were told.



Very, very little.

I: Um hm.

A: Yeah.  

I: So, you still didn’t know where Korea located.

A: No.  

I: When did you arrive in Korea?

A: Uh, I believe it was July, but I’m not, I’m not, to be honest, I’m not quite sure when.

I: And you arrive in Pusan?

A: Yes.  

I: Did you stay there long?

A: No, we, the ship arrived in Pusan,



And were around about Cheetham or Vinadan.  I’m not quite sure.  And then we came off the ship the next morning, and we were marched around to the station where, where it was then.  And uh, we sat there a couple of hours till the train came in.  And then we went to, farther up the line.  And they didn’t tell us the name of the place at all.  We just went there.


We went there, we were leaving the Lesters.  And the Lesters were there because they were gonna come back on the same train as we got off.  We went there, and we had the meal there.  We stayed there overnight.  And then we went and did a bit, four nights’ training, ground training so we got to know the layout of the land. Then we went into the line, yeah.

I: Anything you remember about, uh, Pusan?  You stayed there for one night.  Anything you remember, smell, people, or city?


A: No.  Well, we weren’t allowed off the ship.

I: But you didn’t see nothing?
A: No.  Well, all we got was a, a view, you know, like a view off the ship, and you could tell like it wasn’t, they had it rough. It wasn’t very nice with some of the accommodations they were living in, yeah.

I: And what were you thinking?  Did, did you think that why am I here or what the hell or

A: Well, we did.  We all thought that, you know, what are we doing here, yeah.



But then you, you didn’t have any, any say or any option.  You were sent there, and that was it.

I: That was it, yeah.
A: That was a part of your service, yeah.

I: So, after that, where did you go?
A: In, we went into the lines.  The one, opposite a hill called 208.

I: 208.

A: Yeah, which was quite next to 355 which had the nickname of Little Gibraltar.

I: Uh huh.

A: Yeah.  And we were there for a month.

I: 288 you said.

A: Yes.  208.



I: 208.

A: Yeah.

I: And that’s where the Black Watch stationed?
A: That’s where we were stationed, opposite (DALIN)

I: Uh, were there any other foreign troops like a U.S. or uh, Australians?

A: No, they were all, uh, British, Canadian and uh, Australian troops on, in the, the other positions.

I: So, Commonwealth.

A: Yeah, the Commonwealth had been formed then.

I: How many were there?  Do you know?

A: Of all?

I: Yeah.

A: Oh, I’d say it was round about 800, yeah.



I: And so, the Little Gibralter.  So, it was close to Imjin River, right?

A: Yeah.

I: Yes.

A: Yeah.

I: And what did you do there?  Tell me, tell me about the typical duty, daily duty or routines that you did there?
A: Well, a typical duties there was like checking, you go in pits was where like two men went.  And you had your ammunition there, ammunition boxes.  You had your ammunition all laid out.



You used to check that, uh. If we had any rain and any of the, the trenches would start to cave in a bit, redig them out, put them back to normal.  And uh, ev, every night there was a four-man, four man patrol sent out into the valley where every platoon sent a four man patrol out.  So that was all the way, every regiment did that.



I: Were you part of patrol?
A: Yeah.  You all, you all got your turn.  You all, everybody got their turn.  You didn’t, you never only did one.  You’d end up doing at least one a week.  You couldn’t, you couldn’t do them all.  If they sent a fighting patrol out or a, an ambush patrol, you’d be short a man.  So, you, you’d get an extra stand in patrol.

I: That patrol must have been very dangerous, wasn’t it?

A: Well, uh, it was in the valley, there was four of you.  So, all, all you knew you had to do was just keep quiet, keep your eyes open and just watch.



I: Just watch.

A: Yeah.

I: Were there any

A: And get in, you know, if, if the Chinese had any patrols out there.  So we were lucky one night that past our, with the next company’s, Charlie Company, they, they hit their patrol, yeah.



Well one lad was killed, and I think two of them were wounded.

I: Oh.

A: Yeah.  But that’s your, that was just the way it went.  Yeah.

I: Were you scared?

A: Well, you’d be telling lies if you say you weren’t, wouldn’t you?  Yeah.  You’d be telling lie if you (INAUDIBLE) 

I: Don’t lie.

A: Yeah.  But you couldn’t let your mates see uh, uh, anything like that, you know.  Let them play the big man that’s strong.

I: But patrol was mostly during night, right?

A: Yes.

I: Yeah.

A: Yeah.



I: So, you don’t see anything.  You don’t know where the sniper is coming at you.

A: No, no.  You didn’t know where they were.

I: Oh boy.  That’s

A: Yeah.

I: Hm.

A: And they you did a month there, and you come out for the month.  Coming out for the month was very nice.  You could take your boots off cause you weren’t allowed to take your boots off.


I: Um.  

A: Even if you went on duty and you were in your bunker, still had to keep your boots on.  If you were caught with them off, you were on the charge straight away.  First time you, they fine you money.  The second time they give you 60 days detention.



If you got 60 days detention, you knew you were gonna have to go another 60 days in the Army.  So, you avoided that.  You kept your boots on.

I: Yeah.  

A: Yeah.

I: Were you wounded at all?
A: I was on the Battle of the Hook.

I: Oh, you were in the Battle of Hook?

A: Yeah, the first one, yeah.

I: When was it?
A: November the 19th.

I: Oh, you remember the date.

A: Yeah.
I: And that’s 1952.

A: Yes.

I: Yeah.  Tell me about that Battle of Hook.

A: Um well

I: In det remember Albert.  



A: Yeah.

I: This it, to many students

A: Yeah.

I: From all over the world 

A: Yeah.

I: Will watch this, and they want to know about the Battle of Hook.

A: Yeah.

I: So, you describe the topological configuration, who were the enemy, and how close were you, things like that.   Give me the detail.

A: Well, we, the hill that well, they call the Hook. You had, you had A Company, then you had B Company, you had Charlie Company, then you had D Company.  



We were right on the end nearest to the river.  And when the Chinese attacked, the attacked A Company.  That was the nearest point, the best point for them to attack. When A Company was going down on, on the men, the uh CO ordered, uh, B Company to go in to assist them.  



And when, uh, there was, going down on the men, you know, casualty wise, for some reason they didn’t want to move Charlie Company.  So, he asked A Company if they could spare two platoons, the officer in charge of our company.  You know, he said yes, and I’ll (INAUDIBLE) it up.  So, so then we went along.  (INAUDIBLE) like we’re holding them back, we stayed on the position, and a few of us were wounded.



And then after a bit like we gradually got around to carry us off, you know.  Yeah.  Then uh, just got taken to a hospital.  

I: Was Chinese enemy soldier, were they good?
A: Oh, they were good, yes.  All the

I: Were they effective in battle?
A: Oh, they were very effective.  The, yes, they had been well trained, yeah.  Very well trained.

I: Um hm.

A: Very effective.  But they didn’t get the position.

I: Um hm.

A: Our lines were, kept them back.  Yeah.  Very good.



I: How long did it last, that battle?
A: I would say 24 hours.  It could have been a bit longer.  I wouldn’t like to swear to it because they, when the World War didn’t’, that’s it. You know.   You’re waiting to get tired over there.  

I: Why was that so important, the Battle of Hook?  Why was it so important for U.N. Forces?

A: Well, what we were told is if the Chinese had got the Hook, it was the fastest way to get to Seoul.  



You know, they could have bypassed all the other positions and made it straight away for Seoul.  And that would have been quicker.

I: Um hm.

A: And then all the troops in the lines and they would have had a job fighting their way back cause you’d have had Chinese at the front, and you’d have had Chinese at the back.  And then, and that is why they always went for that position.

I: So, that was strategically very critical.

A: Very critical, yeah, because we came out the, I believe, the Canadians had it one time.  The Australians had it the, oh one time.



And the Black Watch got it back again, and they got attacked the second time.  And, but they are wrong again, and then uh, I, I don’t know what they didn’t want enough of them off.  I believe it was the, um, oh, was the Yorkshire (INAUDIBLE) Al,

Male Voice: (INAUDIBLE)
A: (INAUDIBLE) They went in. 


And then they added the (INAUDIBLE)

I: Um Hm.

A: And uh, they held on as well.  They held it.  Then after that like, shortly after the peace agreement came.



I: Have you been to China after the War?

A: Have I been back, uh, been back to Korea?

I: Korea, but not to China.
A: No, not China.

I: If I am arranging a meeting with Chinese soldiers who fought against you at the time.

A: Yeah, 

I: If they alive

A: Yeah.

I: Would you take, shake hands with them?

A: Oh yes.  Yeah.  I, I mean I’d shake hands with them rather than the (JAMMERS) The (JAMMERS) bombed our houses.  So, they did more damage than what the Chinese did, uh.



I: So, after that, what happened to you?  After the Battle, uh, of Hook.

A: Eh, well I went to hospital like, and I was there for, uh, about a month or so.

I: Um hm.

A: And then I came back, then I, then I went back on the line, joined the Regiment again, then went into the position, and I wasn’t sure the position, where it was like.  But went on the front line again.  I stayed with them till I was able to come out, 



and then all the Commonwealth came out.  The Americans and the other, uh, nationalities took it over, would have to leave the Tungsten and the artillery in.  And the reason why we all came out was there were 80 foreman.  There were not many allowed to go home and you were allowed to come out and replace them.  So that took a month.  



And that one took Hill again had problems.  So, I had to go back in rush battle again.  

I: What, when did you leave Korea?

A: Uh, well they took me from Korea, they sent me back to Japan, and they all (INAUDIBLE) there.  

I: When did you leave?
A: Um, ’53, be about June, I would think about June.

I: Uh huh, uh huh.

A: But I didn’t go back.

I: So, you stayed there about a year.



A: Yeah, yeah, a year there.

I: And you told me that you’ve been back to Korea, right?

A: Oh yes, I went back in 2006

I: When was it?  20

A: 2006.

I: Wow.  And that’s that was the program run by Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, right?

A: Yeah.


A: Very good, yes.

I: And tell me about the Seoul you saw 2006, the 2000, 



This is very important for young children to know about before and after picture.

A: Yeah, yeah.

I: You were in Korea 1952 – ‘53

A: Yeah.

I: Now it’s 2006.

A: Six.

I: Compare that for the young children.

A: Well, 

I: Detail.

A: This time, when I went back for 206, we were flown, went by Korean Airline to Seoul Airport.  And 

I: Inchon Airport.

A: Into Seoul airport, yes.



Then we were taken to the hotel, but offhand, I couldn’t tell you the name of the hotel.  But we were very welcomed.

I: (LOVELY) hotel?

A: Lovely hotel.

I: Yeah.

A: And it was, the, the Brits, the Australians, New Zealand and Can, and Canadians.  And then we went on tours around the front line, Panmunjom.  We went there where the peace agreement was signed.  



And we were told

I: Armistice was signed, no peace treaty, they never signed, yeah.

A: Yeah.  When it, when it was signed we were taken in to the, where it was all signed, and they said that you can say what you like because all the loudspeakers are on and not (INAUDIBLE) in Panmunjom, and they said the Chinese listen to everything.  They said we’re not gonna learn a lot now, are they?

I: How was Seoul?



A: Oh, fantastic.  Couldn’t believe such a place had been turned round, you know? The buildings, the alterations right throughout.  Course then we were taken from Seoul, we went down to, uh, back to Pusan.  You, yous had renamed it then to Pusan down there.  But we still called it Posan.  And we thought what if there’s somebody there cause I hadn’t seen the cemetery, the, the layout.



The, the, the Brits and the Australians, Canadians and the New, we all went, you know.  And we had a couple of hours there, like the overnight, all around.  And then there was a lot of playing children there.  And we were rather surprised like young children going down there, that big cemetery.  And we were told that was a part of their education, to learn why that cemetery was there and why all those people were laid there.



I: So, when you left in 1953,

A: Yeah.

I: I think it’s just one month before the Armistice was signed.

A: Yeah.

I: Had you imagined that Korea would become like this today?

A: No, no.  We, we al thought like, like a few years after that it would join up, you know.  The, it would become one country. But then we found out like the term,



You blame America and Russia.  They were the cause of the split open.  After the 39-45 war, had those two countries come straight out, uh, Korea would have been one country.  Everybody’s sure of that.

I: Um hm.

A: But when those two nations were causing it to be apart.

I: So, you never imagined that Korea would become like this today.

A: No, no.

I: Do you know about the Korean economy now?



Do you own any Korean products?
A: No.

I: You don’t?

A: No.  I don’t, we don’t, do we?
Female Voice:      don’t think so, no.  You got a lot of presents when you were in Korea, didn’t you?

A: Yeah.

I: Korea is now 11th largest economy in the world.

A: Yeah.

I: It’s the 6th largest trading country in the world.

A: Yeah.

I: Korea is the largest ship builder in Korea.

A: Uh, in, in

I: In, in the world, I’m sorry.



A: Yeah. 
I: We, we, we started the large ship building industry in 1970’s.

A: Yeah.

I: And when we first got the order of very large oil carrier from Turkish businessman,

A: Yeah.

I: We built the blueprint for the (BOAT) yard so that we can build a (BOAT) yard from Scotland

A: Yeah.

I: We learned, we learned from Japan.

A: Yeah.

I: And then we began to build a very large oil carrier.

A: Yeah.



I: And when you build a very large ship, you have to build two apart.  And then later you put together, okay?
A: Um hn,.

I: We, that was first order of very large oil carrier.  We were able to build those two apart, and then we were just about to put that together.

A: Um.
I: You know what happened?
A: No.

I: It didn’t fit.  So, we failed to deliver the first order, and that’s how we started in 1973.

A: Yeah, yeah.


And by the end of 1990’s and we were the largest ship builder in Korea, in the world.

A: Yeah.  We give it all away.

I: (LAUGHS) I went to the, uh, (SOUTHERNLAND) and there were big ship build, you know, the

A: Yeah.

I: The company there.  But now they are in decline, right?
A: Yeah.

I: If you look at the computers and cellular phone, you have a lot of computer chips, right?



A: Yeah.  

I: Korea is the largest market sharer of the semi-conductor, the computer chips in the world, too.  So that’s the Korea that you fought for.

A: Well, it’s like I said.  After I went back, after what I’d seen, the transformation, and if I had my way, I would like to send all of our members of Parliament regardless of what party they stood for, to Korea, spend a month there, use their own money like we have to, no perks out the Parliament,



And they would learn a lot.  None of this like well we’ve been in power for five years, but uh, we’ve done this and done that.  But we couldn’t get the (INAUDIBLE).  But if you put us back in for another five, we’ll get that done.

I: Yeah.

A: You know, the old dodge.

I: Now, I want to talk to your daughter.

A: Yeah.

I: Sitting just beside you.

A: Yeah.

I: Uh, would you please uh, I think that microphone will work.  But just hold it for, for yourself and your father.  Let me do it.  



I: Please introduce yourself.  What is your name?
Female Voice: I[‘m Pauline Griffis.

I: Uh huh.  And you are the daughter of

Female Voice: Albert Harrington, and I’m uh

I: Yeah.  How many siblings do you have?
Female Voice: I’ve got two older brothers, a younger sister, and a younger brother.

I: Uh huh.

Female Voice: I’m the third one.

I: I’m so, uh, pleased to meet you here, and thank you for driving for your father.  I know it’s a long way.



Let me ask this question.  Did your father, has, has your father ever talked about his experience as a Korean War veteran?

Female Voice: No.

I: Really?

Female Voice: No.  Uh, it was my younger brother when he saw dad had some scars asked a lot of questions.  And that’s when we, that’s the only time really talked about it, wasn’t it?

A: Yeah.

Female Voice: Was my younger brother asking all the questions.

I: When was it?



Female Voice: It’ll be, how long ago, about 30 years ago he started asking, didn’t he, our Chris?

A: Yeah, yeah.

I: Albert, why didn’t you talk about it?

A: Well, I just thought it was something that they wouldn’t want to know, like about a war.

I: Oh.  Didn’t your father talk or in your family talk about World War II?

A: My father’d been in the 1914-18 war, and he was wounded.  And he wouldn’t talk about it.

I: At all.

A: No.



I: And you were wounded, right?
A: Yeah.

I: When was it, at the Battle of Hook, right?

A: 19th of November.

I: 19th of November.  Where were you wounded?

A: Uh, in, in the back and down the leg on the side of the leg.

I: Um.  How severe was it?
A: Well, I didn’t get a pension out of it.  I didn’t make, I didn’t make the grade for the pension, put it that way.  So, I got a, it wasn’t as severe as that.

I: But in the United States, if you are wounded in any way, they give you a Purple Heart.



That’s a medal.

A: Oh yeah.

I: And I just learned that British doesn’t do that.

A: Oh no, no.

I: Maybe I can say it’s terrible or British is more give a dam thing about this scars and, and wounds.

A: The, uh, there’s a (INAUDIBLE) medal that we’re supposed to wear when, to let somebody know all that.  They might ask too many questions.

I: So, Pauline, did you know anything about Korea and Korean War?



Female Voice: Not, not till my brother started asking questions.  Then I did.  But we didn’t do it at school, no.

I: Oh.  So, you have World History class, right?

Female Voice: Yeah.

I: Did they teach anything about Korea?
Female Voice: No.

I: You don’t teach anything about Korea?

Female Voice: No.

I: Oh.  What about Japan?

Female Voice: No.

I: You don’t’ teach anything about Japan.

Female Voice: No.

I: China?

Female Voice: No.

I: Oh.  So, you don’t have a World History then.

Female Voice: No.  We did, uh, the first World War, the second World War, uh, Northern Ireland.



But no, not about

I: Do you have a World History class?

Female Voice: Uh, well, it, it depends what’s on the schoolteacher gets told each year what, what’s to teach.  So, it depends what they’re told I suppose.

I: So, don’t, you don’t have a curriculum or standard?
Female Voice: We do, but it changes.

I: Um hm.

Female Voice: As to what’s going on in the world, I think.

I: So, so it depends on the teacher.



Female Voice: Yeah.

I: So, if he or she wants to teach about Korean War and Korea, they can do?

Female Voice: They could, yeah, yeah, yeah.

I: Oh.

Female Voice: I think at the moment, it’s very strict to what they can teach than they could have when I was at school, yeah.  They could have.

I: Okay.  And do you know currently whether British school teach about World History?
Female Voice: I don’t think they do, no.

I: They don’t.

Female Voice: No.

I: Ah.  See, you are, you used to be the center of the world,



I: The British Empire.

A: Yeah.

I: So, you didn’t need to learn about any other country.

Female Voice: No.  Which is sad, isn’t it?  Sad, sad

I: Isn’t it?

Female Voice: Yeah.

I: You need to learn about other countries and culture and history.

Female Voice: Yeah.

A: We, we used to, I mean we learned about Captain Cook, you know, over in, around the world.

Female Voice: Yeah.  You learned, yeah.

A: You learned about that.



I: What they learned.

A: Yeah.
Female Voice: Florence Nightingale, things like that.

I: Absolutely, absolutely, yes.

Female Voice: More about famous people really.  

I: Yeah.

Female Voice: Well, you know, just discovered things and.

I: Anything you know about modern Korea?

Female Voice: No.

I: You don’t know.

Female Voice: No.

I: And what do you think about the Korean War that your father fought?



Female Voice: Uh, I think, I’m very proud really, um.  When we went, um, to America once, dad, me and my sister, and, and we’ve seen anyone who had a Korean veteran, we noticed how people went up and talked to them.

I: You went to Korea?
Female Voice: No, I didn’t go to Korea.  We were in America.  But any Korean veterans there, we noticed how people did go up and talk to them, you know, which I thought they were treated very nicely actually in America.

I: So, the country your father saw in 1952 and now it’s just unbelievable transformation.



Female Voice: Yeah.

I: And so, what do you think about your father’s legacy?

Female Voice: I think it’s really good, isn’t it, all those men that did what they did.

I: Uh huh.  Do you have any family member whose profession is teacher?

Female Voice: No.

I: No?

A: No.

I: Do you know any, uh, History teachers?

Female Voice: No.

A: We only had one, and, that was Jean, only Jean, right?



Female Voice: Yeah, yeah, but that’s all.

A: My cousin, uh.

Female Voice: But they’ve all retired now haven’t they?
A: Yeah, all retired, yeah.

I: And as I explained, uh, with my Foundations’ brochure.

Female Voice: Yeah.

I: What we do is to educate our own educators

Female Voice: Yeah.

I: So, they can talk more about the Korean War and Korea.  And if you know of anybody who might be interested in working with my Foundation

Female Voice: Oh yeah.

I: We’ll invite them to, to the United States.



And actually taking 30 teachers from the United States to, back to Korea for two years already.

Female Voice: Gosh.

I: So, if they are really interested one here from the Great Britain, I’ll certainly invite them.

A: Yeah.

I: Only money that they need to spend is half of the international airfare.

Female Voice: Right.

I: Otherwise, everything will be covered for seven days.

A: Yeah.

I: In Korea.

Female Voice: Right.

I: So please let me know, okay?



Female Voice: Oh yeah, yeah.  Yeah.

I: Alright.  So, Albert, you were wounded once, even once, and where were you, in the Amer, Indian Medical Unit?

A: No.  Went to one of the, uh, American one first. And then we were transferred to, uh, to Seoul, and then we were flown out to Seoul to, um, Japan.

I: Oh, I see.

A: Yeah.



I: So, you have a severe wound.

A: Yeah.

I: Yeah.

A: It was severe to me.  But as far as the Army was concerned, it wasn’t severe to them cause they didn’t want to give me any money.

I: Oh boy.


Female Voice: You, you got a lot of back problems all, all the time, haven’t you?  So

A: Yeah.  I want, I wore three women’s corsets.  And I could quite understand why they would like to get them off, yeah.



I: Um, what would you say to young British students about your war in Korea?

A: Um, it was an education in itself, very, very educational.  You learned, you learned a lot, and you grew up overnight by going there and seeing what it was all about.

I: Um hm.

A: Yeah.  We all got an eye opener, right Alan?

Male Voice: Yeah, yeah.



I: Yeah.  I mean because of your fight, Korea is now who we are.

A: Yeah.

I: And we are offering help of, to other, other countries.  

A: Yeah.

I: We used to get the donations from other country.  Now we are the doner.

A: Yeah.

I: And Great Britain, the United Kingdom and South Korea Republic of Korea is very close ally.

A: Right.

I: Close trading partner.  We are very close to each other.

A: Yeah.
I: But in 1883, that’s the year that we signed the Trade Pact.  



And since then, there was no relationship at all until the Korean War.

A: Wow, yeah.

I: So, you are the bridge making.

A: Of lots, uh, joining you both together, yeah.  The only thing a lot of, the likes of the lads like me who were there, the only thing we‘re sorry about is it never joined up.  You were never, became one country as, as it should have.

I: Um hm.

A: Yeah.



I: Any message you want to leave to this interview?

A: To be honest, I can’t, at the moment, I can’t think of one.

I: Any other episode that you want to leave more?
A: No.  Well, I’d just like to see them, I would like to see the both countries join up into one.  It would be very nice.

I: Um hm.

A: Course, we do know like it split a lot of families, you know.  There’s some families on the North and some on the South.  And that’s a sad thing.  That’s sad.



I: What do you think about North Korean situation now?

A: Well, it must be brainless.  He’s got to be.  You know, to, to go on doing things and he’s been warned and been warned, and he’s not listening.  So why wone of his own Generals just don’t turn around and shoot him, I’ll never know.  It would do a lot of good if they did.

I: Yeah.

A: Yeah.



I: It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?

A: You, well you, just can’t believe a man could be so stupid to carry on like that.  You just can’t believe it.  And you just wonder where it’s all gonna end up, you know?  Cause it’d be terrible if, in the end no matter who fights, it’s the first one that’s gonan be a terrible catastrophe and loss of life.

I: You, are you aware about North Korean situation?

Female Voice: Yeah.

I: What do you think?

Female Voice: I, I just think it’s awful, yeah.  It must be very frightening for the Korean people mustn’t it really.  They must be frightened.



But I don’t know how much do they know. I don’t know.  It depends what they get told I suppose.

I: Exactly.  It’s a, lots of indoctrination and propagandizations and a long history, uh, that we, uh, cannot talk about it because it’s a long history.

Female Voice: Yeah.

I: Uh.  There are many, many, many issues. But there is also the problem in the side of the United States and China and other countries too.

Female Voice: Yeah.

I: So

Female Voice: Yeah.

I: I hope that we can have a peaceful transition from here, right?
Female Voice: Oh, yeah.

A: Well, well everybody’s opening up because the North, it would be very, very sad if you’re ever the first one to fire one.



I: Many Korean people will watch this interview. What would you say to them now?

A: Um, 

I: Talk to camera now.

A: I just, I just hope it never happens.  Just hope it never happens cause it, it would be a sad day, very sad.  Just hope it doesn’t happen.

Female Voice: All those lovely children’s lives are going to be damaged, aren’t they?  You know, very sad.

I: Very sad.  Um hm.  Unless you have another comment, I wanna wrap this up.  


I really appreciative that you came long way for this interview, especially because of your lovely daughter, Pauline.  She drove.  I wanna think you all.  And on behalf of Korean nation, I wanna thank you for your fight and your suffering, the wounds, 



so that we were given opportunity to rebuild our nation.  And now I think you can be proud of

A: Oh yes.

I: your service because Korea is ever, you know, stronger than before.  So.

A: I’m proud the way it’s changed over.  Like I said, I’d love to take our politicians there and learn them a lesson, yeah.  It would be great.

I: And my good friend, Alan Maggs, watching us from the bed there.

A: He’s like Mao Tse Tung.



I: He, he is great.  And he has arranged everything for this, uh, series of interview trips for me.  So, I am very thankful to him and his boss, Sylvia.

Female Voice: Yeah.

I: We need to know who both is, right?  Yeah.  Alright, thank you again, Albert.

A: Thank you, yes, yes.

I: It’s a lovely time with you and with your daughter.  Thank you.

Female Voice:  Thank you.