Richard Davey was born in Beccles, Suffolk County, England. When he turned fifteen, he left school and became an apprentice. At the age of eighteen, he started his national service and boarded the HMS Asturias (a troop ship). Upon arriving in Pusan, he was greeted by a band and began his time in Korea working in Headquarters Royal Artillery (HQRA) passing radio messages from the frontline near the Pintail Bridge (a floating pontoon bridge) built across the Imjin River. Throughout his service in the Korean War, he worked on maps for the main part of HQ with the Canadians, Australians, and Americans. As a radiomen, his job included radioing map locations to track Chinese artillery, hot looping telephone wires to HQ during The 3rd Battle of the Hook, and documenting the British prisoners of war (POWs) that were released after the armistice was signed in 1953. In 2001, he was able to return to South Korea and compare and contrast Korea in 1952 with the present time.
Working with Americans While Stationed at HQ
Richard Davey recounts being stationed at the Royal Army's Headquarters (HQ) during the May 1953, 3rd Battle of the Hook. Due to bombing and busy telephone lines, he recalls having to hot loop (go around the regular telephone communication system) to communicate with other HQs. During that battle, over thirty-eight thousand shells were used during the fight.
A Bunker and a Radio, What Else Would You Need?
Richard Davey shares that his job in HQ was to man the radio to maintain and assist communication between the frontlines and HQRA. Therefore, he had to store many pieces of equipment to keep the radio running all day and night. He recalls being able to stay in a bunker inside of a trench and adds that he was even able to maintain a bookshelf with books to share with the American soldiers that he was stationed with at the time.
Arrival in Pusan in the Midst of 1952
Richard Davey recalls arriving in Pusan to a band playing in the background and small camps set up with Canadian troops waiting to be shipped out. After a train and truck ride, he was stationed with the Headquarters Royal Artillery (HQRA). While stationed there, he was provided food, summer clothes, and guns.