Korean War Legacy Project

Robert C. Jagger

Bio

Robert Carr Jagger was orphaned at two months old around Wellington, New Zealand in 1925. He was adopted into a loving family and entered the family business, cheese-making, during World War II. He began his service in Korea in 1952 with the New Zealand army. He worked with artillery units primarily in signals and communication near the famous Hill 355. He served over two years in-country and participated in Armistice Day. He has remained a friend of the Korean people to this day and is proud of the progress that Korea has made.

Video Clips

Work on the Front Lines

When asked about any dangerous moments, Robert C Jagger describes his work on Hill 355, also known as Kowang San. He describes the shelling by the North Koreans. He also describes the various jobs he held while on the Hill as part of the artillery unit.

Tags: Front lines,Living conditions,North Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziNBPBxpMAM&start=987&end=1137

Challenges and Rewards

Robert Jagger discusses his greatest challenge and biggest rewards while in Korea. Like many, he remembers the bitter cold. He also remembers he was in Korea on Armistice Day and remembers warmly his relationships with other soldiers.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Cold winters,Living conditions,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziNBPBxpMAM&start=1222&end=1348

Impressions of Korean People

Robert C Jagger discusses his impression of the Korean people he met, both in 1952 and in visits back since. He is amazed at the progress Koreans have made since the war. He describes the poor living conditions he saw contrasted to Seoul today.

Tags: Seoul,Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Modern Korea,Physical destruction,Poverty,South Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziNBPBxpMAM&start=1424&end=1650

Video Transcript

[Beginning of recorded material]

R:        Robert Carr Jagger.  And I’ll spell it.  R O B E R T, C A R R , Jagger, J A G G E R.

I:          Um hm.  So your middle name is Carr.

R:        Yeah, middle name is Carr.

I:          Um hm.

R:        There’s a reason for that.
I:          What is it?
R:        And the reason is that when I was, came into the world, uh, my mother

0:00:30

left me at a [INAUDIBLE], and I never saw her again.

I:          Aww.

R:        So I was adopted by the Jagger people, not, if, a couple years later, I was only two months old when they found me

I:          Oh, I’m so sorry.

R:        Yeah.  But never found the  mother.  She never come back.  She was, went to this place where they leave children to go shopping

I:          Huh.

R:        come back.  Mind you, that was 1925

0:01:00

I:          I’m sorry?

R:        Nineteen twenty-five.

I:          You born in 1925?

R:        Yeah.

I:          What month?  What is your birthday?

R:        Uh, uh, August 2nd

I:          August 2, 1925

R:        Well, what they had to do was work out those two months they found me on October the 2nd.  So they put us back to that.  So it was quite interesting because at this stage were, you go to the book, uh, written by

0:01:30

this lady that, and I could give her name as, I’m trying to think of her name.  Um, how does Sue, um, from [INAUDIBLE] her name is, I’m trying to think, Sue?  Uh, That’s the trouble when you get old.

I:          Yeah, right.
R:        I’m getting to [INAUDIBLE]

I:          So  now you are 94

0:02:00

year-old.

R:        Uh, I’ll be 94 this coming August.

I:          Yeah.

R:        In August, 93.

I:          Ninety-three.  Wow.  You look very young.

R:        Yeah.

I:          I never thought that you are over 80.

R:        That’s what somebody told me.

I:          What is the secret?
R:        Well, I’ve, I’ve been very good with people.  I love people

I:          Um.

R:        And that is, uh,

0:02:30

I think is the base, if you have an argument, try and, if you can’t settle it, just let it go.

I:          So good relationship makes you happy and

R:        Yeah.

I:          healthy.

R:        That’s right.

I:          Yeah.  Where were you born?

R:        Uh, well, that’s something I don’t know.  I was found in Wellington.

I:          Wellington.

R:        Yeah.

I:          Oh.

R:        So, at a [INAUDIBLE] you know.

0:03:00

I:          And you don’t, you don’t know your father either.
R:        No.

I:          No.

R:        No.

I:          Oh.

R:        You bet, it was better I was adopted by very nice people and, and they were my

I:          So tell me about those people who adopted you, Jagger Family.

R:        Well, my father was a cheese maker and, uh, my mother was, used to help with, uh, domestic work in

0:03:30

some of the big places, uh.  She’d go to, uh, where there was a big sheep farm or something.  People had servants, and she would be doing chores, that sort of thing.  And then she started working for her auntie at the factory.  We had a cook there.  So my mother, right, she, uh, met

0:04:00

my father at the, at the, where she was working.

I:          Um.

R:        for her auntie.  So that was their start of marriage.  My father died.  He smoked a lot.  He had a very bad lungs.

I:          Um.

R:        Yeah.  We tried to ask him to knock off but, and funny enough, uh,

0:04:30

is some of these things, those that he smoked, Bob smoked, too.

I:          You did?

R:        Yeah.  And I gave it up.  I went, I was at a party, and t hey said oh, we going to, uh, have a, a concert, and we want you to sing.  So I tried to sing with this choir.  I was making such a mess of it, I went home and

0:05:00

stopped smoking.

I:          Very good.  When did you stop smoking?
R:        Uh, 1970.

I:          Okay.
R:        Thirty[INAUDIBLE]

I:          Yeah.  So for 50 years you

R:        Yes. [LAUGHS]

I:          That’s a good thing to do.

R:        Yeah. That helped me a lot.

I:          So it could been very difficult  life

R:        Yeah.

I:          because, you know, you, you don’t even know who your father was

0:05:30

R:        Right.

I:          And then your mom, your mom just left you.

R:        Yeah.

I:          So how, is that, how was it growing up?
R:        Uh, well, we did, funny enough, my sisters, adopted with, from a different, they wanted a girl.  And then after having her, they had one of their own, my brother.  He’s passed away now, and he’s quite a lot younger than me, uh, about six years younger than me.

0:06:00

And my sister was very close.  She was, she was very good.  But she died with cancer.  It was, uh, I missed her a lot.

I:          So it’s a lucky that you, uh, were adopted.  You were adopted by the, your father Jagger, Mr. Jagger.

R:        Yeah, that’s right.

I:          And he did good to you.

R:        Uh, yes he was wonderful.
I:          Um.

R:        My mother was stern, um.

0:06:30

But I got on alright because I was sickly.

I:          Um.
R:        They got me out of that place that I went to and, you know, made all the difference.

I:          Yeah.  Tell me about the school you went through.

R:        Oh, I went through school at Rongokoka.

I:          Um hm.

R:        which is R O N G O K O K A.  Uh,

I:          Could you pronounce it again.

0:07:00

R:        Rongokoka.

I:          Rongokoka

R:        Yeah.

I:          Ha.  And

R:        It’s just out of Eketahuna.

I:          Yeah.  And when did you finish your school?

R:        Uh, it was, uh, ’39, 1939.  And I, I enlisted for the [INAUDIBLE] at, at the age of 43.  Not the age of 43.  I was 18.

0:07:30

I:          Um hm.

R:        in 1943.  And, of course, my parents were, objected to that, and I can remember it was, at the time, I was disappointed.  But then on the other hand, [INAUDIBLE] I followed my father in the cheese making and, of course, uh, you know, they went after the Korean War

0:08:00

and I realized that, uh, no wonder they didn’t want me to go.

I:          Um, yeah.  So your father was really nice man to you.

R:        Yeah, absolutely.

I:          So when did you join the military?

R:        Uh, 1951 I joined.  But I didn’t get over to Korea until 1952.

I:          So you joined the mili, Army in 1951.

R:        Yes.

I:          And, when, what month?

0:08:30

R:        Uh, I’m thinking it must been, uh, about February roughly, about [INAUDIBLE]

I:          Um hm.  Where did you get the basic military training?

R:        Uh, went  to Linton Camp, basic training at Linton

I:          Um hm.

R:        Uh, put in a few weeks, I can’t remember now, quite a while.  And then we went to Waiouru.

I:          Um.

R:        And, uh, we

0:09:00

did our core training there on, uh, 25 pounders and signals and all that, all the things that go with it, engineering, all, uh, that, to learn how to look after mines in the field.

I:          So more specific kind of training.

R:        Yeah.
I:          Right.

R:        Uh, we, we learned more when we got over there, you know.

0:09:30

But Korean War was nasty, and we went in the thick of it where the early chaps were.  We still had our upsets and things like that.  And it, and I, uh, was doing a lot of laying lines, although they used radio, but it was a better idea to use lines of information.

0:10:00

But they blow out and, of course we had different sections where we had phones that we could ring in, we couldn’t get another.  The line was out.  So we’d have to retrace.  And, uh, I did quite a lot of work on 355.

I:          Oh, hold on.  So when did you leave for Korea?
R:        Oh, when I left for Korea, uh.  I went on a plane,

0:10:30

a flying plane, teal flying plane, from Heaven’s Bay, Wellington and, uh, that was 1952.

I:          Um hm.

R:        Um.

I:          To where?

R:        Uh, Iwakuni I think it

I:          Iwakuni in Japan?

R:        Yeah.

I:          And from Japan, when did you go to Korea?

R:        Uh, about four days after.

I:          Ah.

R:        Uh,

0:11:00

uh, as I think it was about May I think.

I:          Um.  So where did you arrive in Korea?

R:        Eh, well it was quite hot.  In Japan, too.  Very hot.

I:          But where did you arrive in Korea?

R:        Uh, oh.

I:          Was it Seoul or did you go to ship or

R:        No, we flew in by plane, and then we, I don’t think they took us to, by ship.  Just

0:11:30

I can’t think of the base camp now.

I:          Pusan?  Inchon or Seoul?  Kimpo?
R:        It was, it was more in, in Seoul.

I:          So you fly from Japan to Korea?

R:        Yeah.

I:          Oh.  So Seoul or Kimpo?

R:        Uh, Kimpo.

I:          Was it Seoul?

R:        Kimpo.

I:          Kimpo.

R:        Yeah.  That’s right.  Kimpo.  And we, but we went on the smaller planes.

0:12:00

But we were, we were given leave, oh, after about a long, long time.  And when we had leave, they took us to the big planes where they were shipping, uh, guns and all that sort of thing on these big planes.

I:          Yeah.

R:        Uh, uh, what did they call them?
I:          DC3?

R:        Yeah.

I:          C3?

R:        Uh, big

I:          Big plane.

0:12:30

R:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.

R:        I, I can’t think of

I:          It’s ok.  It’s ok.  So when you arrived in Korea, were you there, or did you go to somewhere else?

R:        Uh, we had to change.  Immediately we got there, we had battle dress on.

I:          Um.

R:        And we had to change, uh, into summer gear.  Then, and then four days after, we were flying

0:13:00

on a, a Lonestar, a smaller plane.  And, uh, it was interesting.

I:          To, to go where?

R:        I, uh, when we left Wellington.

I:          Um hm

R:        Just chumming back a bit

I:          Yes.

R:        Uh, we, we stopped off at Guam overnight

I:          Yes

R:        Uh, we went to Port Moresby.

I:          Um.

R:        Port Moresby is, uh, uh, we, we stopped

0:13:30

off there for a few hours.  And then we went on to Iwakuni.  Then we, then we stopped at, on the way to Guam.  I can still remember the mosquitos.

I:          So where did you go from Seoul?

R:        Uh,

I:          You went to Three hill, Hill355?

R:        Uh, no, no.  Uh, I went as a, we all picked out different ones, see?  Some went to the guns,

0:14:00

some, and I went to Signals.  But before I went to Signals, I became an ammunition number.  Anyway, after a while, I think they thought, uh, perhaps being so short I wouldn’t get them.  And they gave me stuff to throw in the back of the [special TMC]

I:          Um.

R:        American, we supported the Americans, yeah.

0:14:30

I:          So where, where did you go?
R:        Uh, we just, went to different planes.  Like Uijeongbu.

I:          Uijeongbu?

R:        Yeah.

I:          Um.

R:        And

I:          And you went to Hill 355?
R:        Yeah.  They, uh, when I, when I took on the, I had Jeep, Jeep 4, and that was, well our Sargent , our Signals Sargent,

0:15:00

He was in charge, and he’d direct us all this, quite a few of us had to carry some of the, uh, the trailer, carry some of the gear.  And then at night time, sometimes we were given the job to go to the OP.   So, the OP changed around a bit.  But in the end, he stayed pretty stationary in a couple of places, 355 and 350 I think was close.

0:15:30

That’s just, my memory’s gone to me.

I:          So, uh, what was your unit?

R:        Uh, uh, 161 Battery.

I:          One six one battery.
R:        Yeah.

I:          And what, what was your specialty?

R:        Uh, well my specialty was, uh, like ammunition carrier and then after that,

0:16:00

I went to Jeep 4, and I had the Jeep, and the, the, uh, authority of the sig Sargent.  So I was just an ordinary gunner, but I was

I:          It was driving, too?

R:        Yes.  I’d drive the 4, the, uh, Willie’s Jeep

I:          Um hm.

R:        Yeah.

I:          And were there any dangerous moment that you might have lost your life?

0:16:30

R:        I suppose there was, one of the, two of the dangerous moments was, uh, it’s quite laughable, too.  But we, well on 355, that was the worst one.

I:          Um hm.

R:        And we were getting shelled, and shrapnel was coming in so.

I:          Yeah.

R:        We had to, I thought the best way is to dive, and I dived into a drain and, uh, it was covered in mud.

0:17:00

But that’s just one of those things.  You don’t know whether it was gonna come anywhere or not.

I:          Um.
R:        But it was quite noisy, you know, yeah.  So, uh, and I was on a, I had gone to the toilet once and shells come in and had to get out of there.

I:          What did you do in Hill 355?

0:17:30

Did you fight there, or what did you do?

R:        No, it was just like lines, laid lines and, uh, so the people could speak from the Battery

I:          Yes.
R:        uh, mainly from the, from the battery, uh, from the Command Post.  So you had the Battery further,  you know, you had so many places where, and then we had, uh, we also, uh,

0:18:00

at nighttime, we would put on, [INAUDIBLE] exchange

I:          Um hm, um hm.  Um hm?

R:        And that was, uh, you know.  You could, you could listen in if you wanted.  But, uh, it’s just officers handing out whatever they want to do.  Perhaps an officer wanted to do a  [INAUDIBLE] change.  You got sick of it

I:          Um.

R:        and they’d, uh, take him out there.

0:18:30

Another job I had was, uh, and the War started to get, uh, die down a bit

I:          Um.

R:        they changed the Officers. And I was given the job of, of taking one that was going home and another one would take his place going back.  So that, that’s the sort of jobs I had.  And I had quite a few of those.  I even had, uh,

0:19:00

a chap, Officer King, and he, I was, uh, he wanted me to take him around where he’d been in charge in different facets, uh, you know, the firing part where the guns were, were.  And he wanted to go where he was operating the gun sights.

0:19:30

And so I had the job of taking him around before he went home. And it’s sad to say that he, he went home and he went around a place in [INAUDIBLE], out that way, um.  He was a ranger, you know, for, in the bush.  He also had this big, uh, wagon and, and he got too

0:20:00

close to the lake’s edge and, of course, he got drowned.

I:          Um.

R:        But they, they put a, a monument up for him o n his, oh, where he passed away.  And they got to him and honored him, you know.

I:          What was the most difficult thing during your service in Korea?

R:        I think the difficult thing was the cold.

I:          Ah.  How cold was it?

0:20:30

R:        Oh, about 26 below, uh, Fahrenheit, yeah.

I:          Minus 26.

R:        Yeah.  Yeah.

I:          Did you have enough clothes or equipment/  What happened?

R:        I, I, did, uh, we,, we were a bit lucky.  The first I went over, they had battle dress and just

what they came in, you know.  Well, that battle dress, and then some of them,

0:21:00

some of them got, uh, eh, stuff from the English, and they had some little jackets.  So they got a hold of them and all that. And then they got these nylon big, big, puffy

I:          Parka.

R:        Yeah, parkas, yeah.  They had big parkas

I:          Um.

R:        And it was lovely really.

I:          Yeah.

R:        Yeah.  We were lucky.

0:21:30

I:          What was the most rewarding moments during your service?  Were you there when Armistice was signed?
R:        Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I was there, 1953l

I:          Yeah.

R:        Yeah, yes.  Now that was, uh, it was, was good.  We, uh, we did get with the Australians, too.  They were, uh, good blokes, you know.

0:22:00

We, one of the things that I did, I don’t know whether anyone else has said, but I got on very well with people.  And, all the, the Sergeants and even Officers, you know.  I don’t, just because I was probably a lot older than they were.

I:          Yeah.

R:        But, uh,

I:          You were mature.

R:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.

0:22:30

So.

I:          And, when did you leave Korea?

R:        Um, 19, uh,

I:          Fifty-three.

R:        Fifty-four.

I:          Fifty-four?

R:        [INAUDIBLE] Yeah.

I:          No, fifty-three.

R:        Fifty-four.

I:          You there two years?
R:        Yeah, just, uh, I was in the, spent two years and 90 days altogether.  So ninety days

0:23:00

It was about, bit more than 90 days.  It’s just under two years.  And then the rest was New Zealand.

I:          Right.  So you left Korea, when did you leave Korea?

R:        Fifty-four.

I:          Fifty-four.

R:        March fifty-four.

I:          March, okay.

R:        Yeah.

I:          And

R:        We were, we, we, we use, we did up the place, you know, did a, we stored the guns and,

0:23:30

and cleaned everything up and,  you know, all that sort of thing.

I:          After the Armistice.

R:        Yeah.

I:          Um.

R:        Um.

I:          Did you have a chance to work with the Korean people during that time?
R:        Yeah.  I, I met a lot of them, um.  When they came, when we first went there, we’re shifting a lot.  We’re moving around, and we had, our cooks would go ahead and get things ready

0:24:00

I:          Um.

R:        And, uh, our mamas and fathers used to be, uh, have a pack on their back a lot, and mamasans and, and the, But the all, all, fathers and that, and they’d hang around for a bit of food and then, I always used to give them mine.  I always thought of them.  And I met a lot.  We [INAUDIBLE]

0:24:30

I’ve got a photo of it, thatching the, uh, rice by hand, you know.  That sort of thing they did.  And we stayed over night with a crowd in, in, uh, Korea.  You couldn’t beat them.  They were wonderful people.  Yeah.

I:          Um.

R:        I found them really great.  Anything I had to do with them.  And of course I’ve been back twice for, a, a looksee.

0:25:00

I:          Twice?

R:        Twice I’ve been back.

I:          When did you go back to Korea?
R:        Uh, the last one was, I’m trying to think.  The last one, I can’t.  I know one was 94

I:          Um.

R:        And then I went again, must have been

I:          2000?

R:        2000 odd, yeah.

I:          Yeah.

R:        I was the only one from  New Zealand the second time.

I:          2010 or before that?

0:25:30

R:        Before that.

I:          Okay.

R:        Yeah.

I:          And tell me about  it.  When you see Korea again, what, tell me the details.  Describe in detail.

R:        Yeah.  Well, the first time I went back, it was, we saw a little bit of the old Seoul and a small amount, uh.

0:26:00

But they built around it.  But the second time I went back, it was so great.  It was absolutely marvelous.  The work they put in, and especially in the airport, and that really was wonderful how they done that up, you know, had that going so beautifully done, you know.  And we went in, uh, for walks up the street

0:26:30

and, and people were nice.  Talked to people

I:          Um hm.

R:        Yeah.  Didn’t know the language.  But, uh, we seemed to get on all right.  I felt sorry for them when I first went over.

I:          Tell me about it.  Why?

R:        Uh, they were living in shacks and cart cases, well, and straw, or whatever he is, straw from the rice

0:27:00

I:          Um.

R:        And, it wasn’t easy at all.  And how they had to put up with all that, I don’t know how they did it.  It was terrible.

I:          Um, what did, what did you think about  it when you saw people living like that condition?

R:        I thought that’s why we were there, to change it.  We really tried.

I:          Um.

0:27:30

R:        We did a lot.  And I think the biggest time I had was staying with then.  And I think it was unofficial.  But we were running late, and it was getting dark, and the roads were pretty bad.

I:          Yeah.
R:        I mean, you were only allowed to do about 30 miles an hour.  And, uh, and, and in the wet season, it was all muddy,

0:28:00

mud and, in the summer, it was all dust.

I:          Um hm.

R:        And then it was very icy.  In fact, some of the Koreans even dug, uh, big things in the side of hills and they saved their ice for the summer.

I:          Um hm.

R:        Amazing what they did, you know, to, to exist.  They had their ice

0:28:30

out on the, to sell, you know, in the summer.  But they had it in a cave, you know.  They dug the [INAUDIBLE]

I:          So you felt very sorry.

R:        Oh yes.

I:          Um.

R:        Much so.  And I didn’t really think about it.  And when, uh, somebody said would you go to war again, I said no, I wouldn’t .

0:29:00

The reason is I saw, too, in the final, How many people were killed was actually dreadful.

I:          Yeah.

R:        And even the, the North Koreans.  The number of them that were killed, and why they were looked after by the, by the North Koreans was terrible.  I mean, they were eating dandelions.

0:29:30

They were scraping the, uh, inside for the bark off the trees to get any substance at all.  And they never got any help. Just, and the worst part about, I have a book.  There was a, a book, and it had this, they wanted, they wanted to marry.

I:          Um.

R:        They wanted to marry,

0:30:00

and  of course, they couldn’t.  And they escaped.  But they never, ever got together again.  But they went through the Chinese up North, Chinese over the river.  I don’t know if it’s the Yalu River, and they, they would, the Chinese was taking them and, at a cost.  But if they got caught, they would be in trouble anyway.  So, yeah.

0:30:30

I:          So when you go back to Korea Seas been changed, you, you didn’t see any longer the people living in a condition like in 1940’s.

R:        No.

I:          How did you feel about it?

R:        I was so p leased, yeah.  So please to see that it got, you know, the South Korea, they did a mighty job [INAUDIBLE] and I, I,

0:31:00

I don’t know.  The Americans, they lost a lot of young fellows.

I:          Yeah, 37,000 of them.

R:        Terrible.

I:          Terrible.  Two million Korean people were killed.

R:        Yes I know.  It was terrible.

I:          Yeah.  So we don’t wanna, you know, promote the War.  We don’t.  And, but we need to learn from it, right?
R:        That’s right.
I:          Yeah.  So Bob.  Why don’t

0:31:30

we teach about this case of Korean War in New Zealand?  Why we don’t teach?
R:        I, I, I’m so upset about  that because when I was talking the other day t o one of the veterans, and I said to Jack Kirk, Kirkwood, uh, Jack, anyway

I:          Um.
R:        I was talking to Jack about it and I said it’s not right. I was listening to History on the tv,

0:32:00

and there’s hardly a word about Korea.  He isn’t brining up the, all the latest ones, and Korea was left  out.  I said they’ve forgotten about us.

I:          Yeah.

R:        Just like that.  It really did upset me.  And that’s why I wouldn’t like to go and see them killed again.

0:32:30

I:          Yeah.  Uh, that upset me, too.  That’s why we are doing this, to making a curricular resources    for teachers.

R:        Yes.

I:          Could you read it?

R:        Yeah.
I:          What is it?

R:        Korea’s Place, Teaching Word of History.  That’s what I’m looking at all the time at home.

I:          So Korea’s place in teaching World History, right?
R:        Yeah.

I:          We, my Foundation published it for the teachers in the United States.

0:33:00

R:        Yes.

I:          But we want to publish the same thing for New Zealand teachers so that they can teach about the War you fought for.

R:        Oh yes.  That is really good there.

I:          Yeah.  Could you show that to the camera?  Turn it around?  And do you wanna see, do you wanna see we can make another one like this for New Zealand teachers?

R:        Yes.
I:          Do you wanna see that?

R:        Yeah.  I think that would be good.

I:          Yeah.

0:33:30

Isn’t that nice so that they can teach about the War that you fought for, right?
R:        That’s right.

I:          Yeah.  So that’s what I’m trying to do.  Okay?

R:        Yeah.  You’re doing a great job.
I:          Yeah.  Um, you brought the book.
R:        Yeah.  First

I:          What do you want to show me?

R:        I just, I’ll see if I can find a, a, the chap, uh,

I:          So what are you looking at now?

0:34:00

R:        There it is.  Korea lost.

I:          Hold it like that, yes.  So Korea was completely devastated.

R:        Yeah.
I:          Yes.

R:        Just, this is after the War, of course.

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

R:        Yeah, beautiful.  You got it?

I:          Yes.  Another picture?

R:        I’ll see if I can find it.

0:34:30

This[INAUDIBLE]

I:          By the way, what is that book?  Could you show me the cover?

R:        Um.  That’s me.

I:          You wrote it?
R:        No, I had it written by a lady.  She taught, Trying to think of her name.  I’m drawing a blank.

I:          So, the title is Korea, and the subtitle is A Kiwi Gunner’s Story.

R:        Yeah.

I:          And Sue Corkhill

0:35:00

R:        Co, Corkhill, yeah.
I:          Corkhill.

R:        That’s right.
I:          Yeah.  Sue Corkhill.

R:        Yeah.  She’s the one that writes.

I:          She’s the one who wrote it?
R:        Yeah.  Yeah.
I:          For you?

R:        Yeah.

I:          Hah.  Did you pay for that?

R:        Yes.

I:          Oh.  So, what is the story?

R:        Uh, it’s about , uh, about my time in Korea.

I:          Your time in Korea.

R:        Um.

I:          Anything you want to tell me from the book?

R:        Yeah, well here’s a rice one.

0:35:30

The rice, I think you can see it.  We [INAUDIBLE] that one there.

I:          Yeah.  What is it?

R:        They. they’re threshing rice.  That’s where I stayed.

I:          Ah.  So they’re harvesting the rice.

R:        Yeah.

I:          Hm.  When was it?

R:        Oh, I couldn’t say.

I:          These South Korean people were

R:        They all want to be in the Autumn.

I:          Yeah.  Threshing rice on a table in Uijeongbu

0:36:00

R:        Yeah.

I:          a village North of Seoul. One of the two soldiers towering over the Koreans is George Cannon, uh.  We referred to him as not the son of a gun.  I am to the right of George.  So you are there?

R:        Yeah.
I:          Wow.  So you almost remember, right?

R:        Yeah.

I:          And now Korea is completely different.

R:        Oh, absolutely.

0:36:30

I:          Are you proud of your service?

R:        Oh yes.  Very  much so.  Yeah.  I’m  just trying to find, the chap that came out, here, it must be here.  I would say, uh, it must be here.  Young dong, this one.

I:          Um hm.

R:        He’s the guy that came out to New Zealand.

0:37:00

I:          Yes.

R:        I, and I gave him a book when I went over there.

I:          Ak Yung Gil.

R:        Yeah.

I:          Yes.  He is, he was the Ambassador.

R:        That’s right.

I:          Yes.

R:        So he has got a book well the, I gave you one. And he showed me all around Seoul.
I:          Um hm.

R:        Wonderful chap, right.

I:          Yeah.  Very good.  Thank you.

R:        That was, uh, [Armistice Day]

0:37:30

And my people are there somewhere.

I:          But, uh, Bob.  Next year will be 70th anniversary of the Korean War.
R:        Yeah.

I:          You know that.  Do you have any special message to the Korean people?  Look at me and say do you have any special message to the Korean people?

R:        Said keep up the, the good work that they’re doing.  We’re very proud of them.

0:38:00

I:          Do you like Korea now?
R:        Yeah.

I:          Um.

R:        [INAUDIBLE] for a visit.

I:          Yeah.

R:        That’d cost, I think they’re probably done with me.

I:          Yeah.  See, this is why I think we need to teach about the War

R:        Yeah.

I:          fought by the New Zealand soldiers, right?
R:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.  So I’ll make sure that this interview will be listened in the New Zealand school

0:38:30

R:        That’d be lovely.

I:          Yeah.  And then we’ll try to make a curricular resources book for the teachers, okay?

R:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.

R:        And we will get a chance

I:          Oh yeah

R:        to see it.

I:          Yeah, yeah.  If we make it, we will, you will have it.  Um, what is Korea to you now?  You didn’t know much about Korea, right?
R:        No.  I didn’t know where it was.

I:          And now what is Korea to you personally, Bob?

R:        Oh, it’s part of my life.  It really is.

0:39:00

I:          Um hm.

R:        I mean, as soon as I see a Korean, I can go up to them and say pleased to meet you yeah. I’ve made some pretty good, uh, they’re over here.  There’s a lot over here now.  And we get, you know, they’re charming people.  Absolutely.  I mean, you couldn’t get

0:39:30

nicer people.

I:          Sir, I, I respect you.  Your philosophy  of life.

R:        Yeah.

I:          You went to, a little bit unfortunate beginning.  But you met very nice father, Jagger, Mr. Jagger

R:        Yeah.

I:          And yet you grown up, and you did wonderful thing for the Korean people during the War.  You fought for them.

R:        Yes sir.
I:          And now you are 94 year-old man

0:40:00

R:        Yeah.

I:          You look like a 64 year-old man.  And you been nice to many people.

R:        Yeah.

I:          You, you made a point that good relationship is the most important thing.
R:        Yeah.

I:          I think we have a very good relationship between you and me now.

R:        Absolutely

I:          And between you and New Zealand and Korea.

R:        Yeah, you’re right, uh, first name?

I:          Jung Woo.

R:        Jung.

I:          Woo.  Jung Woo.

R:        Oh, Jung Woo.

I:          Yes.

0:40:30

R:        Jung Woo.
I:          Um hm.

R:        Yeah, that’s really great that you, uh, able to do this sort of work.  And it’s, what I’ve been wondering about .  Perhaps it will get the Masons.  Uh, we are very upset.  Jack  Kirkland, who would have like to have been here.  He did put in for it.

I:          Um.
R:        He was one of the originals.  But he, he did put in for it.

0:41:00

But they never heard back.  I suppose they can only take certain ones and that.

I:          Bob, you did wonderful thing.  And I hope that you can keep up your good work and good relationships so that can go over 104 year-old.

R:        Yeah.

I:          Yes.  And Bob, and I will get back to you if we make the educational material for our children and

R:        Yes.

0:41:30

I:          teachers.  I’ll make sure that I’ll get back to you.

R:        Cause, uh, you did, because I’ve been married a few times, uh, I got married in, in the first one, uh, we never, we, we were only married a few years.  She’s passed away now.  And she was only 58.  Then I married again in

0:42:00

uh, and I stayed 30 years with second wife.  And she died.  And then I got married again

I:          Wow.

R:        It’s 17 years I had

I:          Wow.

R:        I couldn’t had a nicer person.

I:          That’s good.

R:        They were really great.

I:          Um.

R:        You know, I think of, you know, I have a daughter from

0:42:30

the first marriage, and she, and I’ve got grandchildren.
I:          Great.

R:        So I got, uh, two granddaughters and a grandson.  And now I’ve got one, two, three, four, five, six greats.

I:          You are very successful.

R:        My wife that I married for 17 years, she left all her grandchildren, and they look after me.

0:43:00

I:          Ah, that’s good.

R:        Like a king.

I:          You are very lucky and happy man.

R:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.  I think God blessed you.
R:        Thank you very much.

I:          Thank  you sir.  Thank you again, Bob.  Thanking, talking to me

R:        Yeah.

I:          And we made a good relationship today, and I will let you know.

R:        Jung Woo.

I:          Yeah.

R:        That’s great.

I:          Yeah.

R:        That’s good.  I hope you can get something out of

0:43:30

my, my thinking.  Uh, I really think that these people that go in this War people, they need to have, uh, a good understanding of people.  If they haven’t got that, they should think about you get some people get quite nasty about the [INAUDIBLE]

0:44:00

They spend too  much money.  But this progress, they don’t do that in Korea.  They go ahead and get the damn job done.

I:          Done.  That’s right.
R:        Yes.

I:          Yes. So we all made it together.

R:        Yep, absolutely.

I:          Thank you, sir.

R:        That’s very good.

I:          Thank you.

 

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