Ronald Shaw was drafted into the British Army in 1952 and among his experiences was the Battle of the Hook. He explains his first impressions of Korea, recalling the landscape and other sites he saw. He remembers incidents in which he was lucky to be alive- one involving a shell that hit his trench and another where he was in close proximity to a Chinese officer. He also explains his first memory of seeing a killed soldier, a friend who he had just spoken with him.
Impressions of Korea
Ronald Shaw gives some of his first impressions of Korea. He remembers that there were no trees though there were bushes. He distinctly remembers seeing a lot of cats. Additionally, the only people he remembers seeing were the Koreans who helped them carry the ammunition up the line.
A Near Miss in the Trench
Ronald Shaw describes what it was like in battle and in the trenches. While he jokes that the biggest enemies were the rats, he quickly shifts to a memory of when he was almost killed. Had the Corporal not demanded that Ronald Shaw come to see him, he would have been killed by a shell that hit their trench shortly after he left.
Lucky to Be Alive
Ronald Shaw describes a time during the Battle of the Hook when he felt like he was lucky to be alive. He explains how there was a Chinese officer near him, but he was able to blend in with the sandbag. If his Bren Gun (light machine gun) had not been set on single shot, the outcome of the situation could have been deadly for Ronald Shaw.
Losing a Friend
Ronald Shaw remembers the first time that he saw a soldier killed. While he went to get a cup of tea for his friend, his friend went out to use the bathroom and was killed by a mortar. It was difficult for Ronald Shaw to believe that his friend to whom he was just speaking was gone that quickly. He tied the soldier’s shoes to send him off properly and then went back to his bunk and cried.