Korean War Legacy Project

Roy Painter


Roy Painter was drafted in the British military and sent to serve in Korea in 1952. He arrived in the country to the fanfare of the American military playing the song “If We Knew You Were Coming We’d Have Baked a Cake”. He describes the reaction he elicited from the women when he arrived with his small stature, inspiring the Korean women to call him ‘Baby-san’. He served as a radio operator with British and Australian troops, being moved to the 1st Australian Regiment after their radio operator used inappropriate language over the radio. He also explains the living conditions of his camp, including the food freezing solid as you walked away from the kitchen and the rats that infested the area.

Video Clips

If We Knew You Were Coming We'd Have Baked A Cake

Roy Painter describes arriving in Korea to the American military band playing "If We Knew You Were Coming We'd Have Baked a Cake". He explains that due to his small stature, the British and Korean women joked with him. The Korean women in particular called him Baby-san.

Tags: Busan,Impressions of Korea,Pride

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Bloody Millions of Them

Roy Painter describes his career as a radio operator in the Korean War. He explains that of his earliest messages as an operator concerned the wounding of a soldier he had sat next to in school. He also explains how he found himself in the 1st Australian Regiment after their radio operator was removed for coarse language.

Tags: Front lines,Impressions of Korea

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Food Could Have Been Better

Roy Painter describes his living conditions in Korea during the war. He explains that the food was frozen solid just from walking away from where it was cooked. He also explains how the location was full of rats, so he used his mosquito nets to keep them out of his bed.

Tags: Cold winters,Food,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions

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