IT has been described in recent years as the 'forgotten war'. 

But to mark the 65th anniversary of the start of the conflict in Korea, veterans from across the north west have been invited to tell their stories for a major new educational project. 

Among them are Warrington veterans Peter Waddington, from Woolston, and Clifford Herridge, from Hollins Green, who says he can understand how the Korean War has slipped from history. 

He added: "It happened just after the Second World War and everybody had come from that so it was not in the news very much. 

"But we have carried on regardless. 

"When people ask me what's Korea like I tell them all we saw was hills, hills and more hills. 

"We didn't tour around Korea so that's all we saw but we went out there and did what we had to do. 

"I can't say I wasn't frightened and I was naturally very apprehensive." 

The 82-year-old served with the Kings Regiment Liverpool and went out to Korea when he was 18-years-old after signing up for two years of National Service. 

He added: "I finished up as the mortar platoon cook and had to get meals ready. 

"The cook we had went off and didn't come back and we were asked for a volunteer. 

"They always say in the Army never volunteer but it got me out of a lot of guard duties as I had to always be up early in the morning."

The morning menu would consist of eggs, bacon and sausages with food coming from American stores.
In the afternoon there was American ham and chicken available as well as fresh salmon which posed a problem for the Brits. 

Clifford added: "I didn't know how to cook it at first. 

"I ended up having to throw away the first lot until I found out how it was cooked. 

"But I also made stews and things like that. 

"It was very difficult at times as in the winter it was very cold and in the wet season it was very wet but there was plenty to do including digging in trenches." 

After 12 months, the great granddad returned home in October 1953 and went back to work on the family farm before getting a job at Irlam Steelworks for 20 years and marrying his wife Doreen. 

After 61 years of happy marriage, the couple now have three children, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.


WOOLSTON man Peter Waddington says it was 'amazing how a decision can change your life'. 

The 82-year-old was called up on July 14, 1951 after signing up for National Service. 

The journey to Hong Kong with the Kings Liverpool Regiment took more than a month where they trained up and down hills before leaving for Korea in September.

The Woolston great granddad, who is originally from Manchester, says they arrived in the suburbs of Seoul to an area filled with refugees before he endured losing three of his friends including pal Eddie Hammond who was shot while on patrol with an Australian regiment. 

He added: "You can't get your head round it as he didn't have to go on patrol with them but he volunteered to do it. 

"He was a big George Formby fan and carried his records and a gramophone every where with him and left them to me to look after. 

"Another friend was telling me he didn't think he was going to get through it so I told him he could stick with me. 

"But when I went with the Canadians for three weeks I returned to find he had been killed the week before by artillery fire."

The retired bus driver said the sad death of his friends was not the only hardship however as soldiers endured temperatures 30 to 40 degrees below freezing. 

He added: " You could only do six hours out there in no man's land rather than the usual 12 during the winter and there were rats living in the trenches that were the size of cats. 

"The Americans told us if you hear a tinkle during the night it's rats they have caught and put dog tags around their necks. 

"But every two weeks they would take you out of the front line and give you fresh food consisting of porridge and a hard-boiled egg. 

"You would be showered and given fresh clothes and they thought the lice had gone."

After spending 11 months in Korea, Mr Waddington returned home but found the war was already becoming ancient history.

He added: "2.5 to 3 million people died in that war in the space of three years so we don't know why it's been forgotten. 

"Probably because a lot of people haven't heard about Korea as it doesn't get mentioned. 

"Other Commonwealth countries received National Service medals but we had to buy them for £50. 

"But we're used to being overlooked as 62 years ago on July 9 we landed back at Lime Street Station and our homecoming was being given £1 and asked to come back a few days later to be demobbed. 

"We decided to all go back a day later than we had been told and they gave us mattresses without springs. 

"We all laughed that they thought that was hard as it was luxury compared to what we had been through." 

Mr Waddington, whose wife Maureen died 15 years ago, has two daughters, four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Can you help?

A NATIONAL charity is hoping more Korean War veterans in the north west will come forward to record their extraordinary stories of a conflict that is largely 'under-documented'. 

The Legasee Educational Trust started filming for 'Korea – The Forgotten War' earlier this month and hopes to archive the memories of at least 50 veterans, forming an invaluable insight into first-hand experiences of the war. 

Martin Bisiker, Legasee Trustee, said: “We are extremely excited about recording the personal stories of local veterans who were involved in a war that is too often forgotten. 

"But we know there must be more people out there with stories to tell and we are very keen to hear from them.

"If you know of anyone who was involved in the conflict then please encourage them to step forward so their voices can be heard for future generations to discover and learn from.”

The north west has a strong Korean War legacy with two of the four Victoria Crosses awarded to those who served in the war going to servicemen from this region.

The area also has the largest number of surviving veterans, with more than 200 members in the north west branches of the recently disbanded British Korean Veterans Association (BKVA).

If you know anybody who served in the Korean War and has a story to tell, please call contact the Legasee Educational Trust via