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The Gnome!
04-09-2010, 02:08 AM
...any Australian survivors of the Korean war that served in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. Probably more precisely from 1954-1955 who may have served with or know of my step farther,

Private Maxwell J Harrison of the
Corps : Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Unit : 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment



Thank in advance to any and all replies.

Rising Sun*
04-09-2010, 07:20 AM
...any Australian survivors of the Korean war that served in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. Probably more precisely from 1954-1955 who may have served with or know of my step farther,

Private Maxwell J Harrison of the
Corps : Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Unit : 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment



Thank in advance to any and all replies.

1 RAR did two tours in Korea, one during the war 1952-53 (the war ended in 1953) and another after the war starting in 1954 which seems to be your stepfather's period.

These are probably your best starting points to find people who served with your stepfather: http://www.firstbattalionassociation1rar.org.au/guestbook/
http://www.austkoreavets.asn.au/

This may be your stepfather: http://www.koreanroll.gov.au/veteran.aspx?id=1223552

You can get his service records here: http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/defence/service-records/army-after.aspx#section1

Rising Sun*
04-09-2010, 09:50 AM
This may be your stepfather:
http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/MELJ0514

http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/HOBJ4961

The Gnome!
04-09-2010, 11:26 PM
Rising Sun,

Sir, You have given me links that I already have (re his records) but the links to the photo's you have given me are just wonderful. I have photo's of Max one where he is siting on the 38th Parallel, another where he is cleaning his teeth!, one where he is being rustled by mates and one where he is standing with another mate.

He never really spoke of the war or where he served. Come Anzac Day he would go to the R.S.L and drink with friends in remembrance but come 11th November he was a quite man and he would hide his tears as best he could. I'm going to search the other links to see if I can find more on him regarding medals or in his case just one. I know he had one as I was honored to wear it one Anzac Day while representing my school at the dawn service. He kept it close to him all the time but alas my mother thought it best in the form of cash one year without his knowing. I know that when he found out he tried every thing to get it back but alas it was gone. I still hold strong bitterness towards her for this. I know he eventually forgave her for this but only on his death bed.

Enough now as my emotions are high but thank you so very much for finding these for me.

Regards,

Chris.

Rising Sun*
04-10-2010, 09:18 AM
Rising Sun,

Sir, You have given me links that I already have (re his records) but the links to the photo's you have given me are just wonderful. I have photo's of Max one where he is siting on the 38th Parallel, another where he is cleaning his teeth!, one where he is being rustled by mates and one where he is standing with another mate.

He never really spoke of the war or where he served. Come Anzac Day he would go to the R.S.L and drink with friends in remembrance but come 11th November he was a quite man and he would hide his tears as best he could. I'm going to search the other links to see if I can find more on him regarding medals or in his case just one. I know he had one as I was honored to wear it one Anzac Day while representing my school at the dawn service.


Glad to be of help.

As the second photo in my links was taken in Korea on 2 April 1954, your stepfather would have qualified for the UN Medal for Korea http://www.defence.gov.au/medals/Content/+040%20Campaign%20Medals/+050%201945-1975/+060%20UN%20Medal%20for%20Korea/

His service record says he had 302 days in service from 31 March 1954 to 26 January 1955. This must relate only to his service in Korea as there is no way he could have enlisted on 31 March 1954; completed basic training; and got to Korea by 2 April 1954. So he must have been in the Army before 31 March 1954, whether in 1 RAR or another unit. The internet and other service records might not be all that reliable. I requested a great uncle's WWI service records earlier this year from the National Archives and got records for two separate enlistments in 1917 and 1918, which was a bit of a surprise as I was actually interested in his service overseas in 1916-17 in his first enlistment of which there was no record on the initial search and I knew nothing about the second and third enlistments.

Here are some photos of the conditions and type of service your stepfather would have encountered. http://www.defence.gov.au/medals/Content/+060%20Reviews%20and%20Reports/Korea/Chapter5_AnnexC.pdf

The Gnome!
04-10-2010, 10:52 AM
Sir,

Yep that would be the medal I wore.. I distinctly remember the ribbon, though it was considerably dirty, or well aged by then.

I will be ordering a copy of his service records in the next week or so and when they arrive I will post some of the details here as it is all apart of our history. I have been in contact with the Australian War Memorial regarding the photo's that I have in my possession and will be glad to let them make copies.

I sat here today for several hours just staring at the photos that you provided links to, and I'm amazed as to how well he looks.

He always told us he was a cook in the army and whenever he would cook for us, there was always enough food to feed a dozen or more in one sitting! Mind you he could cook one of the nicest corned silver-sides with white sauce ever, plus I'm not a fan of white sauce but his was always a delight to eat.

Rising Sun*
04-10-2010, 11:53 AM
He always told us he was a cook in the army

Maybe.

I'm not familiar with the establishment table (military equivalent of an organisation chart for a unit) of 1 RAR in Korea (or anywhere else for that matter), but it was an infantry battalion and as far as I'm aware the usual structure of an Australian infantry battalion from WWII to Vietnam was that all of its members were riflemen or other combat-related or combat-support troops such as mortar, anti-tank, and signals soldiers. There could also be "attached" troops from other corps such as medical corps, chaplains, and catering (cooks).

Maybe your stepfather was an attached cook, but if so he wouldn't be likely to be out on a six hour patrol and using a self-heating can to feed himself halfway through it as in the first picture I linked. The nature of patrols is that the troops feed themselves from ration packs, as he is doing in the photo. Cooks don't go on patrol to cook, because there is no need for it and there are no facilities for it, plus they're pretty useless as riflemen if there is a contact. Cooks are usually found in bases.

Your stepfather could be, and probably is, wearing an infantry badge http://ausmilitary.com/images/RAR-badge.jpg on his cap in the first linked photo I posted. It isn't a Catering Corps badge as that's solid: http://australianartilleryassociation.com/images/badge_aacc.gif


Mind you he could cook one of the nicest corned silver-sides with white sauce ever, plus I'm not a fan of white sauce but his was always a delight to eat.

I wasn't keen on white sauce as a kid. Mustard or horseradish are a lot better as an adult.

The Gnome!
04-10-2010, 08:59 PM
You know,

I think you're are correct in the badge department for when one zooms in on the image where he is heating his milk it looks way more like the Infantry badge as apposed to the Cooks.

Your statement.

"Maybe your stepfather was an attached cook, but if so he wouldn't be likely to be out on a six hour patrol and using a self-heating can to feed himself halfway through it as in the first picture I linked. The nature of patrols is that the troops feed themselves from ration packs, as he is doing in the photo. Cooks don't go on patrol to cook, because there is no need for it and there are no facilities for it, plus they're pretty useless as riflemen if there is a contact. Cooks are usually found in bases."

Lends heavily towards the fact that he was an infantry man and that may well be why he never talked about the war or what he saw while serving there. Perhaps him saying he was a cook was a way of staying us as kids, as we were very eager to here of any info on what he or his mates did back then.

Regardless he was a great cook at home. I have never had corned silver-side or white sauce since his lat one that he done when I was but 15years old, but the memories still live on.

One things for certain though it has been a long time coming for me to trace his details, and it was only the fact that my daughter was willing to edit the photo's that I have here that has re-ignited the flame to search further. I will continue to dig and once the service records come in I shall be able to complete this further. Your help and knowledge has been instrumental in this as well and for this I'm very grateful.

Rising Sun*
04-11-2010, 09:10 AM
By the time your stepfather served in Korea in 1954 the war was well over, having ended with an armistice in July 1953. His unit was involved in policing the armistice, so its function was less than war but more than an occupying force as it could be put into action at any time if the armistice failed.

I don't know whether your stepfather's unit would have experienced any combat or similar events. I'm inclined to think it didn't as that might have been the start of fresh warfare, but if it happened it will be referred to in 1 RAR's war diary, which includes the period of your stepfather's service here:
http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/war_diaries/korea/class.asp?levelID=504

However, the Korean War inflicted savage and brutal misery on the people of both Koreas so it might be that your stepfather saw things other than combat which disturbed him.

The Gnome!
04-17-2010, 06:01 AM
I got a reply today from the Nominal Rolls regarding the photo's that I have of Max on the 38th Parallel and they are very pleased with them and have also requested that I forward them onto the Australian War Memorial for there display. (Already sent) and I will be awaiting a reply from them regarding the photo's as well. :)