Veteran Stories:
Robert Edward Warren

Army

  • Robert Warren (centre) poses with two of his colleagues at an ammunition dump, Korea 1953. They were loading shells for artillery guns at the front.

    Robert E. Warren
  • Robert Warren in front of truck loaded with artillery shells, Korea, 1953.

    Robert E. Warren
  • Camp of A Platoon of a Canadian Army transportation company, Korea, 1952. Robert Warren was attached to this platoon at this time.

    Robert E. Warren
  • 1st British Commonwealth Division Guardroom, Korea, 1953. Soldier pictured was a "short-termer," waiting to be shipped back home.

    Robert E. Warren
  • Robert Warren loading shells on to trucks, Korea, 1953.

    Robert E. Warren
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"I think in Korea, the best thing I saw was a whole bunch of guys working together to make life better for everybody. The Canadians, the Americans, the British, everybody sort of worked together."

Transcript

The first part of 1952, my captain called me in and said, “How would you like to go to see the – Japan, and countries like that.” And the first thing that hit me was, no, because, sure as heck, they’re going to ship me to Korea. They did. I was given seven days leave, and told to pack my bags in that seven days and I was to report to the reporting centre, which I did do.

And, from there, we left, went to Seattle. After 14 days of sailing, we arrived in Japan, and dispersed from there to Korea. And, I joined the [Royal Canadian Army] Service Corps in Korea, and after I met my officer of the Service Corps company, he said that I had already done my share of fighting and I should do something different. So he gave me a job at Brit Com Div [1st British Commonwealth Division] Guardroom and that’s where I served the Korean War.

We were quite a compound, large compound for prisoners. The most we ever had I think was eight, but, we had to have security people on duty all the time, and it was one officer, I think there was three sergeants, a couple of corporals, and a whole, well, maybe, 25 privates - they were the guards. And, it was a slow going place because there was not that much traffic in and out. But, I found that when I got there, I was a guard commander.

We had a great thing going for our outfit. We had Koreans coming in and working, in the camp, like, and we got to know a lot of people, we went down and visited some people, like the one little town had a party going on - something like one of our street parties. And, we went down and associated with the people. Our [Korean] people who worked at the camp, our camp, could speak pretty good English and they would interpret what the Koreans would say. And we took some food down and stuff like party stuff - that we could get from the Americans. And, we had quite a good time, there. And that happened several times.

The Korean people were very friendly to us anyways, and, even today, here in Brampton [Ontario], there are a few Korean stores and, I go in and I talk to them and we have quite a chat about the difference between Korea now and Korea then. I went back to Korea, I had been told about the big change, and so I booked a return trip, went back, didn’t meet anybody I knew, but sure had one heck of a good time.

I think in Korea, the best thing I saw was a whole bunch of guys working together to make life better for everybody. The Canadians, the Americans, the British, everybody sort of worked together. You know, if you needed something and somebody had it, you got it, sort of thing. Maybe undercover a little bit, but, everybody tried to make life peaceful, a little easier, and that really impressed me.

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