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Remembering the Forgotten War

The BKS is arranging an event to honour British veterans of the Korean War on Thursday 24 June 2021. The event will take place at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, but attendance will be limited and the event will also be streamed live over YouTube and Zoom. This will allow veterans, and any others who might be interested, to watch and to take part from their own homes, or from a number of centres that have agreed to host veterans for the afternoon.

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What is the event about?

The British Korean Society wishes to honour the surviving British veterans of the Korean War, in part to assure them that their contribution and sacrifice, and that of their comrades, have not been forgotten.

When will it take place?

On Thursday 24 June from 1430-1730.  As with everything at present, this will depend on pandemic restrictions in force at the time.  If we have to change or postpone the event, we will let people know in the same way as we informed people originally about it.

Where will it take place?

The event will be based at the National Army Museum in Chelsea.  But since we wish to keep numbers down in the current circumstances, only a limited number of veterans will be able to attend there.  We are therefore arranging to webcast the entire event over YouTube and Zoom.  This will enable veterans and others to take part from anywhere, including their own homes.

We are also arranging for some venues to host veterans locally, and the Royal British Legion is asking its members to spread the word and help veterans take part.  Where other venues are being used, they will observe the pandemic restrictions appropriate for them and in force at the time.

The venues will advise you about access, including for carers if needed for you to attend.

What is the role of the Royal British Legion?

The RBL are asking members to spread the word and help veterans take part.  If you know your local RBL representatives and would like assistance, please contact them directly.  If you don’t know them but would like assistance, we will provide space on the registration form to allow you to ask for some help.

I am not sure about doing this from home. Can somebody help me?

The Royal British Legion has asked its members to assist where they can, but we shall also do a technical rehearsal shortly before the event to iron out any glitches.  We will also ensure that there is technical assistance available on the day.

What will I need to take part?

In order to watch on YouTube, you will need a device such as a tablet computer, mobile phone or computer that can connect to the internet.  To take part in the Zoom call, you will also need a webcam and microphone, but nothing more than the standard equipment of a tablet computer or mobile phone will be needed.  You may well find that using a mobile phone will not be easy and may exhaust its battery over the afternoon.

Who can take part?

Anybody can watch the event on the British Korean Society YouTube channel at British Korean Society Youtube Channel This is event is open to all British veterans of the Korean War, and also to their families and others interested in the Korean War or veterans’ issues. The event will also be available to watch there afterwards.

For veterans themselves, we hope they will take part by Zoom, so that they can make their own live contributions during the sessions.

Who is behind the event?

The event is run by the British Korean Society, which was founded in 1956 to strengthen links between the UK and Korea.  We are being supported by the National Army Museum, the Royal British Legion and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  Other organisations are also offering their venues so that veterans can gather and take part locally.

Where can I take part?

We will publish a list of venues nearer the time on this page and provide details of how to register to take part in a local event.

Where can I register?

The form to register will be on this page and will go live nearer the time of the event.

What will you do with my data?

We will use your data to send you information about this event, including details of how to take part, such as the joining instructions for the Zoom webcast.  In addition, we may need to pass your details to other organisers so that they can assist you or permit you to take part from their venue.  They will be responsible for safeguarding your information in accordance with their own procedures.  We will delete the information you have given us after the event has concluded. 

What will be the format of the event?

There will be two sessions of about an hour each, which will open with prepared comments by three or four veterans (live or recorded) of 5-8 minutes each.  The veterans online will then be able to offer their own comments, questions and recollections over Zoom.

To help focus discussion, the two sessions will look at two broad themes:

Theme 1: Kit and caboodle

Scope:  Good, bad and the ugly of kit, uniforms and hardware, vehicles, personal weapons and artillery.  Comparisons to allies’ and enemies’ provision.  Rations and/or living off the land and allies’ rations.

Theme 2: Action and inaction

Scope:  Recollections of daily life, both at the front and elsewhere.  Life as a POW. R&R memories.  Medical provision.  Shelter.  Travel to and from Korea. Communication with home and loved ones. 

What will be the exact timetable?

While subject to change, the outline is at present:

  • 1430: Short introduction by the Chairman of the British Korean Society
  • 1435: Michael Culinane from the University of Roehampton will speak about their oral history project n Korean War veterans
  • 1450: Chair of the opening session introducing the session and opening speakers
  • 1455: 3 or 4 veterans with 5-8 minutes each
  • 1515: remarks from the online audience, moderated by the Chair
  • 1545: refreshment break
  • 1615: Chair of the second session, introducing the session and opening speakers
  • 1620: 3 or 4 veterans with 5-8 minutes each
  • 1640: remarks from the online audience, moderated by the Chair
  • 1710: concluding remarks from VIPs (Korean Ambassador, MoD Minister)
  • 1730: Final remarks from BKS Chairman


What next?

Please do check back on the British Korean Society page for any updates, but we would expect to send out further information in late May to arrange registration.  We will use the same channels as in mid-April, including the British Korean Society webpage and Facebook page, as well as other Facebook groups, personal emails and the Royal British Legion newsletter.