Honour for Korean War veteran

Robert with the medal
Robert with the medal

A Korean War veteran from Newburgh has been awarded the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal more than 60 years after the end of the conflict.

Robert Batchelor (87), said he was ‘surprised and delighted’ to receive the honour, which represents the thanks and gratitude of the people of South Korea for the veterans’ participation in the three-year war.

The medal was originally presented to those who returned to South Korea through the ‘Revisit Program’ and the honour has since expanded to veterans who cannot make the long journey back.

Robert was a piper with 1st Battalion Black Watch and served with the United Nations in Korea in 1952-3. The Korean War - known to many as the Forgotten War - claimed two million lives. Robert, who took part in the infamous Battle of the Hook November 18, 1952, remembers it as a terrifying time but that he was one of the lucky ones in that he came home. He said the South Koreans were ‘always smiling’.