Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Lieutenant Terry Waters GC

By Alan O'Reilly

April 2011 marks the 60th Anniversary of the battle of the Imjin River during the Korean War

An incident occurred in the aftermath of that battle that well illustrates the truth of Mark 15:31.
“Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.”

The incident is vividly described in the book The Edge of the Sword, Star, 1981, first published in 1954, pp 199-201, by the late General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley, former Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Northern Europe in NATO. As Captain Farrar-Hockley, General Sir Anthony was adjutant of the 1st Battalion, the Gloucestshire Regiment and went into Communist captivity with the survivors of his battalion when they were forced to surrender after four days of heavy fighting at the battle of the Imjin River, April 22nd-25th 1951.
General Sir Anthony writes as follows.

“Part of the unworked coal-mining settlement of Kang-dong [was] known formerly by prisoners as “The Caves.” In 1950 and until the summer of 1951, many United Nations prisoners had been crowded into old tunnels in the hillsides round about, often drenched by the water that ran in from underground streams. The numbers of men who died in these black holes in the ground will never be known exactly. In cross-checking to find our friends, we accounted for over two hundred and fifty deaths; but this is not the total figure.

“Of all the many stories of gallantry and selflessness on the part of prisoners in these caves, I will recount only one here: a story that was told to us later by men who had formed part of it; a story which provided us with inspiration to continue resistance to our captors during the most difficult moments. Terry - the last remaining platoon commander of “A” Company - was taken to “The Caves” in the summer of 1951. He had been a member of a column of seriously wounded captives which had marched slowly north from the Imjin River some little time after the two main columns had set off. Though he was in great pain from a wound in his leg and a terrible head injury, Terry set a splendid example on the march, caring, as best he could, for other serious casualties with him. By the time they reached “The Caves,” the condition of many prisoners had deteriorated dangerously; for they had had no medical attention of any sort en route and many still wore the dressings, by now ragged and filthy, placed on their wounds by our own medical staffs before capture.

“Terry, and Sergeant Hoper of the Machine-gun Platoon, were placed with a number of others from the column in a cave already crowded with Koreans - themselves dying of starvation and disease. Except when their two daily meals of boiled maize were handed through the opening, they sat in almost total darkness. A subterranean stream ran through the cave to add to their discomfort, and, in these conditions, it was often difficult to distinguish the dead from the dying.

“One day, a North Korean colonel visited them to put forward a proposition.

““We realize,” he said, “that your conditions here are uncomfortable. We sympathize. I, myself, am powerless to help you - unless you are prepared to help us. If you care to join the Peace Movement to fight American Aggression in Korea, we can take you to a proper camp where, in addition to better rations and improved accommodation, your wounds will be cared for by a surgeon.”

“Our men refused this offer, individually. But Terry, seeing their condition, their numbers dwindling, came to a decision on which he acted the next morning. He drew Sergeant Hoper to one side and said:

““I have thought this business over and have decided that you must go over to the ‘Peace-Fighters’ Camp. Most of you will die if you stay here. Go over, do as little as you can; and remember always that you are British soldiers.”

““What about you, sir?” asked Hoper.

““It is different for me,” said Terry. “I am an officer; I cannot go. But I order you to go and take our men with you.”

“Terry remained firm in his decision; and when the North Korean colonel returned, as they had guessed he would, Sergeant Hoper and his party left “The Caves” with a group of American soldiers. The colonel pressed Terry to accompany them, advising him that he would not accept a final refusal just then but would return later.

“He returned four times. Armed with promises of an operation on Terry’s wounds by a surgeon, and a special diet of eggs, milk and meat in place of the boiled maize, he failed each time.

“Terry was a young subaltern, not long out of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Yet, irrespective of his service and youth, he saw clearly, an officer representing the British Commonwealth in enemy country: by his actions, the Commonwealth’s reputation would be judged. Quite simply, he was given a choice: life, and agreement to reject, at least outwardly, the principles for which he was fighting in Korea; or a steadfast adherence to those principles - and death. Coolly, loyally, like the gallant officer he was, Terry chose death. And so he died.”
Lieutenant Waters was posthumously awarded the George Cross, GC. A copy of his citation may be found here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_Edward_Waters. He died aged about 22.

The photo below and its caption are most revealing, this writer’s emphases.

Gloster lieutenants Phil Curtis (right) Terry Waters (left) after a church service in an abandoned temple behind the forward Gloster company position (A Co, “Castle Site”) at around midday on April 22nd 1951. Phil Curtis won the VC; Terry Waters, the GC.


Lieutenant Waters GC took upon himself full responsibility for his men and maintained the honour of his king and realm. He was, in effect, also mocked by his captors but never yielded to them.

He therefore exemplifies both the experience of the Saviour in Mark 15:31 and the kind of man whom the Lord yet calls to follow him.

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”


alanorei said...

Thank you very much, Sarah

You have formatted the item extremely well and improved the photo quality considerably - in addition to providing the compelling introductory one.

Thanks again.

alanorei said...

A further comment so I can be informed of any future comments.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many men of such quality exist in the West today. We need more heroes

Did you know America is still technically at war with north Korea? The war didn't end, there is only a cease fire

Celtic Warrior said...

Has England got any men like this who are still young and living?
When we look at our grandfathers WWl and and fathers WWll and the sacrifices they made for England, I can only feel shame for the inability of their grandchildren to take up arms like they did.
Here's hoping the next generations will be more like the older ones.

alanorei said...

Re: ceasefire, yes. The North Koreans and the US forces still glare at each other across the 38th parallel, with, I understand orders to shoot to kill if somebody from the other side ventures without prior notification into what I guess is the agreed DMZ.

Re: men of quality, I remember giving a talk at a number of BNP venues in late 2007, to coincide with Flanders Fields 90 Years On.

At one meeting, Tom Linden was the main speaker and I spoke before him.

In his talk, he said "I hope we don't have to fight another Passchendaele again. I think it would be a very lonely battlefield, don't you?"

I think Tom was right. One can only hope that today's 'Few' aren't too few.

Anonymous said...


I'd like to thank you for brining pieces of our heritage to a wider audience like this.

I believe what white England needs is pride and belief in itself and it's history. Knowing these stories and feeling that they mean something to you personally is an important part of instilling that pride and belief.

Thank you again

Anonymous said...

why are they "most revealing"? are you implying if he was not a christian or an atheist he would have sold his men down the river and acted in a manner not appropiate of his position?

there are as many bad christians as good christians, and a lot of people in this world are only bad people because of a religious affiliation, so that point is not relivent at all

also, the situation he was in was a very extreme one, one we're lucky to have never had to face, who knows the type of things most people would do in those situations

look at any of the recent citations of soliders who have earned the VC in the last decade


this shoud answer any questions about no one being noble and brave in england any more

or does he not count because he's black?


Ronbo said...

Taps for a gallant American ally!

My father and three of my uncles fought beside British troops in various parts of the world during the Second World War and had nothing but praise for them.

My father was most impressed with how clean British soldiers were in the field - In contrast to American troops who dad said looked and smelled like a bunch of bums after a couple of days in combat.

I served with British Forces in West Berlin during the Cold War in the British Sector at the Teufelsberg (Devil's Mountain) Communication site during 1974 to 1977 in a joint USA/UK intelligence mission.

I had many good friends in the Royal Army and RAF in those days. A great bunch of guys and gals who I drank many a pint with off duty.

alanorei said...

I note, ben that you have commented in your usual mean-spirited way.

The item has nothing to do with race as such.

I am therefore not about to be drawn into any kind of futile exchange about the race card.

alanorei said...

Thank you, Ronbo, much appreciated.

The Watcher on the Wall said...

Adult Britons in 1951 generally believed in themselves and had reasonably balanced moral compasses.

The welfare state was yet young at the time, however its effects in the intervening 60 years and two birth-generations have been to hollow out self-reliance and externalise moral decisions to a point where such questions are of little or no consequence.

As far as religion goes, I think the words of WW1 sergeant-major sums it up as far as British soldiers of the pre-Swinging Sixties are concerned: "To most men religion means nothing, except the notion that there was one above, a sense of duty to live cleanly, and a belief that there would be a reckoning sometime."

alanorei said...

Thank you for your comment, Watcher

Gill and I are very conscious of the kind of example that you describe, in our own parents, all of whom were of the WW2 generation, i.e. no concept of the 'dependence' culture.

Re: religious belief, the book Fear No Foe by John Pollock, available via Amazon, is insightful. The book describes the life and Christian testimony of the author's brother, Michael, who served with the tank corps in North Africa in WW2 and died of wounds in June 1942, aged 22, like Terry Waters.

The book is revealing in that it shows how the nominal C of E-style Christian profession existed side-by-side with the genuine New Testament article - also, to be fair, to be found to a fair extent in the C of E of that time.

That is no longer the case with the C of E of today, much to the nation's detriment, I believe.

Anonymous said...

Without taking anything away from the human aspect of this story, the Korean War was a sham.

alanorei said...

Re: the big picture of the Korean War, very true.

Another useful book, although it deals with Vietnam rather than Korea, is Vietnam, Why Did We Go? by English historian, the late Avro Manhattan.

As indicated in comments above, the best that could be achieved in Korea was - and is - the stalemate along the 38th parallel.

Ostensibly Marxist subversion in the meantime continued in all the English-speaking nations, as it does to this day, as this following excerpt from General Sir Anthony's book pp 259-260 reveals, even if indirectly. Note the comments at the end.

General Sir Anthony made these observations about a special ‘Christmas’ message delivered to the Allied POWs by a representative of Camp Commandant Ding named Chang on Christmas Day, 1952.

“He began to read from a page of typescript in his hand…It was in the worst possible taste; for after starting mildly, Ding had been unable to restrain his fanaticism for the Communist cause. He quoted – or rather, misquoted – the Scriptures, particularly the teachings of Christ. We heard the beloved Christmas words, for instance, rendered as follows: “Peace on earth to men of good will”; and the only men of good will, it seemed, were those who followed the policies of the Cominform group of governments. As Chang read on, the silence seemed to intensify. When he had finished, no one spoke; but I have neither felt nor seen before such profound disgust expressed silently by a body of men.”

The "beloved Christmas words" to which General Sir Anthony refers are found in Luke 2:14, in the 1611 Holy Bible. They are instantly recognizable as follows, my emphases:

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

The corrupt reading, which General Sir Anthony cites, is found, with only slight variation, in all modern bibles, either in the text itself as in the NIV or quoted in the footnotes as in the NKJV, as a valid alternative reading.

That particular reading is part of a corrupt New Testament text with which the church was initially hoodwinked back in the 19th century and increasingly since then. It was all part of the overall strategy to weaken the English-speaking nations, of which Marxism was but a component, on the political front.

The church-based component of the strategy in this country can certainly be traced back to the Oxford Movement of the 1830s. It was and is key to weakening this nation's moral and spiritual backbone.

Most English-speaking Christians are unaware of the association between their church bibles and Marxist doctrine via, for example, the distortion of passages like Luke 2:14. Worse still, the majority won't face the issue. Even ministers such as Dr Alan Clifford of Norwich, who will boldly speak out against Moslems, will not speak out honestly against the corrupt bibles that have hamstrung many, indeed most church ministries in this country for decades now.

Late in the 19th century, the first C of E Bishop of Liverpool, J. C. Ryle, warned that "A sapping and mining process has been long going on under our feet, of which we are beginning at last to see a little. We shall see a good deal more by-and-by."

We are. The Korean War was, indirectly, a tragic effort to arrest the process at international level that achieved only limited success, for the reasons given above.