by Wifred Poulton
The book is now available from the writer, P.W.T. Poulton, 119 Vogel St., Woodville, tel. 06 376 5784, Price, $35.00 (plus 2.00 P.& P.)
Reviewed by Ian Mackley
This is a must read for all gunners who served in the Korean War and certainly excellent reading for any soldier who served in that bitter war. A commendable narrative, taken from his diaries and letters written home while he served as a gunner with 162 Bty from the beginning of March 1952 until he returned home in Nov. 1953. The book will bring back vivid memories to all veterans who served in Korea.
The book is not a history of the Korean War but a Kiwi soldier’s personal view of the part he and his gunner mates played in it. Written with commendable accuracy and colourful descriptions of everything he saw, Wilfred also describes his feelings at that time which makes it a most readable book. His writing is a valuable record of life in the crew of a 25 pounder field gun in that war. Few gunners have done that before.
Once in Korea, the service on the guns was relentless, as described, in extremes of weather, the long icy winters being the worst. Gun crews were in action day and night, seven days a week for months on end with no leave in war ravaged Korea. After nine months of service, R.& R. of 5 days was earned in Japan.
Wifred relates how in midwinter the great difficulties encountered when the Regiment or Battery moved to a new position. Digging the gunpits through solidly frozen ground would invariably take hours using picks and crowbars that just bounced off it. It was worse than solid rock, because it wouldn’t chip out.
The book is graphically illustrated with photos taken by official K Force photographers and by himself.