War veteran Douglas Curnow 'over the moon' with South Korean medal

Douglas Curnow with his South Korean medal
Douglas Curnow with his South Korean medal
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A Sheffield man is urging Korean War veterans to apply for a medal which commemorates their work in restoring peace in the region.

Douglas Curnow, of Clayton Hollow, Waterthorpe, received his Ambassador for Peace Medal from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea last week.

An accompanying letter from Captain Seungeon Ji, Korean defence attache, expressed the country's 'deepest appreciation' for Gunner Curnow's sacrifice during the war.

Mr Curnow, a gunner, served in Korea from 1951-52.

The 84-year-old was thrilled with receiving the honour.

"I'm over the moon about it," he said.

"I just can't believe it."

Mr Curnow read a letter in The Star in May, which asked veterans to get in touch with a Ken Keld in Scarborough.

Mr Keld sent him the forms, and after sending them off, he thought nothing more of it.

"I sent the form off to the South Korean Embassy in London and forgot about it," Mr Curnow said.

The medal and letter arrived last week, and Mr Curnow wants others in Yorkshire to feel his pride in receiving them.

"I think it's a brilliant bit of recognition," Mr Curnow said.

He said it was a shame the ranks were thinning. Mr Curnow doesn't know any other Korean Veterans in Sheffield.

Mr Curnow saw little action in Korea, but he knows others who did.

"One of my best mates got killed, and another got hurt," he said.

He was on the next hill over on the day that Private Bill Speakman won the Victoria Cross in 1951.

The extreme temperatures stick in his mind.

"It was the coldest country I've ever been in," he said.

"Absolutely freezing. One day, I came out of a tent with a cup of tea, and before I got back into the dugout, it was frozen."

Military service runs in the family. Mr Curnow's father Ernest was in the army for 35 years.

Scottish-born Mr Curnow moved from Hong Kong - where his father was posted - to Sheffield in 1939, and, barring his Korea service, has lived in the city ever since.

He became a lorry driver after the war, and later drove buses for Sheffield Transport. That company became First South Yorkshire.

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