RSL Gloucester Sub Branch share stories of the Korean War ahead of Remembrance Day

New Zealand born Daniel (Dan) David Garnon fought for the Australian Army during the Korean War. Photo supplied RSL Gloucester Sub Branch

New Zealand born Daniel (Dan) David Garnon fought for the Australian Army during the Korean War. Photo supplied RSL Gloucester Sub Branch

New Zealand born, Daniel (Dan) David Garnon enlisted in the Australian Army in 1951 and found himself in Korea during the war.

He was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1931 and at 20 years of age, he enlisted with 1 Royal Australian Regiment (RAR).

During his time of enlistment, the Australian Government had announced its 3 RAR would join the 27th Brigade to make a British Commonwealth Force to fight in the Korean War. On September 28, 1951, 3 RAR was warmly welcomed to Korea with the Brigadier meeting the officers of the Battalion the following day, giving 3 RAR their area of operations. In March 1952, the 1 RAR was given its orders to sail to Korea.

On the night of August 22 1952, Dan with nine other soldiers were sent out to repair a fence which enclosed mines in front of D company defences. The patrol was commanded by Captain P J Greville, assault pioneer platoon leader. They carried out their work and upon returning to the forward defences they were ambushed by 20 Chinese soldiers. Captain Greville and Private D Condon were captured, one soldier was killed, and three others were wounded, including Dan. Captain Greville who would later serve in Vietnam and become a Brigadier.

Dan was the forward scout of the two protective patrols when he sustained gunshot wounds to the chest, arms and hands. At once, the Chinese began to drag him away but because he of his build they eventually gave up, went through his pockets and left him.

The whole action took about 40 seconds and the Chinese were gone. Australian soldiers from D Company came to their rescue and the wounded were moved back to their lines. Dan was taken to the Regimental Aid Post before being transported by an Indian Field Ambulance, then flown to an American MASH unit. Dan was in hospital for five months treating his wounds at Kure, Japan.

When he recovered from his wounds, he returned to 1 RAR and resumed normal duties. His wound in the chest was noticeable but was evident for life. He returned home to Australia in 1953 and took up Army duties with 1 RAR and then 4 RAR general duty instructing, finishing up as a Corporal. He took his discharge in 1957.

Dan joined the Army Reserve in 1960 as a Corporal with 1 Royal New South Wales Regiment, the Regiment changed over to 17 Battalion Royal New South Wales Regiment. Over the years, Dan progressed to Warrant Officer class 2.

In 1969, he was selected with other members to attend the Investiture of Prince of Wales in Wales. Subsequently, in 1972 he was awarded the Member British Empire Medal for services with the Army.

Dan and his wife, Rosemarie eventually moved to Sanctuary Point on the South Coast where they spent their retirement. Sadly, Dan passed away in March 2007.

During his career, Dan was awarded the following: Member of the British Order, Australian Active Service Medal, Korea Medal United Nations Service, Reserve Force Medal and National Medal.

He served in 1RAR, 4RAR, 30th Infantry Battalion, 1 Royal New South Wales Regiment, 17/18 Royal New South Wales Regiment, 17 Battalion Royal New South Wales, and 2ND/17 Battalion Royal New South Wales.

Lest We Forget.

The RSL Gloucester Sub Branch will be holding a small Remembrance Day service on November 11 at the Gloucester Memorial Clock Tower at 11am.