KOREA 1950-51
Ian John Godfrey
6391, 3 RAR

A year in Korea scrambling along its peaks,
Struggling along its valleys
fatigued, cold and weak

Fighting a fiendish enemy in savage cold,
One year in Korea ….
19 years and I am old.

How naive one is about death
Then we hear that a best friend or comrade has died
No more the mateship of hullos and goodbyes
They have gasped their last breath

On their lips perhaps a prayer
For a loved one or to God
And now they follow in the footsteps
Where other heroes have trod

Sometimes in the evening you may hear
the bugles calling
No more death appalling

No more the artillery blast
My dear friends my comrades
You are welcomed home at last.

Soldier's Lament

When Charlie Green was mortally wounded on 30/10/1950 just after theBattle of Chongju, he could think only of the safety of his men. He wasconscious enough to ask, "Are the boys all right?" This is the story ofone of Green's "boys," John Godfrey.

John Godfrey fought under Green in a forward platoon at Apple Orchard, atBroken Bridge, Chongju and afterGreen was killed he was to fight in the remaining actions they call the"Stepping Stones." He was in the line for Kapyong and was even there forthe first day of Maryang San.

John had joined up when he was 18 leavinghis job as a forester in Tasmania - to grow old quickly. Nobody reallyknows why but John Godfrey actively pursued an "ambition" as he called it,till he was too ill to continue. He wanted to organise a return to theplace where Colonel Green was killed in order to place a wreath there. Heapproached me years ago telling me how he had written over and over topoliciticians to get to North Korea to lay that wreath.

Not able to express his inner feelings to anyone, he admitted he tried to getthings out in verse, though "it is very amateurish at times." He wrote theabove verse, Korea 1950-51. Amateurish? no. Poetry from the heart.

John Godfrey proudly wore the blue US Presidential Citation badge theycall "the swimming pool", and went on to serve in Malaya.

He lived in Tasmania, and when he died on 15/1/99, he was a TPI for hehad suffered years of illness. He left 4 of5 daughters for one had predeceased him, and his widow Gisela who gavepermission for this to be shared.

Very likely these inner- most thoughts of John's were ever only expressedin this verse.

Vale soldier.

Service Details: Ian John Godfrey

6391     3 RAR, Korea

                 SEARCH SITE                  
     Principal Infantry Weapons     
                   Guest Book                   

     The Korean War, 1950-1953        
  Map and Battles of the MLR   
        Korean War Time Line        

© Australian Album ©