Veterans not forgotten

Veterans not forgotten

Royal Marines Commandos Sergeant Major Gordon Norton and Corporal Barry Bell wear their Korean Ambassador for Peace medals at the Byford RSL. Photograph – Juanita Shepherd.

Sandwiched between World War II and Vietnam the Korean War has come to be known as the forgotten war but for two Korean War veterans their services have not been forgotten.

Armadale resident Barry Bell and Perth man Gordon Norton were each presented with the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal at the Serpentine Jarrahdale RSL on June 17.

Surrounded by family, friends and members of the RSL it was a proud and emotional moment for everyone and RSL president Rick Giblett said he felt honoured to host the presentation.

“They are two worthy recipients who served in what is now known as the forgotten war, we are all proud of them,” he said.

Corporal Bell joined the army when he was 20-years-old.

He was part of the 1st Battalion in Korea and also served in Japan.

Mr Bell was with his daughter and son-in-law Rod and Lenore Davies who said they were very proud of him and honoured to know him.

Sergeant Major Norton served in the Royal Marines Commandos, which he joined in 1948 and in addition to Korea he served in a number of countries including Malta, Singapore, the Falkland Islands, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland.

Mr Norton said he was very proud to have received the medal and later joked, saying he would wear it down to the pub in the hopes of getting free drinks.

The Minister for Patriots and Veterans Affairs for the Republic of Korea wrote an official proclamation to both the veterans.

It said it was a great honour and pleasure to express the everlasting gratitude of the Republic of Korea and its people for the service they performed in preserving freedom and democracy.