in this interview, Les Hughes recalls serving in the Korean War. Hughes was an artillery gunner in 161 Battery of the Royal New Zealand Artillery. He was involved in the Battle of Kapyong, where UN troops withstood a massive Chinese attack, helping to prevent the capture of Seoul, the South Korean capital. Then aged 86, Hughes reminisces about that battle and his training back in New Zealand, the Kiwi troop’s lack of equipment, and the journey home at war's end. Some 31 Kiwi soldiers were killed in action in Korea. Hughes himself passed away on 19 February 2016.
We could drop shells 25 yards ahead of the front line, our troops. And it was amazing, seeing that the British and Canadians were regular force chaps, we were all volunteers just off the street. And we could shoot as accurately, if not better, than some of the regular force troops.– Les Hughes