Plymouth Korean War veteran Bob dies aged 99
A VETERAN of the bitter 1950s Korean War has died in Plymouth at the age of 99.
Bob Harrison, a career soldier and a Plymouth Argyle stalwart, died on Tuesday in the Evergreen residential home in Mannamead.
His son Edwin said he died peacefully after contracting a chest infection which developed into bronchial pneumonia.
The family was with him for most of his last few days.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Edwin was just 12 when his father was sent to Korea.
"I remember him going off," he said. "We had just returned from a posting in Malta and lived in Plymouth.
"But I wasn't really aware of what was going on in Korea. Like all men who have been to war, he didn't tend to talk about it a lot."
Bob did 21 years in the Army and was attached to the Territorial Army at the Citadel for another four years.
When his Services career ended he joined the Post Office, working as a postman in Plymouth.
One of his passions was football, and Plymouth Argyle. He was a match day steward at Argyle, and one of the club's 'Dad's Army' of volunteers.
Argyle gave him a carriage clock when he left on his 80th birthday.
But his love of football continued, and he had a season ticket at Home Park until about four years ago.
Bob Harrison was born in 1913 in Malta to an English serviceman father, Harold Harrison, and a Maltese mother.
The family returned to Plymouth in 1931, his father opening a string of grocery shops in Devonport and Stonehouse.
Bob joined the Army in January 1934, intending to become a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps.
Instead, he was sent to Exeter to train with the Devonshire Regiment, but transferred to the RASC after basic training.
He signed up for 21 years in the Army, later serving as an instructor in the Territorials.
In 1950, he was stationed in Germany and joined the Acantus force, standing by to assist in the Berlin Airlift.
He was sent to Korea at the outbreak of war, and found himself sailing from Liverpool on board the troopship 'Empire Pride' with his unit, the 26th Field Ambulance, attached to the Royal Ulster Rifles.
After a 35-day voyage, they arrived in Korea on November 5 to find the country sweltering in late-summer heat.
But within days, winter arrived and the shivering troops were piling on every stitch of clothing they had.
Sergeant-Major Harrison's job was to provide ambulance transport for the wounded men from the Gloucesters, the Northumbrian Fusiliers and the Royal Ulster Rifles.
Mr Harrison's wife, Phyllis, died in 1995 at the age of 80.
He leaves three sons, nine grandchildren, more than 20 great-greatchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be at 3.30pm at Weston Mill crematorium next Thursday.