Korean veteran named 'Ambassador For Peace'
MORE than 60 years after returning from the Korean War, Charleville's Henry Maris has received the Ambassador for Peace medallion and certificate from the South Korean Minister for Patriots and Veterans Affairs.
Mr Maris, 93, said the award arrived in the post and came as a surprise.
"I feel privileged to have received this award, and it brought back memories,” he said.
"We went over to help the people and to restore the country.
"I would like to thank the minister for his recognition.”
Henry's wife, Margaret, said her husband was a "quiet achiever”.
"He is very honoured to have been sent this,” she said.
The award recognised MrMaris's "dedicated contributions” and expressed the everlasting gratitude of the Republic of Korea for his role in the restoration of South Korean freedom and democracy.
Mr Maris was posted to the Korean War in 1950 as a soldier of the Royal Australian Regiment's 3rd battalion.
North Korea had invaded the capital of Seoul and MrMaris worked alongside the South Korean army to regain the site and restore peace to the fractured country.
Mr Maris was in Korea for 40 days before he was injured in battle.
"The thing that has always stayed with me was how cold it was. It was freezing. We were fighting in the snow and it was fierce,” he said.
After being discharged, Mr Maris returned to his property in Charleville where he worked in the wool industry and as a butcher with Margaret.
Charleville Mayor Annie Liston congratulated him, saying the award was a well-deserved achievement.