Korea War GC Recipients

Three George Cross medals were awarded during the Korean War (1950-53). All the awards were made in recognition of gallantry whilst a POW; two of the three awards were made posthumously.


Derek Godfrey Kinne was born on 11 January 1930. Fusilier Kinne was a soldier in 1st Battalion, The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

Derek’s Brother, Raymond Kinne, was killed in Korea while serving with the Argyll’s during 1950. Raymond Kinne has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 19 of the Wall of Remembrance, which is located in the UN Memorial Cemetery.

The following citation was published in the London Gazette on 13 April 1954:

In August, 1950, Fusilier KINNE volunteered for service in Korea. He joined the 1st Battalion, The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, and was captured by Chinese Communist forces on the 25th April, 1951, the last day of the Imjin River battle. From then on he had only two objects in mind: firstly to escape, and secondly by his contempt for his captors and their behaviour, and his utter disregard for the treatment meted out to him, to raise the morale of his fellow prisoners. The treatment which he received during his period of captivity is summarised in the succeeding paragraphs.

Fusilier KINNE escaped for the first time within 24 hours of capture but was retaken a few days later while attempting to regain our own lines. Eventually he re-joined a large group of prisoners being marched North to prison camps, and despite the hardships of this march, which lasted a month, rapidly emerged as a man of outstanding leadership and very high morale. His conduct was a fine example to all his fellow-prisoners.

In July, 1952, Fusilier KINNE, who was by now well known to his captors, was accused by them of being non-co-operative and was brutally interrogated about the other P.W. who had uncooperative views. As a result of his refusal to inform on his comrades, and for striking back at a Chinese officer who assaulted him, he was twice severely beaten up and tied up for periods of 12 and 24 hours, being made to stand on tip-toe with a running noose round his neck which would throttle him if he attempted to relax in any way.

He escaped on 27 July but was recaptured two days later. He was again beaten up very severely, and placed in handcuffs (which could be and frequently were tightened so as to restrict circulation), from which he was not released until 16th October, 1952, a period of 81 days. He was accused of insincerity, a hostile attitude towards the Chinese, sabotage of compulsory political study, escape, and of being reactionary. From the 15th to the 20th August he was confined in a very small box cell, where he was made to sit to attention all day, being periodically beaten, prodded with bayonets, kicked and spat upon by the guards, and denied any washing facilities.

On 20th August, 1952, he was made to stand to attention for seven hours and when he complained was beaten by the Chinese guard commander with the butt of a submachine gun, which eventually went off and killed the guard commander. For this Fusilier KINNE was beaten senseless with belts and bayonets, stripped of his clothes, and thrown into a dank rat-infested hole until the 19th September. He was frequently taken out and beaten, including once (on 16th September), with pieces of planking until he was unconscious.

On 16th October Fusilier KINNE was tried by a Chinese military count for escape and for being a reactionary and hostile to the Chinese, and was sentenced to twelve months solitary confinement. This was increased to eighteen months when he complained at his trial of denial of medical attention, including that for a severe double hernia which he had sustained in June, 1952, while training to escape.

On the 5th December, 1952, he was transferred to a special penal company. His last award of solitary confinement was on the 2nd June, 1953, when he was sentenced for defying Chinese orders and wearing a rosette in celebration of Coronation Day.

He was eventually exchanged at Panmunjon on the 10th August, 1953. As late as the 8th and 9th August he was threatened with nonrepatriation for demanding an interview with the International Red Cross Representatives who were visiting Prisoner of War camps.

Fusilier KINNE was during the course of his periods of solitary confinement kept in no less than seven different places of imprisonment, including a security police gaol, under conditions of the most extreme degradation and increasing brutality. Every possible method both physical and mental was employed by his captors to break his spirit, a task which proved utterly beyond their powers. Latterly he must have been fully aware that every time he flaunted his captors and showed openly his detestation of themselves and their methods he was risking his life. He was in fact several times threatened with death or non-repatriation.

Nevertheless he was always determined to show that he was prepared neither to be intimidated nor cowed by brutal treatment at the hands of a barbarous enemy. His powers of resistance and his determination to oppose and fight the enemy to the maximum were beyond praise. His example was an inspiration to all ranks who came into contact with him.

Derek Kinne died on 6 February 2018 in Tucson, Arizona.

Horace William Madden was born on 14 February 1924 at Cronulla, Sydney, Australia. Private Madden was a soldier in 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. During World War Two, Madden had served in a Australian Motor Ambulance Convoy Platoon. After the war, he was a member of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan.

The following citation was published in the London Gazette on 27 December 1955:

Private Madden was captured by Chinese Communist Forces on 24th April, 1951, near Kapyong. He was a signaller attached to Battalion Headquarters at the time and received concussion prior to capture.

Private Madden was held prisoner by the enemy until about 5th November, 1951, when he died of malnutrition and the result of ill-treatment. During this period he openly resisted all enemy efforts to force him to collaborate, to such a degree that his name and example were widely known through the various groups of prisoners. Testimonials have been provided by Officers and men from many units of the Commonwealth and Allied Forces which show that the heroism he displayed was quite outstanding.

Despite repeated beatings and many other form of ill-treatment inflicted because of his defiance to his captors, Private Madden remained cheerful and optimistic. Although deprived of food because of his behaviour, resulting in severe malnutrition, he was known to share his meagre supplies purchased from Koreans with other prisoners who were sick.

It would have been apparent to Private Madden that to pursue this course must eventually result in his death. This did not deter him, and for over six months, although becoming progressively weaker, he remained undaunted in his resistance. He would in no way co-operate with the enemy.

This gallant soldier’s outstanding heroism was an inspiration to all his fellow prisoners.

London Gazette 27 December 1955.

Private Madden’s remains are buried in the UN Memorial Cemetery: Plot 35, Column 9, Row 2.

Terrance Edward Waters was born on 1 June 1929. Lieutenant Waters was a member of The West Yorkshire Regiment, attached 1st Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment.

The following citation was published in the London Gazette on 13 April 1954:

Lieutenant WATERS was captured subsequent to the Battle of the Imjin River, 22nd-25th April, 1951. By this time he had sustained a serious wound in the top of the head and yet another most painful wound in the arm as a result of this action. On the journey to Pyongyang with other captives, he set a magnificent example of courage and fortitude in remaining with wounded other ranks on the march, whom, he felt it his duty to care for to the best of his ability.

Subsequently, after a journey of immense hardship and privation, the party arrived at an area west of Pyongyang adjacent to POW Camp 12 and known generally as “The Caves”, in which they were held captive.

They found themselves imprisoned in a tunnel driven into the side of a hill through which a stream of water flowed continuously, flooding a great deal of the floor in which were packed a great number of South Korean and European prisoners-of-war in rags, filthy, crawling with lice. In this cavern a number died daily from wounds, sickness, or merely malnutrition; they fed on two small meals of boiled maize daily. Of medical attention there was none.

Lieutenant WATERS appreciated that few, if any, of his numbers would survive these conditions, in view of their weakness and the absolute lack of attention for their wounds.

After a visit from a North Korean Political Officer, who attempted to persuade them to volunteer to join a prisoner-of-war group known as “Peace Fighters” (that is, active participants in the propaganda movement against their own side) with a promise of better food, of medical treatment and other amenities as a reward for such activity – an offer that was refused unanimously – he decided to order his men to pretend to accede to the offer in an effort to save their lives. This he did, giving the necessary instructions-to the senior other rank with the British party, Sergeant HOPER, that the men would go upon his order without fail.

Whilst realising that this act would save the lives of his party, he refused to go himself, aware that the task of maintaining British prestige was vested in him. Realising that they had failed to subvert an officer with the British party, the North Koreans now made a series of concerted efforts to persuade Lieutenant WATERS to save himself by joining the camp. This he steadfastly refused to do. He died a short time after.

He was a young, inexperienced officer, comparatively recently commissioned from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, yet he set an example of the highest gallantry.

London Gazette 13 April 1954.

Lieutenant Waters has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 20 of the Wall of Remembrance, which is located in the UN Memorial Cemetery.

The medals awarded to Lieutenant Waters are on display in the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.