Terence Edward “Terry” Waters GC (Direct Recipient)

b. 01/06/1929 Salisbury, Wiltshire. d. 10/1951 Korea.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 22/04 – 10/1951 Korea.

Terence Edward Waters (1929-1951) was born on the 1st June 1929 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, the elder son of Albert Edward and Muriel Olive Waters (nee Apperley). His father attended Bristol Grammar School and played 16 matches for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club between 1923 and 1925. Terry (and later his younger brother Anthony) also attended Bristol Grammar School from 1940-1947, but instead of cricket, he excelled at hockey playing for the First XI. He was also part of the school’s Cadet Force holding the rank of Sergeant.

Terence E Waters GC

On leaving school, Terry went to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, where he was in Ypres Company in December 1948. He was commissioned into the West Yorkshire Regiment in Austria before volunteering for Korea, and went out with the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, before later becoming attached to the Gloucestershire Regiment. His brother tried to follow in his footsteps having gone into National Service, and was in the draft for Korea. He was due to leave in June 1951, but his name was withdrawn, largely due to what happened to Terry.

On 22nd April 1951, during the Battle of Imjin River, Korea, he was wounded in the head and arm, and taken prisoner. On the way to Pyongyang with other prisoners of war, he set a magnificent example of courage in remaining with the wounded other ranks on the march, whom he felt it his duty to care for to the best of his ability. After a tough journey, they arrived in an area west of Pyongyang adjacent to POW Camp 12, and known as “The Caves”, where they were held. They found themselves imprisoned in a tunnel through which a stream of water flowed continuously, flooding a great deal of the floor in which they were packed many South Korean and European prisoners in filthy rags, crawling with lice. In this cavern, a number died daily from wounds, sickness or malnutrition. Waters approached the North Korean political officer to try and gain medical aid and better food for the prisoners. The offer was refused. Waters then ordered his men to seem to follow the North Koreans orders, hoping to save their lives. Realising that they hadn’t turned him, they tried to persuade him to give in, but he refused. He died a few days later (sometime in October 1951).

Sadly, Lieutenant Terry Waters has no known grave. He was posthumously awarded the George Cross (London Gazette 9th April 1954). His parents travelled to Buckingham Palace to receive their son’s GC from Queen Elizabeth II on 6th July 1954. His medals including his GC, Korea Medal with Mentioned in Despatches oakleaf (8.12.53) and UN Medal were held and displayed by the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, Gloucester.  The medals were then auctioned at Dix Noonan Webb on 17th February 2021 and obtained a hammer price of £280,000. The purchaser was Lord Ashcroft. Terry is commemorated at the UN Memorial Cemetery at Busan, South Korea, and on war memorials in Stoke Bishop (where he was regular church-goer) and at Westbury-on-Trym, near Bristol.





Dix Noonan Webb – Images of the Waters GC Medal Group.

Paul Lee www.memorialstovalour.co.uk – Image of Waters GC name on the Korean War Memorial, Bathgate, Scotland.