2783) Love Story: Australian Nurse Rose & Turkish Lieutenant Kemal During Korean War: New Book Release

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com Korean Rose is a new fictional, historical novel by Harry Blackley (Love & Death in Cyprus) It is a story of the valor, sacrifice and honor of Turks who fought in the Korean War.
It is a love story between Rose McDonald, an Australian nurse, and Lieutenant Kemal Hasol of the 1st Turkish Brigade.
It is a story of war and two people from far away countries and different cultures.
I was delighted when I learned that author Harry Blackley (Love & Death in Cyprus), told me that he was planning another novel, this time set in Australia and the Korean War, especially the contribution of the Turkish Brigade in that forgotten war. . .

Like any good storyteller he has blended fiction with some little known facts.

Korean Rose is a great story that I found hard to put down. Call me sentimental but I found the story of Rose McDonald, the Australian nurse, and Kemal Hasol, the Turkish Lieutenant, really moving.

The battle scenes and the conditions endured by medical people are brilliantly portrayed.

I think this novel will make people sit up and realize how the Turks fought so bravely along side the Australia and New Zealand contingent in a war as bloody as any in history.

In recognition of their courage under fire, I was instrumental in the formation of the Victorian Returned Services League Turkish Sub-Branch.

It is with pleasure that I recommend people read Korean Rose. You wont be disappointed.

Bruce Ruxton AM OBE
President of the Victorian Branch of the RSL 1978-2001
From The Foreword

"Korean Rose" is the story on Rose McDonald, an Australian nursing officer and Lt Kemal Hasol of the 1st Turkish Brigade. I wrote it for a non-Turkish readership as no one in the West knows anything about the Turks in Korea. So the story focuses on Rose and Kemal with my fictional account of Kemal's company in various factual battles.

Korean Rose – Synopsis
The story opens when a Lieutenant with the 1st Turkish Brigade leaves the American training camp at Taegu and goes to Pusan on the orders of his commanding general. Kemal Hasol is fluent in English having been educated in part in America and England when his diplomat father has been posted to these countries. He meets a captain in the US marines, Mike Shailer who fought in the Pacific and has spent some time in Japan. They arrange to meet at the officers’ club for lunch. A group of officers are trying to impress two Australian nursing officers when Kemal arrives. There is an instant connection between him and Rose McDonald. They talk alone and he invites her to dinner that night. They learn a little about each other and their different cultures.

A long chapter details Rose’s parents coming to Australia in 1928, the conditions, the lifestyle in a small village where her dour, unemotional Scottish father is the golf professional at an exclusive club. Motherless at ten, Rose leaves home at sixteen to train as a nurse in Melbourne.

Kemal attends the Turkish Military Academy in Ankara. The Turkish military is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Ataturk and few if any devout Muslims are accepted. He bids a tearful farewell to his loving family as he set s off for Korea.
On impulse, Rose decides to join the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps. She makes friend with another nurse, Dolly Anderson and they go to Korea.

The sea voyage to Korea is full of incidents due to the Turkish conscripts never having been away from their remote villages.

Kemal’s meeting with Mike is expanded and he learns about some of the problems faced by the US troops including bugging out and the all-black regiment.

Kemal and Rose meet and their characters and inner thoughts are developed as they continue to learn more about each other’s backgrounds. This raises some conflicts, particularly in Rose.

The battle of Kunu-ri looms as Rose and Dolly arrive in Seoul to work at the British Commonwealth makeshift hospital. The shower facilities introduce some humor into the grim work Rose performs.

The battle of Kunu-ri is a test for Kemal as they fight against overwhelming odds to save the US 8th Army from annihilation by the Chinese. The US is the main UN force and confusion often occurs with nations from other non-English speaking contingents.
Rose tries to find the whereabouts of the Turkish Brigade, as she is worried about Kemal. She attends to some wounded British soldiers badly burned by ‘friendly fire’ including napalm. Kemal reaches Seoul to find that she is exhausted and they sleep in his bed in the officers’ quarters. There is no lovemaking.

In a battle, Kemal saves Mike’s live under heavy enemy fire. Both are wounded and are sent to Tokyo. Rose is there on the normal two month rotation for nurses. Kemal’s wound is not serious and he and Rose explore Tokyo. Mike introduces them to Maria, a Turkish-Japanese just out of school that he intends to marry. Rose is impressed with his words of wisdom about culture, religion and race.

Kemal arrives back in Tokyo for Mike’s wedding and an interview with Stars & Stripes on how he saved Mike.

Mike and Maria are not able to go on their planned honeymoon to a guesthouse in Kawage near Tokyo. Rose asks Kemal if he will go with her for the week. It was a memory of the life of the cicada that convinces her to open up her heart to love. The cicada is a theme that occurs several times. Their love is sealed in a very special place, Kawage, a village largely untouched by the firebombing of Japan.
Back in Korea, Kemal is in charge of celebrations between the Turks and Australians to celebrate ANZAC Day, Gallipoli.

Rose has returned to Seoul and finds that she is pregnant, thanks to an unguarded first lovemaking in Kawage. She is sent home in disgrace before she is able to contact Kemal who is upcountry.

The battle of Kapyong was famous for Australia, New Zealand and Canadian troops. Kemal’s company is involved as backup.

Rose’s father is unhappy at her falling pregnant to a Turk. She receives a letter from Kemal apologizing for his carelessness that has caused her problems. With the Turkish Brigade he is digging in on the 38th parallel where the war has reached a stalemate.

Rose’s father dies and his lawyer, Howard Crawford, a 55 year-old bachelor, befriends her. He sees in Rose the daughter that he might have had to a girl he’d loved and let go as she was young and not part of his class Rose discovers that her father was a canny Scot and owned land and a fair sum of money. She realizes that she never really knew him

Kemal receives a long letter from Rose and is captured while out on patrol. Rose learns through Dolly and Mike that Kemal is killed or missing in action. Howard persuades her to build a house next to his property.

Kemal and two of his men begin the long march north to a number of POQW camps finally arriving at Camp 5 run by Commandant Ting. He is repeatedly tortured when he refuses to help indoctrinate the many Turkish prisoners.

A baby girl is born to Rose. She and Howard write to Ankara for news of Kemal. She only writes that she had met Kemal Hasol and had corresponded with him but had lost contact.

Ting finally perpetrates the cruelest torture. He uses battery-powered electric shock to Kemal’s penis and scrotum. Kemal falls into depression and tries to think of Rose in order to survive. He finds that he is not able to have an erection and further declines when the same torture is repeated by the sadistic Ting.

Ting allows Kemal the first letter he has received since his capture. He learns of the birth of his daughter Gul (Turkish for Rose) and the help that Howard has given to Rose. This only deepens his depression.

Life goes on in Australia with a child to raise. Rose receives a letter from Kemal’s father. He confirms that Kemal is missing but is hopeful that he is the officer some returned wounded US soldiers have mentioned. Rose telephones him and tells the truth about herself, Kemal and Gul.

All POW’s are released and Kemal returns to Turkey to be met by his family who are shocked at his condition. His parents return to LA where his father is Consul General. Kemal goes to Cyprus to the family farm to work and work so that he is too tired to think.

Rose learns from his father that Kemal is home but too depressed to care about life. He asks her to wait until Kemal phones. He does but tells her that he can no longer be a lover and that she should forget him. She refuses to accept this and determines to go to Cyprus.

A new discovery by Dr Penfield, a Canadian neurosurgeon, on the workings of the mind leads to Kemal receiving tests and hypnotherapy to erase the memories of the torture that have made him impotent. He sends a telegram to Rose. She flies to Cyprus. She asks him to be patient as they try to find each other again. It does not take long. With her money they buy a bigger farm in Cyprus, get married and await a visit from Howard. Rose has a son, Deniz. Howard is too sick (prostate cancer) to come for the wedding but finally arrives to be godfather to Deniz. He decides to stay in Cyprus near Rose.

The epilogue concludes with Howard’s funeral a year later. He has left money in Trust for Deniz to attend university in Australia. Deniz becomes a lawyer, falls in love with an Australian teacher and joins Howard’s old firm as a partner. They have two children Gul, at the age of 18, marries a doctor in Kyrenia. They have three children. Rose and Kemal re-visit Kawage on the 40th anniversary of their week there in 1951.

This novel will appeal to readers in the US,

The character development of the main characters is brought about by their conversations, dialogue and how they deal with the difficult situations they find themselves in. Inner thoughts and reflections at poignant and critical moments assist in understanding how they cope with the tumultuous events of that period. Every character has peculiarities that bounce off each other. Rose is initially afraid to open up to love. Dolly is an extrovert who brings light relief to the story. Kemal is from a loving family as Rose realizes from their conversations. His interrupted schooling has made him more self-assured and able to handle new experiences. His Turkish values come through in his war experiences and his time in the prisoner of war camp.

Mike is a brash, confident American who knows what he wants. Howard is alone but not a lonely man until he meets Rose and realizes that he let love slip by. Rose re-kindles his need for emotional attachment.

Gul brings the charm and inquisitive nature of a young child that will endear her to readers.

The Cicada nymphs spend years underground before emerging as adults. The male sings his song and attracts a female. After mating, the female lays her eggs and the cicadas die within days or weeks.

The advance party of the 1st Turkish Brigade was bivouacked at Taegu, an American training camp about eighty miles north of the port of Pusan in South Korea. It was only mid-October, 1950, but a chill wind portended the early arrival of winter. Lieutenant Kemal Hasol, of the 1st infantry battalion, climbed into the jeep that was to take him to Pusan. He was reluctant to leave his company but the order of General Yazici, Commander of the Turkish Brigade, left him no choice. The General spoke little English and, despite his American liaison officer, he was having trouble communicating with the US commander in Pusan. Kemal spoke good English. He desperately hoped that he would not be seconded to the General’s staff as an interpreter. He arrived in Pusan late afternoon to find that the General had already left for Tokyo to meet with General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur had been the virtual ruler of Japan since the end of World War2. Now he was the Commander in Chief in charge of all the United Nations’ forces in Korea. Yazici was unhappy that his Brigade would not be necessary for any combat duty. The Turkish Brigade had crossed the oceans to join the UN police action against the communist North Korean invasion of the South. Now, thanks to a change in the fortune of the war, it appeared that they would not be needed. Kemal was instructed to remain in Pusan until General Yazici returned. He wandered around the huge camp, bored, wishing he were back at Taegu with his mehmetciks, his platoon soldiers. He found himself outside the command post and met an American captain in the US Marines who was also at a loose end. He and Captain Mike Shailer went to the officers’ club and had coffee. They arranged to meet there again for a drink at lunchtime.

The smoke-filled room reminded Kemal of the officers’ club in Ankara. He waved when he saw Mike and a group of US officers gathered around two women. Mike called him over.

Kemal watched the young officers vying for the attention of the women. They were all trying to speak at once. The dark-haired woman was doing most of the talking. She had a high-pitched strident laugh that he found unattractive. He looked at the blonde one. Her hair fell down on both sides of her slightly rounded face. Under her upturned nose, her full lips were pale pink, lipstick free. She was wearing a blue floral dress with a low cut neckline. She turned her head, looked up and held his gaze for a long time. Then she smiled. He moved his head in an imperceptible bow. She returned the bow with a lowering of her head. It wasn’t just her beauty; there was a shared moment in that eye contact, something indefinable. He willed her to look up again. Mike waved to a waiter, pointing a finger at Kemal. He ordered a whisky and soda. Sipping his drink he stood, fascinated by the desperate efforts of the Americans, enjoying watching the blonde-haired young woman parrying the questions and invitations.

She spoke with an unusual, flat, nasally accent. She said some words that he was not familiar with. She looked up and their eyes met. A faint smile curled his lips. Hers did the same.

The loud, competing voices began to annoy him. He made a sign to Mike. “I’ll have a smoke outside. It’s too much in here.”

Mike nodded. The woman eased herself out of her chair. “I think I’ll join you. If that’s all right with you? My eyes are itching with all this flamin’ smoke.” She pushed aside two men and then hesitated, uncertain.

He hastily pointed a hand to the entrance. “Out there?” He barely managed to get the words out.

“Smoko out the back.” She jerked a thumb to the back door that led to the outside kitchen. “Don’t want to get sprung by the Matron. She disapproves of nurses smoking.”

The Americans looked at Kemal with resentment. Mike winked.

The air was cool but heat blowing out from the open door of the kitchen acted like a warm, if somewhat fat-fried smelling, breeze.

The sky was clear except for a thin film of dirty yellow cloud that covered a weak sun. The sound of men marching on gravel drifted in from afar.

Rose, head down, clasped her arms across her breasts. She tried to think what to say, why she’d asked if she could join him. It wasn’t just to escape the persistent, brash Americans. There was something about the way he’d looked at her. There had been an invitation in his look. No words, but she’d known he wanted to be alone with her. The noise and smoke had been an excuse. They stood silent for a moment. She looked up and was drawn again to his dark brown eyes. She looked at his angular face, his dark, black, short hair. He smiled, a crooked smile that told her he knew her thoughts.

“You’re a quiet one.” She said as she shook her head, refusing the offer of a cigarette. “I only wanted some clean air. Oh, you’re Turkish.” She peered at his insignia. “And you spoke English.” She wasn’t sure why she said that.

He lowered his head and looked up with his eyes, one eyebrow raised. “Yes I do. And I am thinking that you wanted to be with me.” His tone was mischievous.

A slanting light from a window cast a shadow over part of her pale face. He guessed her to be about five and a half feet, just a few inches shorter than him. “No?” He smiled a long slow smile.

She put her hands to her face, embarrassed. “Oh my word! I hope you didn’t think I was making a pass. Did you? I’m Rose by the way. From Australia.” She tilted her head to one side. He has such a nice smile she thought. And a sense of humor! She liked the way his eyes looked directly at her. He sucked in smoke in a deliberate way, stepped on his cigarette and ground it into the dirt.

“Kemal Hasol, Turkish Brigade.” He bowed. “A pass? You want to pass something? Like football, or is this some peculiar Australian thing for a woman to do?”

“No way. Not for me it isn’t. It means a come on, you know, hello, I’d like to get to know you. That way.” She blushed and looked away. She’d asked to join him so what was he meant to think.

Kemal grinned. “I’m happy for you to make a pass. Or I can make you a pass.”

She tried to look serious. “Let’s change the subject, shall we. I’ve just arrived.”

“I too! Well, a few days ago. I’m not expecting to find someone like you here in Pusan. Are you staying here long?” The question was hopeful.

Rose was flustered. He wasn’t looking at her in a lustful way. His look was direct, calm, intense and though she wanted to look away she found that she couldn’t. “I’m not sure. I don’t know. Why?” She shivered.

“Are you cold? Shall we go back inside?” He took hold of her hands and blew gently on them. His hands were warm and she felt unnerved. It was more than the closeness of his body, although it aroused her, it was as if he’d touched her in an intimate way.

“No. I’m fine.” She wasn’t. She felt a sense of loss when he let go of her hands and reached inside his jacket pocket.

“Do you mind?” He pulled out a silver cigarette case.

“It’s up to you. It’s not good for you. Smoking.” She thought of her mother.

“I like that.” He grinned. “Already you are looking after me.”

“Well, don’t get any ideas. I never met a Turk before.” She made a gesture of apology. She felt that was the wrong thing to say.

“No, please. It’s okay. You are my first Australian.” His eyes lit up. “But you are not brown with the sun. Like pictures I have seen of Australians on your beaches.”

Rose threw back her head. “Actually, I was born in Scotland and with my skin you don’t get a tan.” She shrugged.

“Ah, so you will always be this, how do you say, lovely English complexion. Like a Rose! I like it. I like you. I like to hear you speak. ”

He said it so seriously that she was unsure how to respond. All she could think of was the short romance books her mother loved to read. And here was a Turk, in Korea, chatting her up. No, that’s not true; he’s not trying to come on strong like some of those Italian migrants who had started arriving in Melbourne. God, they could strip you naked with their eyes.

“Sorry, you look far away?” He worried that he had embarrassed her.

She bit her lower lip. “Oh! I was just thinking. Look, I’d better see what Dolly, my friend, is up to.”

“Did you wish to eat?”

“No way. I had enough at breakfast to last the day.”

“Before you go, are you free for dinner tonight? I would be happy if you can join me.”

She gave him a funny look. She thought she remembered reading something about Turkey and harems.

It was as if he sensed her thoughts. “Only dinner, I promise. I think that maybe you have read some fanciful stories about Turks. Especially the Sultans.”

She blushed. Their eyes met again. She surprised herself. “Forget Dolly! Is seven okay?”

He bowed and opened the door. A gust of hot smoky air came out. She closed the door. “Walk me round the back to my quarters. I don’t think I can face that lot again.” Then she wondered what they would think if she and this Turk didn’t reappear. “Stiff luck” She said.


“Nothing. Nothing. They can all wonder what they like.”

Kemal frowned, mystified, and stepped aside to let her walk down a narrow path to the roadway that led to the nurses’ quarters. The noise of the kitchen faded and they walked slowly without speaking.

Kemal rubbed his chin and decided that he would need to shave again before dinner. Rose wished that she’d brought some dresses with her.

They stopped at the entrance. Rose thought for a moment that he would try to kiss her. He took hold of her hand, bowed over and kissed it.

“I’ll be waiting for you.”

She went inside and held her hand to her nose. She was sure that she could smell cologne. She went to the room she shared with Dolly and stared in the mirror. She looked the same but had a strange feeling that something had changed. She made a face that looked back, somehow different. One meeting with a foreigner couldn’t affect her this way she thought. Not Rose McDonald, who had no problems communicating with people professionally, yet in her twenty-four years had never allowed any man to make her feel what she was feeling about this stranger.

The old train left Pusan on its way to Seoul. It had wooden benches down each side of the carriages. Rose, Dolly and two non-commissioned nurses were given seats. The open space between the benches was packed with standing soldiers who swayed as the train jerked to a stop at frequent intervals. Several men took the opportunity to lunge forward close to the women. Dolly laughed but Rose found the whole thing annoying.

She was downhearted that she hadn’t heard from Kemal. She assumed that his General had come back from Tokyo. She wondered if he too was on the move north. She’d probably never see him again. What if something happened to him? She tried not to think about it, but she couldn’t. She heaved a heavy sighed and a soldier next to her said “It won’t be long, lady.” She gave him an uninterested smile. The train struggled to climb the gentlest incline. She tried not to think about Kemal. She concentrated on the passing landscape, low, flat land and in the distance, rolling hills covered with a patchwork of terraced paddy fields. A flock of geese flew south. Lucky devils she thought. There was no glass in many of the windows and the smell coming from the fields was overpowering.

Dolly squeezed her nostrils. “Smells like back home the day before the pan man comes to empty the dunny.”

Rose frowned and looked to see who had overhead Dolly. “Didn’t you have regular toilets? Or a septic tank?”

“Jeez Rose! In the bush it’s an outside dunny shed. As far away from the house as possible. The pan gets emptied once a week.” Dolly shook her head at her ignorance of life in the country. “Looks to me as if they just chuck it out here straight into the paddocks, the paddy fields.”

“Poor devils having to breathe that stink in all the time.”

“Shit! Look at the sky. I reckon it’ll pour any minute.” Dolly stood up among the men to shelter from the rain that suddenly began to fall. A loud clap of thunder boomed out and several soldiers ducked. They looked sheepish when they realized that it was thunder and not gunfire.

The open windows were quickly covered with waterproof ponchos and everyone settled down again. Darkness fell as if someone had switched off the light. The rain stopped and the only sound was the clacking of the train wheels. The two nurses huddled together for warmth and protection as the night slowly passed before it thawed into a gray dawn.

“If the weather is this cold in bloody November, what’ll it be like when winter really sets in?” Dolly shivered as the train approached the outskirts of Seoul and slowed to a crawl. Stops became more frequent as gangs of women in shapeless dresses worked to repair the line. The nurses gazed out at the bombed out city.

Rose gasped. “My god, it looks like those pictures I saw of Hiroshima at the cinema.”

“Looks like we’ve finally joined the war kiddo.” Dolly tried unsuccessfully to sound cheerful.

Stiff, tired and weary, they climbed into one of the jeeps to take all the nurses to the British Commonwealth hospital. The driver was a cheerful Australian. “Not a pretty sight, is it? First the North Koreans, and then the Yanks, after Inchon, blew shit outa the place. It’s not much of a hospital. The accommodation’s crook too. ‘Course the Yanks have it pretty good. They got the best of everything. They even have an officers’ club.”

Dolly grinned. “See,” she gave a thumbs up sign to Rose, “it won’t be all that bad.”

“Who cares?” Rose answered glumly. She didn’t want to think about meeting any officers. “It’s the hospital we’ll be spending most of our time. Anyway, Dolly, it looks like you won’t be holding hands with any handsome officers, does it?” Rose dismissed the subject with a cut off wave of her hand.

The sleeping quarter was only a slight improvement on the hospital. Huge oil drums, outside, burned fiercely with old wooden beams and broken furniture. Inside, the rooms were spartan with no locker space and only stretcher beds.

“Not much of a bed, is it? Any sign of heating?” Rose grumbled.

Dolly flopped down on one of the beds. She sniffed the heavy sleeping bag. “Well, we won’t be inviting anyone back here for a night cap.”

“Dolly, would you stop that. We’re here to do a job. And we’d better get organized. We report as soon as we’ve unpacked.”

“Just kidding. Give me hand and we’ll see if we can make this sleeping bag look more like a bedspread.”

Rose never forgot that first day. Ambulance after ambulance, jeep after jeep brought in casualties. Every inch of floor space was covered with wounded men. The operating facilities were basic. For Rose, it was a matter of assisting in patching up wounds and seeing the men on their way to Tokyo or to one of the hospital ships moored off shore.

Every day she asked in vain if anyone had heard news of the Turkish Brigade but no one knew or seemed to care about anyone other than the British, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand wounded.

The twice-weekly ritual of a hot shower broke the monotony of working and sleeping. Several large tanks of water had been set up high on steel structures. Fires below heated the water and it was piped to a fenced off area with showerheads. Pulling a cord released a stream of hot water. It wasn’t the basic nature of the showers that was the problem but the fact that the shower area was not totally private. A few holes strategically drilled in the fence allowed an enterprising sergeant to make a small charge to view the nurses having a shower.

“That’s the quickest shower I’ve ever had.” Rose shouted to Dolly as she quickly wrapped herself in a towel.

Dolly laughed, “Thanks, that’s all the more hot water for me. I love a long hot shower. Besides, we’ve got to keep the troops spirits up.”

As long as that’s all she keeps up. Rose was only a little shocked.

The Chinese moved further into North Korea. They engaged UN forces and were advancing rapidly, successfully. Rose somehow knew then that Kemal would be up there somewhere. UN casualties were high as battles raged for the next two weeks.

Conditions were chaotic at the hospital. The worst cases were transferred by helicopter but as the numbers of casualties mounted, the majority was trucked through Wonsan and on to Seoul.

The temporary hospital was littered with bodies on stretchers. Rose looked for any sign of Turks. They worked a ten or twelve-hour shift and the tension and exhaustion left her weak.

For the first time since she had begun nursing, Rose vomited. At the front and in the field aid stations, they discovered that bad open leg wounds were best covered in plaster rather than being stitched. A forty or fifty mile trip over rutted roads on the bonnet of a jeep caused stitches to burst open. Plastering meant that the wounded could be transported quickly over the rough roads. Cutting open the plaster she gasped at a wound covered in maggots. The stench was overpowering. Sucking in air, she grasped hold of the table but found that she couldn’t hold back. She rushed to a nearby portable sink and heaved and heaved until her stomach muscles finally relaxed and she spat out the last of the vomit. She splashed water on her face, rinsed out her mouth and went back and cleaned out the disgusting mess. No doctors were free so she sutured the wound and moved on to the next patient. A British surgeon, two rows away, called out from an operating table. “Over here nurse.”

Rose looked down at the patient. His right lower leg and knee were shattered. “God, you’ve got a real crook one there.”

He looked up. “You’re Australian. Never mind, you’ll have to do.” He bent over the patient and didn’t see the stony look on her face. Arrogant bastard she thought.

He shook his head. “It’ll have to come off. I’ve run out of pentothal. Get two units of blood, iv fluids and bring over the nitrous oxide and oxygen. You know how to drop ether?”


“Well, get on with it. I haven’t all day.”

She gritted her teeth and called out for an orderly to help.

The surgeon sniffed. “Is that chloroform? I thought I said ether.”

“I couldn’t find any ether.” Rose lied. “Besides, chloroform’s better.”

“Humph.” The surgeon waited impatiently as she placed a mask over the soldier’s face.

The chloroform put him to sleep and she connected the nitrous oxide oxygen mixture to keep him under. The orderly, an Englishman by his accent, set up the drip. He glanced down as the saw began to bite bone. He fumbled with the second unit of blood and was cursed by the surgeon who had begun to remove the man’s leg above the knee. “Get it right man! Clumsy fool! See me after. You’re on a charge for incompetence.”

Rose’s eyes blinked sympathetically at the orderly whose mask twitched in a resigned look.
- - -
“I never thought it would be as bad as this.” Dolly flopped down on the bed next to Rose.

“Not much time for the officers’ club, is there? Sorry!”

“Don’t be. You know, I don’t really care. I can’t believe the number of casualties. You look worried. Still thinking about that gorgeous Turk? Any word if they’re up here yet?”

Rose shook her head and shrugged, a despondent gesture. Dolly laughed softly and looked up at the unhappy face. “I think this man got to you. Chin up, matey, no news is good news.”

“It’s not knowing, that’s what makes it hard. When I think about that English colonel, the surgeon, I could spit. You know he had that orderly do a five-mile march with a full pack. Kemal wouldn’t do that kind of thing. He really is the nicest man.”

“Ooh, is he? Well, cheer up. If he doesn’t show, there’s plenty of fish in the sea.”

Rose nodded. With my luck, she thought, they’d probably all be sharks.
- - -

Kemal’s company was strung out along the left flank, covering the ground slowly. The terrain was difficult with deep ruts hidden by stunted shrubs. Two of his men stumbled and twisted their ankles. He and Ozgun lent a shoulder to help them keep up with the others as they steadily moved forward. Every five hundred yards he stopped and looked up anxiously. The hills above were silent. Below him, the Brigade moved along like a long snake inching its way along what was left of a once imperfect road. Deep holes and narrow precipitous curves slowed the convoy of trucks and artillery. Footsore and tired, he and his men arrived last and were grateful that a hot meal was waiting for them. They slept the night at Chogongmyong under the stars. He woke early and roused Ozgun. After a breakfast of biscuits and tea, they began to march once more.

By late afternoon they had made better progress. Major Onen sent for his company commanders and junior officers. “There’s been a change of plans. The General has been informed that we are no longer to proceed to Tokchon.”

A few groans broke out.

Onen waited. “The Chinese have moved further south in larger numbers than expected and we have been ordered to move to Wawon and block the road here.” He pointed to an ordinance map. “It’s some distance away.”

More groans greeted this news.

“General Yazici disagrees with the order. He has decided that we will go back to Chogongmyong and block the road there. First we have to go forward to some flat ground to enable the trucks to turn around. The General thinks that we can achieve the same result with less chance of heavy casualties.”

Heads nodded agreement.

“Lieutenant Hasol, you’re company will be the advance guard until we turn back then you will be the rear guard. Any questions?”

Kemal shook his head in disgust. “We should have remained there in the first place. Now we have another long march and the men are tired of marching. Where are the 9th Corps and the Eighth Army?”

“The General says that the reports coming through are confusing. We will just follow his orders.”

By late afternoon, the convoy had reached flat ground, turned and was on its way back to Chogongmyong.

Kemal ordered Sergeant Ozgun to get his resting men up on their feet for the march back. In the darkness and confusion, units became mixed as some men struggled to keep up with their own outfits. Unless an officer or experienced sergeant was close by, the young mehmetciks tended to wander away from their set formation.

They came under enemy attack with machine gun and mortar fire from the nearby slopes. The flanking units, in particular the rear one led by Kemal, resisted while the main body continued the move West. The artillery was unable to provide support. It was forced to keep moving or become easy targets for the shelling. It was after midnight by the time they arrived, exhausted. A hot meal was met with muffled cheers. At four in the morning, he was awake, unable to sleep due to the noise of heavy artillery fire.

As dawn broke on another bitterly cold day, the Chinese poured down from the hills and came to within 70 meters of the Turkish infantry. Kemal knew that this might be his moment of truth. He blessed his mother, his father, Gulten, Idi and Rose.

“Keep down.” He called out as several of his mehmetciks were hit and fell to the ground. “Sergeant, get them down.” His words were followed by another burst of machine-gun fire and he watched in horror as a young Turk a few yards away was sprayed with bullets. His bloodied body fell to the dark earth.

We’ll all die here if we don’t do something, he thought. If we have to die, we’ll die fighting. He took a deep breath. He called out the cry Allah Allah and every Turk in his company took up his call.

Raising his arm he cried “Forward” and the company rose as one. With fixed bayonets and constant cries of Allah Allah they charged forward. Men tripped and fell. Some took a hit from a bullet. Kemal charged forward, his only thought was to end the uncertainty.

The bayonet attack and the blood-curdling screams of the Turks caused panic in the Chinese lines. They began to pull back. Still the Turks charged, bayoneting as many of the enemy as stood their ground. The close hand to hand fighting was ferocious. The screams of bayoneted men sent the Turks into a frenzied onslaught. He was surprised that he felt nothing as he shot a Chinese soldier at close range with a single shot from his pistol. At close quarters, gunfire killed friend as well as foe. Then the whole battalion took up the call of Allah Allah and advanced on the Chinese front. The hillside was littered with dead and wounded soldiers. As the Chinese line broke, the panic increased as the shrill screams of the Turks increased with each bayonet thrust. Kemal held up a hand to stop his men. “Enough.” His voice seemed to belong to someone else. He was shaking, nerves jangling. He sucked in a lungful of air, then another and screamed as loud as he could. “Down, everyone down.” The men obeyed and he watched as the Chinese fell further back into the dense forest on the higher slopes and vanished. He kept his eyes fixed on the tree line, waiting for them to re-group. Shelling and machine-gun fire poured down on his line.

“Sergeant! Get the wounded back down to a safer position. They may come again.” He crawled on his stomach counting the bodies of his dead mehmetciks.

To his right he could see hand-to-hand fighting continuing all along the line. Mortar shells landed on a group and all, friend and foe, perished as the shells exploded with an ear shattering noise. Finally the barrage stopped. Only the sound of men crying out for help filled the air. They gathered their dead and wounded comrades, their faces grim and bloodied.

“We’ll take shelter here. These rocks give us some protection.” He motioned to what was left of his platoon.

Kemal lay on the ground, trembling with a mixture of fear and excitement. Sergeant Ozgun crawled over and crouched down on his haunches.

“What now, sir? We’ve lost at least a dozen, maybe more, I can’t tell. The men are scattered everywhere. I think we’re missing some too.”

“We’ll hold here and wait for further orders.” He could barely utter the words. “Go and see if there’s any news from Major Onen.” He hugged the ground as the shelling began again.

Ozgun scuttled off, dodging stray bullets. A mortar shell exploded near him and Kemal was sure that he’d been hit as he fell face down, but after several seconds he scrambled to a crouching position and ran, stumbling and tumbling down the hill.

“He’ll make it, inshallah!” Kemal shouted the words into the barrage of noise. He wondered if he should order a withdrawal.
Sergeant Ozgun crawled up the slope on his belly, breathing hard. “A signal from Brigade says we are to maintain this position for now, but to be prepared to take this hill.”

“What is it? 668?” Kemal ducked as a spray of bullets spattered the ground nearby. “We’d lose too many men. Don’t they know how difficult it is here? What about the American 9th? Are they working their way up Hill 996? They can give us cover.”

“The signal didn’t say. Shall I go back down and ask what’s happening?”

“See what you can find out. We need some help if we’re to stay here. We’re too exposed if the Chinese come at us again. Find out what casualties the battalion suffered too.”

Ozgun scrambled back down the hill again. Kemal remained as close to the ground as possible. Ozgun returned with the news that Brigade had lost all contact with the 9th Corps.

“No! That’s impossible.”

“The American liaison officer attached to Brigade has been captured. Nobody knows what’s going on. The 9th have retreated without notifying us. We’re to pull back. Brigade HQ orders us to move to their rear at Sinnim-ri. We’ll be better able to defend our position there.”

“How many have we lost? Did you find out?”

Ozgun shook his head. “I only heard that we’ve suffered heavy losses everywhere. Sorry, sir.”

“Okay. We’ll make the withdrawal in an orderly fashion. Have ten men stay until the last minute. They are to use every last bullet keeping the enemy occupied. Allah be blessed that some of us have been spared.”

Major Onen met Kemal on the road to Sinnim-ri. “I think we’ve achieved our objective,” he panted as he hurried alongside Kemal, “this delaying action might help the Eighth Army move to a safe fallback position. I’ll see you in Sinnim-ri. I’ll catch a ride with this jeep.” He waved down a passing jeep.

The long convoy of trucks, artillery, tanks and men on foot was strung out for miles along the road littered with burning jeeps and trucks. The sun was setting as the battle weary Turks reached Sinnim-ri. The village was a scene of utter pandemonium. Every street and lane was crowded with men, women and children, all jostling for space. North Korean guerillas dressed in normal peasant clothes had infiltrated with the fleeing refugees. Small shops and houses were being ransacked. Fights broke out as people fought over the loot. Sergeant Ozgun and Kemal struggled to keep the platoon together as he looked for the Turkish headquarters. He managed to find Major Onen who gave him the latest news. “The 2nd battalion is to retreat to more open ground close to Kaechon. That’s where General Yazici is going to set up his command post. We stay here.”

“What about the Chinese?” Kemal was pessimistic. “They’ll be coming here.”

“US planes are on the way. They’ll bomb and napalm the advancing Chinese to assist us.” Onen ran off.

As midnight approached, the Chinese regulars began a fresh assault. The guerillas joined in and in the confusion it was difficult to know who the enemy was.

Kemal looked at Sergeant Ozgun. “If we stay here at Sinnim-ri, we will be trapped. We’ll be wiped out. The Chinese are too many and probably fresh from a day’s rest.”

Ozgun agreed. “It’s total confusion. I think we should pull out too. These young boys can’t take this much longer.” He looked defeated.

Kemal wasn’t sure if he could take much more. He sucked in air and squared his shoulders. “Get a signal out to Brigade. Ask them where the hell is the 9th Corps. Maybe they can join us. We’d have a chance then.”

Ozgun scuttled off to find his signalman.

At Kaechon, General Yazici set up his headquarters in a school building. He looked old as he spoke to his senior officers. “We face a difficult decision. Already this command post is under threat of attack. We either retreat further and leave the 1st and 3rd Battalions to their fate or order them to join us here and set up new defensive positions to the East of the village.”

“We’ll need some help.” Colonel Dora nodded agreement. “The Chinese have us surrounded.”

Yazici looked grim. “I think we are alone. The American 9th Corps has abandoned us. There’s no communication from them.”

His senior Colonel looked at the ageing General. “Perhaps they assume that we’ve been destroyed.”

Several officers snorted.

“What will you do?” Dora asked.

The General read a message handed to him. “We’ve also lost contact with our 1st and 3rd Battalions. The road is blocked with retreating troops and abandoned vehicles. It will take some time to get a message through to them but we have to.”

“I think we should go back and save what’s left of the Brigade.” The Colonel lowered his head as he spoke.

The General shook his head defiantly. “Our task is still to hold up the enemy here long enough to allow the Eighth Army to escape annihilation. They are still in danger. We’ll do our duty. Send a jeep to the 1st and 3rd Battalions. Tell them to withdraw and join us here. This is where we’ll hold the line or die in the attempt.”

“The US 38th Regiment is not far away, on our northern flank. Shall I ask them to assist us?” A Major asked.

“Do it!” Yazici sounded edgy. “And send out a message to all our troops. Tell them that we will fight and if necessary die all together as our military duty to protect the national honor and dignity.”

“Sir!” A signals officer broke into the meeting. “The US 38th have already begun retreating.”

Yazici swore. “Why wait till now to tell us their plans? Then we fight on alone. Get my orders out to bring all battalions here.”

Kemal received the order to pull back to Kaechon. “Sergeant, the Chinese have us completely encircled. We’ll have to fight our way out.”

“We’re almost out of ammunition.” Ozgun grunted.

“Sir?” A messenger from the Battalion commander crawled up. “Major Onen wants three companies to break through and create a corridor to allow 1st and 3rd to escape to Kaechon. Your company will lead off.”

“Then it will have to be the bayonets. Sergeant, have all the men send up the cry of Allah Allah. But no one is to move. The enemy will think that we’re about to make a bayonet charge. They will open fire with everything they have. Wait until they stop shooting and then repeat the call. Only louder! After they send in the next round of fire, we make our charge. Understood?”

Ozgun’s blood smeared face broke into a grim smile. “The men are exhausted. But we’ll give the Chinese one more taste of the Turkish bayonet.”

Above the roar of cannons, the pounding of mortar guns and the rattle of machine guns, the cries of Allah Allah rose in waves up the mountainside

The fighting was the worst they’d encountered. More men fell dead or wounded. They were left where they lay as the charge continued until an escape route was opened up.

Bloodied men followed Major Onen and a wide passage was cleared for the two battalions to make their way on foot to Kaechon. They carried the dead and wounded on their backs. The retreat continued but the enemy had been held up for three days.

Kemal sat with his back against a tree, the taste of blood on his lips. He wiped away the blood with some water from his metal flask. At the Academy he’d studied war, famous battles and tactics. It had all been fiction. None of it had been real. It was sanitized, clean, full of words that were not the truth. It was nothing like what he and his mehmetciks had experienced .Had it all been lies? With no feelings of what it was like to thrust a bayonet into a young Chinese man? No, he had been a boy. Kemal knew that he had been close to death without ever having lived. At that moment he understood that nothing would ever be the same again. Only one thought returned again and again. Rose! He would find her and no matter the vast gulf between Turkey and Australia, he would build a bridge and they would create something new and lasting. If God spares me, he thought, I’ll never lose her.

The moon was rising as he led his men on the march out of Kaechon. It was difficult to maintain any order. The route was blocked with abandoned burning trucks and tanks and the road was littered with dead bodies, friend and foe alike. Thousands of refugees shuffled along carrying bundles of goods. Carts piled high with furniture, beds and cooking pots, stretched for miles along the bitter road south.

A scene from a movie about the American Civil War came into his mind. He remembered that he’d thought at the time it was exaggerated. Now he knew the truth of war for an army in retreat. Every man, and woman with a child, cared for nothing. Only to escape from the butchery that would follow if they fell behind. The noise was deafening. Hundreds of voices called out for help as American jets screamed overhead. Injured civilians lay by the roadside, ignored as the desperate mob moved slowly south. A few held discarded guns, ready to die as soldiers if the enemy overtook the caravan of retreating UN forces.

General Yazici looked bleak as he addressed the remains of the Brigade.

“Despite the lack of communication from our allies and their disappearance from the battle, we have achieved out goal. We have held up the enemy long enough for the US Eighth Army to retreat to safety. Otherwise they would have been destroyed. We too will now pull back to a more secure position at Sosan. Unfortunately our closest allies departed on the only available trucks so once again you will have to march.”

A groan went up and he ignored the cries of anger. “You will march like soldiers of Turkey. Our losses are heavy. So far we have over 200 dead, hundreds wounded and the latest count shows almost one hundred missing. With the help of Allah and your sacrifice, you have achieved a great victory.”

The shattered mehmetciks cried out ‘Allah Allah’ and managed to raise a cheer.

Later, General Yazici listened patiently to the complaints of his officers at the lack of support from their allies. “I understand your feelings but the Americans faced worse situations than us. Let us remember this.”

The Brigade began its march to Sosan. A relieved Kemal informed his depleted company that they would rest there and wait for new weapons and supplies.

“With luck we will receive badly needed reinforcements from Turkey.”

Two hundred and eighteen were confirmed dead, ninety-four missing and over four hundred wounded. At Sosan he began to write letters to the families of his dead. The pen was poised over the sheet of paper. What do I write, he thought? Your son died bravely for The Republic? No, he just died. No! The pen moved down and he wrote.

It was the same letter to every mother except for the name of his fallen mehmetciks.

Your son was under my command. We were up against overwhelming forces. I knew your son well. I was with him and heard him call out Allah Allah as we charged against thousands of Chinese soldiers. Allah took some into his arms. One of them was your son. He died a soldier. I will always remember his bravery, his determination to be a good soldier. The Republic will honor him for his courage, his sacrifice. It was a privilege to have served with such a fine young man. You can be proud of him. He is a Martyr!

Cherish his memory, as I will. I lost a friend. You lost a son. May Allah be with you.

Lieutenant Kemal Hasol
The military in Ankara would send letters to the families of those missing in action. For them, the waiting would go on. He wasn’t sure which was worse.

They stopped south of Seoul where they enjoyed a hot shower and clean uniforms.

Author Harry Blackley PhC BA
Scottish-born Australian. Author of Love & Death in Cyprus(2005) published as Kibris’ta Ask ve Olum in Turkey by APRIL Publishing (2006). Assessment of Korean Rose-“A well researched historical novel that creates a unique perspective on a forgotten war. It is relevant to the European, US and Australian markets and can be marketed in a number of different ways depending on where it is published.” This novel would do well in the USA. It is slightly controversial. It is no MASH! Millions of Americans have a connection the Korean War. This novel may well surprise them. The book can be pre-sold to the large Turkish communities in the USA and UK as well as Turkey.

A Golden Opportunity Presents Itself

With the impending visit of President Obama to Turkey, a once in a lifetime opportunity has come to make the world sit up and change the way they regard Turks.
How? With a new novel Korean Rose

Will it succeed?

That depends on Turks who live in other countries such as the USA and the UK, if they can unite and promote the novel. Get it into the hands of members of Congress or Parliament. I doubt if any know of the heroism of the Turks in the Korean War. LIBRARIES are very important. Then it has the opportunity to counter the many books that portray Turks in a negative way.

I do not anticipate that Turks will rally as the Armenians have done in the past with authors such as Peter Balakian, but I hope that they will see some value in promoting a novel in English to their non-Turkish friends.

Few books, if any, in the English language, portray Turks as heroes.

Korean Rose is the fictional historical story of Lieutenant Kemal Hasol and the 1st Turkish Brigade in the Korean War.

It is a love story, a story of the heroism and sacrifice of the Turks in a war as bloody as any in history.

Follow the story as you meet Rose McDonald who trains as a nurse and goes with the Australian contingent to Korea in 1950 where she meets and gradually forms a loving relationship with Kemal.

Battles are fought, including Kunu-ri where the Turkish Brigade against overwhelming Chinese forces, holds the line for three days, long enough for the American 8th Army to escape annihilation.

Share the terrible conditions faced by the medical staff.

Read with horror the treatment of Turkish prisoners of war at the hands of the sadistic North Korean Commandant Ting

Be proud that all Turkish POWs survived and none succumbed to the Communist indoctrination.

Can the love of Rose for Kemal endure separation and the tyranny of distance?
Korean Rose is a story that will make the reader, laugh, cry and fall in love with two characters from far away countries and different cultures.

A Limited Australian Edition will be completely sold out when launched in April before April 24.

The book will be available from a Print on Demand Publisher in the USA and UK after April 5 2009

(Lightning Source Inc (US)1246 Heil Quaker Blvd. La Vergne, TN USA 37086)
It can be ORDERED from bookstores, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Associations can order bulk orders for distribution to members or for mailing to legislators in any country.

If 50 or more copies are ordered your association will receive a 20% discount off the retail price to add to your fund-raising.

Bulk orders can be placed NOW from www.vividpublishing.com.au
I have written this story for my friends.

The rest is up to you.

Turkey will be a major news story when President Obama visits Turkey. This is a golden opportunity to follow up this interest with a novel that has a Turk as hero before the public.

I would appreciate you passing on this email to all Turkish Associations throughout the USA, UK and Canada.

Harry Blackley
Love & Death in Cyprus
Kibris’ta Ask ve Olum
President, Australia Turkey Friendship Forum

Received the Australian Centenary Medal for improving communications between the Turkish and other communities in Australia.

Awarded a Gold Medallion and Citation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey for valuable contributions in promoting Turkey and its cultural values in the international sphere.

Please email me at ataharry at three.com.au or telephone 61 3 52436461 if you require further information.


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