Charles Bull was born in Bury St. Edmunds, England. When he turned seventeen years old, he joined the Navy and never went back to his hometown. He was in the British Navy for 27 years. As a leader of the Korean War Veteran Organization, he sent Korean War veterans back to Korea for over 20 years. Charles Bull joined the Navy even though he didn’t really know about Asia. It was a different world for him after he joined the military by taking care of yourself, cook and feed your fellow soldiers, and working with boats. He was first stationed in the drafting office and then he was stationed to the HMS Kenya with the British Navy. Throughout the war, Charles Bull wrote in pay ledgers to provide sailors with their payment each month. The few times he landed in Korea, he was able to see the terrible conditions for the civilians and soldiers.
Training Can Be a Huge Pain in the Neck!
Charles Bull was shocked when he joined the Navy. It was difficult to take care of himself by washing, ironing, cooking, and caring for other men. He also had to learn all seamanship training for tools and ships. During a training, he almost was hit in the head with a 14 point lead pipe.
The Hardest Time in My Life While Active in the Navy
Charles Bull was stationed on the HMS Kenya when he was given the most difficult job he's ever had in the Navy. He had to work in the pay office to hand write all the ledgers for 6 months writing all hours of the night. When he went into Portsmouth to refuel, Charles Bull and two other men caught up all the paperwork to be handed over to the sailors at that port.
HMS Kenya's Involvement in the Start of the Korean War: June 28, 1950
As one of the first British Naval ships to be docked in Sasebo, Japan, his ship was used as a jump-off ship that took Marines and Army troops into Korea right after the war began on June 28, 1950. Charles Bull was working on pay ledgers for every pay accounts for every sailor in his section for every payday. His job was to document pay and then make sure that the sailors had money in their pocket when they went ashore in Korea. The whole process of getting paid was very formal and Charles Bull gave a detailed description of the process of getting their well-earned money.
Fighting Along Side and Burying Allied Forces During the Korean War
While aboard the HMS Kenya, Charles Bull worked along side multiple naval allies including the Austrians, Canadians, Dutch, and Belgians. Sadly, bodies of soldiers would be found at sea, so his ship would take the deceased aboard until they were ready to provide a proper burial at sea. Charles Bull remembers the moving ceremonies that the British gave for fallen American soldiers during the sea burial.