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War hero Bill Speakman gives VC medal to South Korea

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Media captionBill Speakman: "They can have my medals so future generations can look and see what it was all about"

A British veteran of the Korean War has returned to South Korea to give his Victoria Cross "to the people".

Bill Speakman, 87, from Altrincham, won the VC after repulsing attacks by Chinese and North Korean attackers on 4 November, 1951.

Explaining his decision, he said: "I'm not looking for glory. It's just a sensible thing to do."

In fierce hand-to-hand combat, he succeeded in holding off a wave of attacks until reinforcements arrived.

Mr Speakman said he wanted his medals displayed in South Korea as a tribute to British bravery in the war against North Korea fought by United Nations forces, led by the US.

The veteran was among a party of British war veterans who travelled to Korea for a war remembrance ceremony for the fallen soldiers.

Image caption British veterans travelled to South Korea for the ceremony

Mr Speakman said: "They can have my medals so future generations can look and see what it was all about."

Andrew Salmon, author of a book on the Korean War, said: "Bill is a big, tough bloke and even for the Chinese to see this huge man come charging out of the darkness, roaring and throwing grenades right left and centre would have been frightening."

Sometimes known as as the Forgotten War, it cost more British lives than Iraq, Afghanistan and the Falklands combined.

More than 1,000 British military personnel were killed, often in fierce hand-to-hand combat at night and in temperatures way below freezing.

The Victoria Cross is Britain's highest military decoration for valour.

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