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Raymond Irvan Templeton

Photograph of Gunner Raymond Irvan Templeton, Korean War. Image kindly supplied by Glenice Bullen and Leona Smid (nee Templeton) (August 2018). Image is subject to copyright restrictions.

Photograph of Gunner Raymond Irvan Templeton, Korean War. Image kindly supplied by Glenice Bullen an …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Raymond Irvan AWMM
  • Surname
    Templeton AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    Korea 207926 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    5 November 1924 Public source
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Korea Kaitangata, Otago AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    Korea 20 April 1953 Chamberlain
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Raised by Mary Calesta Templeton. Did not embark on second enlistment. Source: Chamberlain, The New Zealand Korea Roll, p.404.

    In 1945 Irvan as he was known served with the RNZAF in the Pacific Forward Area. After the end of the war he spent a further two years with the RNZAF before joining the Army and serving as a gunner with the 163 Battery of K – Force. Family source.

    Extract from Hugh Templeton, Problematic Journey (Second Round and the Cold War), p.145:

    We have another member of the clan who served with K-Force, that especially nasty war in the Korean Peninsula. This was an important defining conflict in the Cold War. United Nations forces were brought into being, under American leadership, to stop the North's armed takeover of South Korea. To that extent those participating could say their service had its reward.

    The one Templeton who, we understand, fought in Korea was Ray Irvan Templeton, of the Waimahaka branch of the clan. Born in 1924, he was just old enough to serve for six months in 1945. This was with the air force in the Pacific Forward area. After the war ended he spent two more years in the RNZAF before joining the army and serving as a gunner with 163 Battery of K-Force. The K-Force historian, Ian MacGibbon, comments that the gunners lived 'like troglodytes'. Still, the New Zealanders, with their 25-pounders, were regarded as very good artillerymen, especially in an immediate battle situation.

    163 Battery got their chance to prove this in supporting the Australian infantry at Naech'on and elsewhere. The name that made them famous, however, was Kap' Yong. There the Chinese armies were threatening the 27th Commonwealth Brigade. In face of the Chinese assault a South Korean Division had broken. The Commonwealth Brigade was caught in a flood of refugees. In a desperate, defensive situation, the New Zealand artillery, with their immediate and rapid support, stemmed the Chinese advance. This saved the entire Commonwealth Brigade from disaster and the Allied front itself from collapse.

    As a member of 163 Battery that helped plug the gap, Irvan Templeton might claim that he was an essential player in that grim Korean war. Like the rest of K-Force, we can say he served with distinction in this first great United Nations collective security action that thoroughly warranted his Korean and UN medals. The New Zealand Artillery with their 25-pounders maintained the traditions General Weir and his gunners had earned in World War II. In one desperate battle they won fame for themselves. A soldier like Irvan Templeton may claim that he had been involved in a classical a defensive action. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    25 March 1977 Public source
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    Chamberlain, H. (2013). The New Zealand Korea Roll : honouring those who served in the New Zealand Armed Forces in Korea, 1950-1957. Wellington, N.Z.: Author. AWMM
    p.404 AWMM

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