Photo courtesy of South Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs

When young British soldier William Speakman arrived on the Korean Peninsula during the 1950-53 Korean War, he knew little about the divided land.

Six and a half decades later, he wants to leave a lasting impression on South Korea.

On Tuesday, Mr. Speakman, 87, donated 10 of his medals, including the Victoria Cross, to the South Korean people to express his affection for the country.

“What you’ve done in Korea, the way you’ve built it up, you should be very, very proud,” he said at a press conference in Seoul.

The medals are “just my way of saying, ‘Remember me.’”

Presented to Park Sung-choon, the South Korean minister of patriots’ and veterans’ affairs, at a banquet Tuesday night, the medals will be displayed at the War Memorial of Korea in central Seoul.

Mr. Speakman, a resident of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, wants his ashes to one day be scattered in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Koreas.

“When I die, this is where I want to be. Nowhere else,” he said.

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