London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Korea in the mid-fifties – historic slides

Two upcoming opportunities to see historic photographs of the Korean peninsula in the 1950s. First, courtesy of the Anglo Korean Society, photos of South Korea at the KCC. Details below. Watch this space for photos of North Korea at SOAS in May.

© Delores Bremner 1953
© Delores Bremner 1953

A talk and slide show by Dr John Cornes
Tuesday 12 April 2011, 6.00pm for 6.30pm

Multi-Purpose Hall, Korean Cultural Centre UK
Grand Buildings, 1 – 3 Strand, London WC2N 5BW
Main Entrance on Northumberland Avenue

Entry is free, but please reserve your place:
Direct to the KCC: [email protected] or call 020 7004 2600
Through the AKS: [email protected]

The background:
In March 1954 a young British doctor, John Cornes, and his wife Jean, a nurse and midwife, arrived in Kunsan, Jeollabuk-do. As Quakers, they were attached to the Friends Service Unit, which worked with UNKRA – the UN Korean Reconstruction Agency – on rebuilding in the aftermath of the devastating Korean War.

Dr Cornes and his wife stayed in Kunsan till July 1956. When they arrived, there were over 30,000 refugees in Kunsan, in 14 refugee camps. Dr Cornes worked in the Kunsan Provincial Hospital, badly damaged in the war, treating refugees and working to restore the facilities. Jean Cornes organized and ran a Nurse Aide Training School in the hospital, and many of the nurses she trained have gone on to distinguished careers.

But there is more. Dr Cornes is a keen photographer and he had access to 35mm colour slide stock – not very common in Britain in the mid-fifties. So he has a large collection of colour slides of work in the hospital and of his travels locally, including the islands off the west coast.

Dr John Cornes
Dr John Cornes

We are delighted Dr Cornes is showing us his slides. They may not be unique, but they are certainly rare. For those of us, Korean and British alike, who are familiar with 21st century Korea, they will show not only how much physically has changed, but also how the spirit of the country lives on.

The speaker:
Dr Cornes was born in Chester, attended Quarry Bank School in Liverpool (some 10 years before John Lennon), and trained as a doctor at Westminster Hospital. After Korea he returned to London for a while and then moved to Bristol in 1962 where he had a distinguished career as a Consultant Pathologist.

Refreshments will be served before and after the talk in the Reception area.

(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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