So many lost in battle

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I believe it is appropriate to remember the heroic actions in Korea, 1951, at about this time.

Especially as we witness our politicians currently kowtowing to the Chinese to the detriment of our steel industry.

If we cast our minds back all those years, we find ourselves with the British UN brigade on the Imijin river facing the massive onslaught of the Chinese People’s Army that wanted to sweep the UN forces into the sea and out of Korea.

However, as Brits usually do, we had other ideas and stood our ground, unlike our current crop of leaders, and fought them against enormous odds.

The brigade consisted of the Gloucestershire regiment, Northumberland Fusiliers, Royal Ulster Rifles and elements of 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars, along with a Belgian battalion.

The position held overnight and a retreat was ordered the following day.

I had the pleasure and honour to meet a soldier from Middlesbrough who fought this battle with the Northumberland Fusiliers, and lived to tell the tale – but so many did not.

According to a memorandum presented to the British Cabinet on June 26, 1951, 29th Brigade suffered 1,091 casualties, including 34 officers and 808 other ranks missing.

These casualties represented 20%-25% of the brigade’s strength on the eve of battle.

Of the 1,091 soldiers killed, wounded or missing, 620 were from the Gloucestershire regiment, which could muster 217 men on April 27.

Based on estimates, Chinese casualties in the Battle of the Imjin river can be put at around 10,000.

As a result of the casualties suffered during the battle, the Chinese 63rd Army, which had begun the offensive with three divisions and approximately 27,000 men, lost over a third of its strength and was pulled out of the front line.

Lest We Forget.

Major Chris Gallacher, TD VR,

Normanby Road,