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Irish veterans muster to recall Korean war

24 April 2017

The British Korean Veterans Association (Ireland) flag has been “marched off” for the last time in front of the final muster of veterans who fought in the conflict more than sixty years ago.

At an emotional service in Belfast marking the 67th anniversary of the Korean War remaining veterans of the conflict gathered from throughout Ireland and England to recall their service and remember lost colleagues.

Between 1950 and 1953 hundreds of soldiers from throughout Ireland served in Korea in a war that claimed more military lives than the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

Most served with the Royal Ulster Rifles which lost 157 men and the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars which lost ten tanks. Others served with a number of British regiments as well as in Commonwealth and US uniforms.

Now nearly seventy years later at Clonaver Barracks in East Belfast the final muster has taken place for those Royal Ulster Rifle survivors who faced the horrors of Korean battles such as at the Battle of Imjin River and at the Battle of Kayong – known ironically by veterans as the Battle Happy Valley.

Among those taking leading roles in the Service of Remembrance were: Captain Richard Singleton, who served alongside the Royal Ulster Rifles as a Lance Bombardier with the Royal Artillery, former RUR Sergeant Major William McConnell, Albert Morrow, who was a Lance Corporal with the RUR, Colonel Robin Charley, who was a Captain during the conflict, Simon (Fran) Gormon, who travelled from Kent to be with his former RUR colleagues and Reverent Canon Bob Jennings from Wicklow who, as a Chaplain at the time, travelled throughout Korea with a Cross made from an ordnance shell.

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