Yesterday, a service of remembrance was held at the Regimental Chapel of the Royal Fusiliers to honour all Fusiliers who served in the Korean War (1950-53). Attendance included 8 veterans from the conflict and the South Korean Defence Attaché.
Following the Second World War, Korea was divided at the 38th Parallel with Soviet influence in the north and American influence in the south. On 25 June 1950, North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel to which the UN called for a ceasefire and their immediate withdrawal. Failing to comply led the US and other nations under the flag of the UN to aid South Korea.
By September 1950, Allied forces had been driven south with their backs to the sea. However, General MacArthur’s landing behind enemy lines at Inchon on the west coast allowed the Allies to advance north as far as the Yalu River by the Manchurian border. This prompted China to aid North Korea in November 1950 where the Allies were driven south again.
Finally, the 150 mile frontline was stabilised around the 38th Parallel by the Spring of 1951. In spite of much bitter fighting, it remained there until the armistice in July 1953.
The 1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers served in North Korea from 1952 to 1953. We will remember them.