ARRSER Speaks on Korea, Imjin River: Aldershot Date Added


Book Reviewer

2010 marks the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. Though almost completely forgotten today, the UK lost more men killed in that apocalyptic and savage conflict than have fallen in the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

British and Commonwealth troops were among the most effective soldiers in theatre. They spearheaded the advance through North Korea; were rearguard during the retreats from North Korea and from Seoul; held the key sectors of the front against the greatest Chinese offensive of the war; and subsequently defended the ground directly north of Seoul in two years of static fighting.

Yours truly will be speaking at three public events in the UK this July. The illustrated presentations cover the UK’s 29th Infantry Brigade (1 Glosters; 1 R. Northumberland Fusiliers; 1 R. Ulster Rifles; 8th Kings R. Irish Hussars; 45 Field; 55 Field Sqdn RE; Belgian Volunteer Battalion) in the early months of 1951, when the fighting was ferocious, large-scale and mobile, and when South Korea’s fate hung in the balance.

The presentations – which include a range of unpublished paintings and photos - will detail:
• The background to this – still unfinished - war;
• British participation;
• The nature of the fighting;
• The personalities, arms and tactics of both sides;
• The winter retreat from North Korea; and
• The desperate battles of “Happy Valley” and Imjin River, in which British forces, massively out-numbered, faced China’s “Human Wave.”

Copies of my tome, To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea, 1951, will be sold at a discount rate.

I would be happy to meet any fellow ARRSERS at the events, so please do:
(a) Come;
(b) Cough up – the events are all in good causes – and;
(c) Introduce yourself.
But kindly note: My agent will be in attendance, so any hecklers will be violently handbagged.

Important: Attendees need to book in advance for any/all of the events below.

Army Benevolent Fund Presentation/Fundraising Dinner
Location: North Wales
Venue: Glyndwr University, Wrexham (lecture) and Hightown Barracks (curry supper),
Time & Date: 18:45, 7th July
Proceeds To: Army Benevolent Fund
Price: GBP25
Contact: PM me for contact details

Gloster Regimental Museum Fundraiser
Location: Gloucester
Venue: Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, Gloucester Docks
Time & Date: 12:30, 9th July
Proceeds To: Imjin River 60th Anniversary Memorial Exhibit Fund
Price: GBP15
Contact: Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum: + 44 (0)1452 522 682

Anglo-Korean Society Presentation
Location: London
Venue: Korea Cultural Center, 1-3 The Strand (entrance; Northumberland Avenue: Tubes: Charing Cross or, Embankment)
Time and Date: 18:30, 15th July
Proceeds (ie from book sales): Army Benevolent Fund
Price: Free
Contact: Korea Cultural Center;; +44 (0)20 7004 2600

If any other persons or organizations are interested in a presentation, please PM me. I will speak for free, but request that you cover my travel expenses to/from London. I plan to be in UK for most of July.
"Copies of my tome, To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea, 1951, will be sold at a discount rate."

Now he tell us after I spent a small fortune purchasing.
Mind you an excellent read and well worth the money.

Postage from UK cost most and I must be honest the section toward the end on the troops returning to dig up and rebury their fallen comrades was not the most pleasant.


Book Reviewer

Kind words, thanks.

I am very glad to read that the chapters in question was "...not the most pleasant." The reason I included that section is that very few miltiary histories include "after the battle" sections. If the reader is to learn the cost of war, this kind of material should be included, IMHO. I would add, that the information in that section came from interviews and previously published materials. I have, on film, a veteran recalling the issue of disinterring fallen men a month after the battle. As you may imagine, it was an emotional piece of filming for all parties.

He did not request that said film be witheld.
You may be interested to know that 55 Sqn RE is now one of the two Combat Engineer training squadrons at the Royal School of Military Engineering at Minley, meaning that getting on for half the modern Corps will have passed through her ranks at some point. Two of the troops are called Hook and Han and there are various Korean War related paintings etc in the Squadron HQ.
My Father was with the Royal Engineers at the very end of the War. He spoke only of "Regiment" as his unit and I do not know which it was. I keep meaning to ask him but never have! (I do know, that after the cease fire he moved to Hong Kong and was stationed there, I think with the same Regiment, until 1956.

He told me he was stationed on Gloucesters' Hill at the end of the war, he has never spoken much of the war though, hence I recall this particular conversation from 25 odd years ago clearly.
(I recall him pointing out his fighting position on the map that was in a copy of Keegan's [?] "Korean War")

He spoke of the Regimental Paper, called "The Imjineers" and he has several copies in his garage. The copies I saw seemed to be fairly professionally made, the one in particular I recall, was the "Coronation" issue.

His other story relates to three camps all along the single stretch of Road
Royal Engineers, with the normal Regimental signage.
Next were US Army Combat Engineers, with their Unit Title and concluding with the motto "Second to None" on the Ranch style overhead sign.
Lastly a Kiwi Engineer troop, with a crudely made sign, made from card board, that simply stated "None"
Are you planning on doing anything on the other units involved such as 27 Bde and the earlier stages of the war?

Would be good to see in depth coverage of them.

My Dad was Diehards/KSLI - on the rare occasions he mentioned Korea he could be quite derisive about the Glosters - I think that this was really due to jealousy as they were the only unit that ever got a mention when that war was discussed.

He felt, I think, that in the 'forgotten war' his was the 'forgotten Bde!'


Book Reviewer

I am working on a book now on 27 Bde (1 Argylls, 1 Middlesex, 3 Royal Australians) in the first months of the war: Naktong Crossing, Hill 282, Sariwon, "Apple Orchard," Cheongchon Crossing, Pakchon Encirclement, "the Gauntlet" at Kunu-ri Pass. The book also covers 41 Commando: North Korean raids, "Hellfire Valley" and breakout from Chosin Reservoir.

Book should be out next spring. If reaction is good this year and if book is well received (big ifs) I may do speaking engagements next year on 27 Bde and 41 Cdo.

RE: Glosters
Yes, a lot of units were unhappy with the recognition the battalion got. But you can't blame the Glosters for that. (This controversy is dealt with in the book)
Thanks for that - your book will certainly be well received here!

...and I certainly don't blame the Glosters. He had a well thumbed copy of Lofty Larges book on the subject an I sensed his real respect.


Shikar said:
FYI Andy, for the London leg of your tour, it appears that one actually has to be a member of the Anglo-Korean Society to attend!
Oh no, Is this true? I was planning to show up as well, wearing my Korean footaball shirt - the one with the red star on it.
Bought and read your book To the Last Round. Great read, recommended to all. I look forward to your next book.


Book Reviewer
No_Duff said:
Bought and read your book To the Last Round. Great read, recommended to all. I look forward to your next book.
I ordered this book through Waterstone's. Sadly some five weeks later whilst sorting a screw-up because these days all Waterstone's care about online is e-books because it makes them more profit, I pointed out that I was still waiting for this book: the woman at the other end simply cancelled it because it would not be coming. They seem to have done likewise with the diary of a 15th Light Dragoons (Hussars) officer at Corunna and it is now too late for my upcoming holiday. I am rapidly losing faith with Waterstone's online. Luckily I half expected this so I made sure I ordered Mallinson's Making of the British Army to be delivered separately, seeing that the book locator showed there actually were copies of this in existence in their shops.

I have a couple of friends who have published books: from them I gather Amazon learned all these dirty tricks years ago: it would seem that Waterstone's are catching up rapidly. Grrr.

On the upside, there is a programme on iirc Military History tomorrow night (Thursday 24 June) about the Korean War in colour.
Andy, when I called I was put through from reception to a girl who is apparently responsible for the running of the evening; it was she who told me this... Fraid I didnt get a name.


Book Reviewer

I am reliably informed that if you contact the Korean Cultural Center (as per the above) you can come to the presentatin without having to be a member of the Anglo-Korean Society

Another date added:
Aldershot Military Museum
14:30, 14 July
Free entry
Tel Reservations: 01252-314598
Email Reservations:
Hello gents, does anyone remember L/Bdr Gus William Bartlett ( from the Isle of Wight) sorry no regimental number as yet. Was at Imjin River, with the 45 Regt RA.

I've just finished my copy of "To the Last Round" and have to say that it's probably the best book I've read for years (and I do a lot of reading). The only thing that I can get picky about is that the 'M' in SMLE stands for magazine not muzzle.

Andy_S said:
RE: Glosters
Yes, a lot of units were unhappy with the recognition the battalion got. But you can't blame the Glosters for that. (This controversy is dealt with in the book)
Continually listing the infantry battalions of 29 Bde as Glosters, RNF and RUR and not by their seniority does reinforce the suspicion that the Glosters somehow were more important in the events. Other than that I think that your book goes a long way to redressing the balance (especially for the Belgians who rarely get much of a mention).

Any chance of repeating the tour (with the Bovington Tank Museum as a venue for those of us in the far reaches of the pointy-bit)?

Similar threads

Latest Threads