Artillery Help Required

#1
I'm ex LI TA and currently living in Korea and I'd like a bit of help. About a year ago I met an old Korean man in my local post office called Po, who served with the British forces during the Korean War, and today I met him again in the same post office. We got talking and he told me that he had a picture of himself with one of the soldiers who taught him English. I told him that I'd like to see it one day. He then pulled out an envelope from his wallet and produced 2 immaculately kept photos that he'd had since 1957 and carried around ever since.
At the time the photo was taken he was 14 years old and I couldn't believe how young he looked. It's staggering to think of kids this age fighting in wars, and partially shows what life must've been like in Korea during that time.

I thought about trying to find out who the British soldier was in the photo and, if he is still alive, where he now is. Apparently, he is a Corporal and must be pushing 90 by now. It would be amazing if these two people could be reconnected somehow.

Po is a lovely man who speaks very fondly of his time with the British. Although his memory of that time (and the English he was taught!) is very vivid, exact details are a bit sketchy, and for that reason I have no information other than this picture, but if you think you could help then please get in touch.

Thanks for reading

Jimmy
 

Attachments

#4
Very interesting! Never mind the piss takers it would be nice if this had a happy ending
 
#6
Ask Mr Po to list everything he can possibly remember, no matter how apparently insignificant. If he can recall a date/place/type of RA equipment, our historical sleuths would be well on the way to identifying a unit.
 
#8
Wiki tells me that these were the Arty units in Korea:


Nov '50-Nov '51 approx
45th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
11th (Sphinx) Independent Light A.A. Battery (converted to 4.2" Mortars in June, 1951)
170th Independent Mortar Battery, Royal Artillery

Oct/Nov '51-Dec '52
14th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
120th Light A.A. Battery, Royal Artillery
42nd Light A.A. Battery, Royal Artillery, ( Redesignated 42nd Light Battery, Royal Artillery, in January, 1952)
61st Light Regiment, Royal Artillery

Dec '52-Dec '53
20th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

Dec '53-
42nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
 
#9
He told me 1957- its not a typo. I realise this is after the war, but the conversation was really short and he's pretty old so I'm sure the details are sketchy. I can get his number from the post office, so i'll give him a call and try and meet him for a decent chat and get as many details as possible. I tried going to the Firepower website, but its not working- maybe its currently down or I cant access it from Korea.

I'll keep this thread updated with new info, and if anyone has any more help or info it would be really appreciated. Thanks to putteesinmyhand- I'll take that info when i talk to him next.

Jimmy
 
#10
Well...

The Royal Sussex Regiment were the last to be stationed in Korea, leaving there in July 1957. GLOSTER MEMORIAL, KOREA, 1957

As we were the last British regiment to serve in Korea the duty fell upon us to erect a memorial to commemorate the historic stand of the 1st. Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment (the "Glorious Glosters") and C. Troop 170th Light (Mortar) Battery, Royal Artillery from 22nd-25th April, 1951.
Maybe the search narrows to either a representative of the RA generally who attended the dedication of the memorial or, just maybe, someone from C Troop, 170th Light (Mortar) Bty.


A bit of interesting reading regarding the chap who wrote the quote above: http://nationaldefencemedal.webs.com/apps/blog/show/5111124-ndm-patron-chairman-discuss-ideas


Looks like 170 Bty was in either Hong Kong or NI in 1957, from http://www.forums.theraa.co.uk/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=913


I'm starting to suspect that the British Military Attache to South Korea in 1957 may be the key to the identity of the officer in the photo. The BMA seems to have been Col AEE Mercer MC... according to: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...=k0P2T5KAO-Oh0QXz07moBw&sqi=2&ved=0CFYQ6AEwBg

Of course, this may not be relevant...

Hmmm. By 1983, he was a Lt Col. That's curious... http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/bnsj/pdf/bnsj_07.pdf

Now this may just be coincidence, but in July 1959, Major Allan Eric Eustace Mercer was promoted to Lt Col, as shown in The London Gazette: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/41905/supplements/8230

Most significant is that he was badged Royal Artillery.


I'm tempted to suggest that the chap in the photo could well be the then Major Mercer MC RA who, as Military Attache in South Korea, would almost certainly be expected to attend the dedication of the Glosters Memorial. Maybe he was granted an acting Lt Colonelcy.

All we need now is a photo of Maj Mercer to confirm that he looks like a school teacher.


If you're intent on tracing him, the latest reference that I can find dates from 1976: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/46983/pages/10908/page.pdf

(The solicitors may have separated, possibly with two of them operating in Leeds).
 
#11
On a more serious note, the brown marking on the bottom left of the photo looks as though it might be a signature...

He's wearing a KC cap badge, so would likely have joined before the outbreak of the Korean War. The badge doesn't look as though it's bronze either, so is this a Warrant Officer?
 
#12
I'm ex LI TA and currently living in Korea and I'd like a bit of help. About a year ago I met an old Korean man in my local post office called Po, who served with the British forces during the Korean War, and today I met him again in the same post office. We got talking and he told me that he had a picture of himself with one of the soldiers who taught him English. I told him that I'd like to see it one day. He then pulled out an envelope from his wallet and produced 2 immaculately kept photos that he'd had since 1957 and carried around ever since.
At the time the photo was taken he was 14 years old and I couldn't believe how young he looked. It's staggering to think of kids this age fighting in wars, and partially shows what life must've been like in Korea during that time.

I thought about trying to find out who the British soldier was in the photo and, if he is still alive, where he now is. Apparently, he is a Corporal and must be pushing 90 by now. It would be amazing if these two people could be reconnected somehow.

Po is a lovely man who speaks very fondly of his time with the British. Although his memory of that time (and the English he was taught!) is very vivid, exact details are a bit sketchy, and for that reason I have no information other than this picture, but if you think you could help then please get in touch.

Thanks for reading

Jimmy
You mention 2 photos but only one is shown.

Might the other one have some extra detail?
 
#13
Well...

The Royal Sussex Regiment were the last to be stationed in Korea, leaving there in July 1957. GLOSTER MEMORIAL, KOREA, 1957



Maybe the search narrows to either a representative of the RA generally who attended the dedication of the memorial or, just maybe, someone from C Troop, 170th Light (Mortar) Bty.


A bit of interesting reading regarding the chap who wrote the quote above: NDM Patron & Chairman Discuss Ideas - Campaign News


Looks like 170 Bty was in either Hong Kong or NI in 1957, from The Royal Artillery Association › Community Forums › Disbanded Units/OCAs › 45 (Fd) Regt › 45 REGT- 1947-1993 AND BTY HISTORY 52,170,94,34,176,HQ


I'm starting to suspect that the British Military Attache to South Korea in 1957 may be the key to the identity of the officer in the photo. The BMA seems to have been Col AEE Mercer MC... according to: An Almanack...: by Joseph Whitaker, F.S.A., containing an account of the ... - Joseph Whitaker - Google Books

Of course, this may not be relevant...

Hmmm. By 1983, he was a Lt Col. That's curious... http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/bnsj/pdf/bnsj_07.pdf

Now this may just be coincidence, but in July 1959, Major Allan Eric Eustace Mercer was promoted to Lt Col, as shown in The London Gazette: Viewing Page 8230 of Issue 41905

Most significant is that he was badged Royal Artillery.


I'm tempted to suggest that the chap in the photo could well be the then Major Mercer MC RA who, as Military Attache in South Korea, would almost certainly be expected to attend the dedication of the Glosters Memorial. Maybe he was granted an acting Lt Colonelcy.

All we need now is a photo of Maj Mercer to confirm that he looks like a school teacher.


If you're intent on tracing him, the latest reference that I can find dates from 1976: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/46983/pages/10908/page.pdf

(The solicitors may have separated, possibly with two of them operating in Leeds).
According to Jimmy's post Mr Po says the Brit is/was a Cpl.
 
#14
According to Jimmy's post Mr Po says the Brit is/was a Cpl.
That nagged me for a while, but a look at the photo suggests otherwise. The bloke looks too old to be a corporal (OK, that's not particularly conclusive), he's RA and they have bombardiers, the hat looks like it belongs to an officer. The hat could belong to a WO, but the bloke looks too school-teacherish to be a WO (unless, of course, he's a Conductor :) ).

I suspect that Mr Po has confused corporal with colonel or maybe Jimmy LI misheard the rank.
 
#15
Jimmy LI: Check your message inbox. I've done a bit more rooting around but don't want to put someone's private details on a public forum - and I may be barking up the wrong tree anyway.
 
#16
Balleh: Re the corporal/colonel confusion, I thought about trying to say "colonel" in a 14 year old or 80 year old Korean accent to see if it would sound remotely like "corporal".

I had to give up because the only Korean I could think of was Odd Job.
 
#17
Well...

The Royal Sussex Regiment were the last to be stationed in Korea, leaving there in July 1957. GLOSTER MEMORIAL, KOREA, 1957



Maybe the search narrows to either a representative of the RA generally who attended the dedication of the memorial or, just maybe, someone from C Troop, 170th Light (Mortar) Bty.


A bit of interesting reading regarding the chap who wrote the quote above: NDM Patron & Chairman Discuss Ideas - Campaign News


Looks like 170 Bty was in either Hong Kong or NI in 1957, from The Royal Artillery Association › Community Forums › Disbanded Units/OCAs › 45 (Fd) Regt › 45 REGT- 1947-1993 AND BTY HISTORY 52,170,94,34,176,HQ


I'm starting to suspect that the British Military Attache to South Korea in 1957 may be the key to the identity of the officer in the photo. The BMA seems to have been Col AEE Mercer MC... according to: An Almanack...: by Joseph Whitaker, F.S.A., containing an account of the ... - Joseph Whitaker - Google Books

Of course, this may not be relevant...

Hmmm. By 1983, he was a Lt Col. That's curious... http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/bnsj/pdf/bnsj_07.pdf

Now this may just be coincidence, but in July 1959, Major Allan Eric Eustace Mercer was promoted to Lt Col, as shown in The London Gazette: Viewing Page 8230 of Issue 41905

Most significant is that he was badged Royal Artillery.


I'm tempted to suggest that the chap in the photo could well be the then Major Mercer MC RA who, as Military Attache in South Korea, would almost certainly be expected to attend the dedication of the Glosters Memorial. Maybe he was granted an acting Lt Colonelcy.

All we need now is a photo of Maj Mercer to confirm that he looks like a school teacher.


If you're intent on tracing him, the latest reference that I can find dates from 1976: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/46983/pages/10908/page.pdf

(The solicitors may have separated, possibly with two of them operating in Leeds).
Col Mercer could have had a scholarly touch. I´ve googled his name and he came up twice (besides this thread):
Once with the Britain-Nepal Society, where he has written an article in their journal back in 1983
http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/bnsj/pdf/bnsj_07.pdf, see page 23;

and as a member of the Korean Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society back in 1959.
http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j...sg=AFQjCNGBL1prPVw0BeIC5AUJTWbv3vPRzg&cad=rja, where he was a secretary.

It might be worthwile to contact these organisations.

He also seemed to have had a collection of Korean pottery, at least an auction at Christie´s points to it.
http://www.abebooks.de/Oriental-Ceramics-Works-Art-Including-Collection/3472033092/bd
 
#18
Col Mercer could have had a scholarly touch. I´ve googled his name and he came up twice (besides this thread):
Once with the Britain-Nepal Society, where he has written an article in their journal back in 1983
http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/bnsj/pdf/bnsj_07.pdf, see page 23;

and as a member of the Korean Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society back in 1959.
http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=colonel%20aee%20mercer%20mc&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CGQQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.raskb.com%2Ftransactions%2FVOL35%2FVol035-O.docx&ei=ksr2T-KcKZKN4gSp6aHiBg&usg=AFQjCNGBL1prPVw0BeIC5AUJTWbv3vPRzg&cad=rja, where he was a secretary.

It might be worthwile to contact these organisations.

He also seemed to have had a collection of Korean pottery, at least an auction at Christie´s points to it.
Oriental Ceramics and Works of Art Including a Collection of Korean Ceramics from the Estate of Lt.-Col. A.E.E. Mercer, O.B.E., M.C. [Christie's, South Kensington: Wednesday, 13 November, 1991; Sale no. 7790] von Christie's, South Kensington: - AbeBo
Your first link also drops the hint that Allan Mercer preferred to be known as Eric Mercer, just to add to the plot.
 
#20
I suspect that Mr Po has confused corporal with colonel or maybe Jimmy LI misheard the rank.
On my keyboard 'p' is right beside 'o' which might explain the confusion.
Some good work going on here.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top