Artillery Help Required

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Jimmy LI, Jul 5, 2012.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  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
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Send Grid Ref, we'll get you some Artillery help son.
     
  3. HotMum03.jpg

    It can't be... Can it? Did Gunner Lah-de-dah Graham get commissioned?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Very interesting! Never mind the piss takers it would be nice if this had a happy ending
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Yes, hes from Korea. Lives just around the corner in Incheon near Seoul.
     
  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.
     
  7. The photos were from 1957? Typo?
     
  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

    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=sKU3AAAAMAAJ&q=%22british+embassy%22+pyongyang+1957+major&dq=%22british+embassy%22+pyongyang+1957+major&hl=en&sa=X&ei=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).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  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. You mention 2 photos but only one is shown.

    Might the other one have some extra detail?
     
  13. According to Jimmy's post Mr Po says the Brit is/was a Cpl.
     
  14. 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.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  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.