The BW had taken over from the Argyles who were part of 27 Inf Bde originally sent from HK. 1 RNF who had been part of the original British 29th Brigade sent out to Korea from the UK in 1950 just in time to meet the full force of the offensive by the Chinese Peaples Volunteers in November. In a horrendously cold Korean winter they were forced to retreat back past Seoul to Osan about 40K south of Seoul with the Brigade carrying out many rearguard actions. They then took part in the 1951 Spring offensive which recaptured Seoul and the Battle of the Imjin River in April 1951 where the Gloucesters were overun.Bill Speakman was BW att 1KOSB when he won his Cross, though he subsequently transferred permanently. He had a lot of ups and downs in life, that's for sure.
Interestingly enough, in the same action where Speakman won the VC, there was another attached individual in the battalion who became the last British soldier to be tried and convicted by Court Martial for the offence of cowardice.
Fusilier Patrick Lydon, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, court-martialled at Catterick October 1953.
The Gloucesters, RUF, and RNF were on the point of being relieved when 1 RNF fought in the first battle of Maryang-San with 3 RAR. Suffering 16 killed and 94 wounded just days before they were due to be relieved and return home in their last battle as a battalion.
There is not much on Fusilier Lydon on the internet. Was he a BCR or had he been with the battalion since its arrival in Korea? On his return from the POW camp he insisted on a Court Martial and was sentenced to a year imprisonment but released immediatly having been a POW for 18 months. Was he a genuine coward or had he just had enough and cracked up.
First battle of Maryang-San
Fusiler Patrick Lydon
Fusiler Patrick Lydon.