THE WELCH REGIMENT IN KOREA
1951 - 1952
On the 14th. June 1951, Lieutenant Colonel H.H. Deane. Officer Commanding the Battalion announced that they would be proceeding to Korea in the Autumn to relieve the Gloucester on arrival. The Battalion was at that date stationed at Sobraon Barracks, Colchester where it formed part of 19 Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division. The news that the battalion was to proceed to Korea heralded a period of intense preparation and activity. Drafts were received to replace those Officers and Men who for various reasons were ineligible to accompany the Battalion on active service, many of the newcomers being drawn from the Welsh Brigade Group. In the midst of this activity the Battalion also provided the Guard of Honour which together with the Band and Drums paraded at Cardiff on the 18th July in honour of a visit to Cardiff by Her Majesty, The Queen Mother, in connection with Festival of Britain celebrations then taking place in the City.
For the first time since 1937, the Battalion produced a Welch Regiment Team which had entered the N.S.R.A. Small Bore Competition, 1951, for the I.C.I. Cup had come second out 89 Teams taking part. In this competition, the Battalion was represented by - RSM A.E. Visick - Sgt Sutton (199) - Sgt (198) Bevan, MM - CSM Cannon - Sgt (194) Edwards,DCM - Sgt Wride (193) - Sgt Holt (192) - Sgt Harper (196) - Sgt Vaughn-Murphy (192) - Pte Davies (181).
Between the 17th September and 5th October the Battalion proceeded on Embarkation Leave, the Advance Party sailing for Korea on the 19th September. On it's return from leave the Battalion was visited by the Colonel of the Regiment. Major General C.E.N. Lomax, CB,CBE,DSO,MC., who during his inspection presented Long Service and Good Conduct Medals to three regimental stalwarts, WO2 O'Loughlin, WO2 O'Neill and the Goat Major, Corporal Williams.
In mentioning Corporal Williams, it must also be noted that his important charge had not been forgotten, as traditionally the Goat Mascot as Regimental symbol and mark of it's links with Wales, had always accompanied the regular Battalions wheresoever duty directed, and without let or hindrance. To be on the safe side, Lt. Colonel Deane, the Commanding Officer, made enquiry's at the Korean Legation in London, and on September 26th. 1951 received the following reply from The Korean Legation, 49, Bryanston Square, London, W.I.
Further to your telephonic enquiry of yesterday, it is confirmed herewith that up to the present time of writing, there is no known restriction issued by the Government of the Republic of Korea whereby the entry into Korea of a Regimental 'Goat' Mascot is forbidden, and so far as we are concerned it will be quite in order. Please extend my best wishes and grateful thanks to the Regiment which is due to sail on October 9th.
Yours Faithfully, Myo Mook Lee, Minister,
The Commanding Officer,
1st. Battalion, The Welch regiment, Colchester
The imminent departure of fresh British Units to relieve Regiments already serving with the 28th and 29th. Infantry Brigades in Korea received considerable attention from the Press. Under headlines which read, "RICH TRADITION IN NEW U.K TROOPS FOR KOREA", - Robert Jessel, a British Military Affairs Correspondent wrote :- "I am not going to trace in detail the equally bright Battle Honours of the 1st Battalion, The Welch Regiment, as cold print can rarely convey the sacrifice from which they take their grandeur. The Welch Regiment commanded by Lt. Colonel H.H. Deane is at present stationed in Britain. In the past twelve years it has grown accustomed to fighting on the side with small Battalion, for the Welch were with Wavell in the earliest days of the North Africa Campaign, and again in Crete, and later at Benghazi, and three times the Battalion had to be reformed as a result of heavy casualties. The Welch fought on the Road to Mandalay, and in the Reichwald against Hitler's Paratroopers. If you talk to one of the Regiment's Veterans about the recent Glories of the Gloucesters in Korea, he may well be persuaded to repeat in turn what happened at Gheluvert in 1914 when "only 3 Officers and 50 Men survived from a whole Welch Battalion that stuck grimly to it's task ".
On the 9th. October, the Battalion proceeded by rail from Colchester to Southampton and embarked for Korea on H.M.T. Empire Fowey, this main body consisted of 28 Officers, 506 Other Ranks and the Regimental Goat. In spite of the reinforcements received 'C' and 'D' Companies were still under strength, but were to be completed on arrival in Korea from men of the Gloucesters not due to return to the United Kingdom with their Battalion. The Regimental Band did not accompany the Battalion and was accordingly transferred for duties at the Regimental Depot at Maindy Barracks, Cardiff.
The nominal Roll of Officers who embarked embarked is as follows:-
Lt Colonel H. H. Deane 39437 The Welch
Major J. J. Packard 50901 East Yorks
Major M. J .A. Paterson,DSO. 52716 SWB
Major R. C. M. Kelly 52657 RWF
Major R. W. P. Parry,MC. 79136 SWB
Major A. G. Roberts 74666 The Welch
Major A.G.Comer 77656 The Welch
Major J. L. Parker,TD. 66774 RWF
Captain I. W. Lloyd-Jones 26925 RWF
Captain P. B. Excell, MC. 177736 The Welch
Captain D. S. Mortimer 393225 The Welch
Captain M. W. F.Dyer 397230 The Welch
Lt D. J. Brimblecombe 397822 The Welch
2/Lt F. C. Batten 407748 The Welch
2/lit N. L.Evans 40781.7 The Welch
2/Lt I. A. Powys 414949 The Welch
2/Lt E. A. Wiles 412213 The Welch
2/Lt J. L. Bowler 417045 The Welch
2/Lt K. J. Davey 417047 The Welch
2/Lt D. G. Hughes 417241 The Welch
2/Lt D Pritchard 417448 The Welch
2/Lt. S. C. J. Burgess 417671 The Welch
2/Lt A. G. Fenner 417675 The Welch
2/Lt H. M. V. Barker 417697 The Welch
2/Lt J. D. W.Maclean 418600 The Welch
2/Lt A. R. Bentham 419215 The Welch
Captain(The Rev) T. R. Jennings 409886 Chaplain
Lt A. M. Reader 417777 RAMC
W01 L. Richards (RSM) 3960195
W02 R. Cude,MM. 3908764
WG2 S. Cannon 3957997
W02 W. Death 3957843
W02 W. Evans 3960603
W02 G. Edwards 4192113
VD2 D. O'Loughlin 3957554
W02 M. O'Neill 3957877
WO2 B. Ward 3908652
W02 M. Waishe 3957694
Sailing on the 10th, the Battalion enjoyed a comfortable passage, calling at Aden, Colombo, Singapore and Hong Kong. At Colombo the Officers and Men were give an opportunity to stretch their legs when the Battalion, headed by the Goat and Drums went on a route march through the town. At Singapore, Lt. Colonel Deane, Major Kelly, Captain Excell, Captain Dyer and RQMS Evans disembarked and were flown on ahead to Pusan. The voyage for the remainder of the Battalion ended at Pusan on the 10th November 195I, where once disembarked they entrained and traveled north to Uijongbu. On arrival the following morning they then moved by road to Britannia Camp in the Commonwealth Division area. Once there, no time was wasted, and in heavy rain on the 12th and 13th November, the Welch moved up to Chongdong-Ni and relieved the Gloucesters - this defence position being just north of the confluence of the Imjin and Samichon Rivers.
On the 24th November the Battalion moved across the Samichon River and took over a section of the Line from the 1st Republic of Korea Regiment. There, facing Hill 169, 1st Welch was to experience its first clash with the enemy who at that particular point in time had the advantage of being better acclimatised and more familiar with the ground.
On the 27th November 1951, the United Nations and Communist Delegates meeting at Panmunjon finally agreed that in the event of an Armistice, the existing front Line would become the Line of Demarcation. Whilst this development was not to have much effect on the ground operations which took place during 1951 and 1952, the U.N. Command Policy which had been put into practice on the 12th November prior to that agreement was a completely different kettle of fish. .Not only did it govern the activities of the United States 8th Army, but also those of the attached Commonwealth Division, and in consequence much of what 1st Welch did during its Korean stint. In anticipation of an early Cease Fire,the U.N.Command had on that date ordered that its forces confine activities to Active Defence. No further offensive operations were permitted, except for such local attacks which might be required to strengthen the main Line, or establish Posts to its front. The effect of these orders was to produce a stalemate along the Line which lasted until July 1953.
The Official History describes the period November 1951 to the end of the year as being overall, comparatively quiet along the Commonwealth Division Front, positions were subjected to regular bouts of enemy shelling, but activities were confined to extensive Patrolling, strengthening positions and improving communications.
Life in the Dug-outs was in many ways similar to the trench warfare situation of World War 1, and hardly a day passed without a casualty being suffered. On the 30th November, Pte Corcoran was killed by a Land Mine - the Battalion's first fatal casualty. On December 1st, a man of 'B' Company was wounded when the Chinese mortared his Company positions. On the 9th December a Patrol from 'A' Company met with stiff opposition and suffered 10 Casualties.
In addition to the hazards of War, the Battalion had also to cope with the onset of the Arctic type Korean Winter, with temperatures falling as low a 39. Degrees F. With the ground frozen solid it became impossible to use a pick effectively, which added considerably to the difficulties of wring. Novel and ingenious methods were developed for heating the Bunkers and Cooking, and once a week most managed a hot bath in a damaged, but heated Korean houses behind the Line.
Fortunately, the Cold Weather Clothing provided was of excellent standard and cases of exposure or Frostbite were almost unheard of.
Christmas festivities were understandably somewhat curtailed, but each Soldier had a Christmas Dinner of Turkey and Veg, Christmas Pudding and Cake, and a Ration of Beer
It Was with great sadness that the Battalion received news of the death of His Majesty King George VI on the 7th February, and on the following day the Divisional Artillery fired a 101 Gun Salute and all Flags were flown at half-mast. On the 9th, a Patrol led by 2nd Lt. J.L.Bowler was involved in a sharp and spirited action with the Chinese. The Welch lost two men killed and several wounded, but as in that and similar clashes which took place in the months which followed, the Battalion had the satisfaction of knowing that it had taken a far heavier toll of the enemy. For his Gallantry on the 9th, 22356921 Cpl. H Whittle received an immediate award of the Military Medal.
Between the 10th. and 17th. February 1952, 'Operation Snare' was put into effect along the whole of the U.S. 8th Army and Commonwealth Division Front. The Orders required units not to engage the enemy with any form of fire other than from Small Arms, and only then, in the event of an actual attack. It was hoped that this inactivity would arouse the curiosity of the Chinese and encourage them to intensify Patrol activity, thus presenting the U.N.Troops with opportunities to capture Prisoners for intelligence purposes.
From a Commonwealth Division point of view, the plan was contra productive, for the Chinese, once having established that the Positions opposite to them was still occupied, took advantage of the situation to work on strong Bunkers on the forward slopes overlooking the Division's lines, and with a minimum of interference. From these vantage points they were able to make daylight patrolling an extremely hazardous occupation, as in places the forward posts were only 600 yards apart. In due course daylight patrols were discontinued, such activities being more certain of success during the hours of darkness.
As with Christmas, the Battalion being still in the Line, St David's Day Celebrations were somewhat curtailed, nevertheless every effort was made to celebrate the occasion in as near as possible the traditional style. Accompanied by 'Taffy' the Commanding Officer visited all Company Positions to wish the Officers and Men a 'Dewi Sant' and to distribute the Leeks which had been flown in from Japan. Thanks to the Comforts Fund, a free issue of Beer, Chocolate and cigarettes was made to each Man, and the Dinner was augmented by a Christmas Pudding. The Brigade Commander attended a Leek Eating Ceremony at the Battalion H.Q. and ' B' Company played H.Q. at a tactful game of Football - Score 2-2.
Companies celebrated the Day individually due to the tactical situation, but by 5pm it was all over, and the Battalion once again fully Operational.
On the 10th March, 29th Brigade was relieved by Canadians and withdrew to the Reserve, the Commonwealth Division sector then being held by Canadians on the left and by 28th Brigade on the right. 1st Welch who up to this date had spent four months in the Line were relieved by The Princess Patricia's Own Light Infantry.
During the period they had endured the worst of the Korean Winter and lost, Killed in Action or Died of Wounds, I Officer and 13 Other Ranks, as well as 3 Officers and 38 Other Ranks Wounded, some seriously.
During its well earned period in Reserve the Battalion occupied the positions they had first taken over on arriving in Korea, and there busied themselves refitting. Several old faces disappeared , their places being taken by Men of a Draft recently arrived from the U.K. Many took advantage of 5 days Rest and Recuperation Leave in Tokyo, whilst others turned their minds to Sport. Amongst Games played was a Rugby Match, the opponents being Kiwis of 163rd Battery, 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery. This Game, result one nil in favour of the Kiwis was for a time played to the accompaniment of Gunfire as the New Zealand Battery carried out an evening ' stonk' against enemy positions opposite.
In the Line meanwhile, the Chinese had launched an attack against the Canadians on the 26th March, on the position 1st. Welch had handed over to them 16 days prior (The Hook), their casualties were 6 killed and a greater number wounded. The Chinese attackers paid a heavier price - 31 killed with untold numbers wounded. (This position was to be attacked in force by the Chinese troops in Battalion strengh on two further occasions later in the war whilst being held by British Regiments : The Black Watch and the Duke of Wellingtons)
Other 28th Brigade positions received similar attention on April 6th. Both attacks were beaten off, with no need to bring up in support any of those units in Reserve.
In April also, the Commonwealth Division sector was altered, the area West of the Sami-chon being taken over by the 1st US.Marine Division,and the Commonwealth Division taking over responsibility for Hill 355 (Kowang-san) from the U.S. 3rd Division. Moving back into the Line on the 18th April, 1st Welch took over.Hill 355 from troops of the 2/15th United states Regiment which gave the Battalion an opportunity to show the Chinese a Welsh Dragon, namely that displayed prominently in red on the Battalion Battle Flag.
The take over of Hill 355 from the Americans was marked by a simple ceremony as the Stars and Stripes were lowered by US.Sergeant B Miller, and the Red Dragon of Cadwallader raised by CSM Ralph Cude of Swansea. Captain C.J.Coles, US.Army, shaking hands with Major D.E.B. Salmon, 1st Welch, said "I'm sure your Boys will give a good account of themselves while they hold this hill".
Dispositions of 29th. Brigade at this time was as follows :-
1st Bn Royal Leicestershire Regiment on Hill 159 1st Bn The Welch Regiment on Hill 355, and 1st Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment in reserve. The rest of the Line running northeast to the Imjin was the responsibility of the U.S. 3rd. Division.
During May and June, units of the Commonwealth Division patrolled vigorously in accordance with U.S. 1st. Corps policy, but no major incidents took place. 1st. Welch spent much time Digging, Wiring and trying to locate and mark Minefields, Several daylight Patrols went out and night Recconissance Patrols took every opportunity to familiarise themselves with the terrain which was very different from that of the Sami-chon valley.
On May 2nd, 'D' Company had a night patrol clash with the enemy, and on the following day a booby-trapped dummy was discovered in a disused enemy position. On May 4th, 2/Lt J.L.Bowler led a fighting patrol against an enemy position on 'Florida'. Penetrating 500 yards further than any previously recorded Patrol, The Welch suffered three casualties, all slightly wounded. 2/Lt Bowler was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry in this action. On the same day also 'A' and 'C' Company positions were subjected to a period of heavy shelling, over 200 rounds, falling about them in a very short space of time. Fortunately casualties were limited to a few Men slightly wounded. These Positions were subjected to similar bombardment on the 5th, 6th and 9th May, but amazingly emerged casualty free. On May 24th,Captain R.C.Taverner led a successful Raid on an enemy outpost. Spotted by the Chinese when they had penetrated the enemy Line, Captain Taverner, and Corporal Murphy were severely wounded, and others less seriously, in the fight which then developed. Much of the credit for the successful withdrawal of the Patrol was due to Lance Corporal Ellaway, later awarded the Military Medal, and also to Sergeant Bowling and Pte Lewis(24), both of who were later Mentioned in Despatches. Lance Corporal Bourne, also a member of this Patrol failed to the safety of the Company lines with the others, but turned up safetly the next morning, carrying Captain Taverner's Webbing Equipment which had to be discarded. His only comment on his experiences was "The Chinks" wouldn't let me stay for Breakfast as I wasn't on their Ration strength.
Amongst several extempore devices thought up within the Battalion to make life easier was the rather Heath Robinson contraption rigged up to transport supplies up to the 'A' Company position. The final approach to this point was up the stairway to Heaven - 287 hand cut steps leading up the steep hillside. To overcome the difficulty of manhandling supplies up this obstacle an ingenious Tramway was constructed making Use of a Jeep Trailer, a tug vehicle and Cable. The Tramway, maintained by Men of the Assault Pioneer Platoon served its purpose well. Previously on April 30th, ' A' Company had cause to be thankful that it had devoted so much time to the careful construction of its Dug-outs, Bunkers and Communication Trenches, for the Chinese, perhaps as a prelude to May Day subjected them to an extremely heavy bombardment during which it was estimated that over a. thousand Shells fell on the Position. The Battalion suffered one slightly wounded casualty. Another unpleasant experience for this Company was its utilisation as Grave Diggers. During the Battles on Hill 355 in November 1951, the Chinese had suffered grievous casualties. These the Korean Winter had kept in cold storage, but as Spring came to the Battlefield, the stench from the bodies polluted the mountain air. Supervised by a Sergeant of the Australian Medical Corps the Men of 'A' Company managed to give most of them decent burial.On June 10th a fighting Patrol from 'B' Company led by Lt R.A.Bingley carried out a ten hour patrol into enemy territory, the longest period for a U.N. Patrol to spend on Communist ground for some time. A Patrol from 'D' Company also clashed with the enemy on June 14th, and on the following day the Chinese were driven out from a forward post after hand to hand fighting with the Welch.
In Men of Harlech No 92/52, John Bowler, MC, tells us more of Patrols:- "Patrols are one of the means of fighting in this static War, and affect our lives to quite an extent, for it is only on them that we see and fight our enemy. Whilst we have been here we have done every conceivable type of Patrol from the large fighting raider to the small three-man reconnaissance of the wire. The countryside has changed considerably from the hard frozen ground of winter, there is now no scarcity of vegetation and the paddies are holding water well; in most places they are now becoming waist deep. The hills have undergrowth of up to five feet on them, and specialise in creepers, hidden holes and dead branches - therefore one generally has the choice of three courses - into the Paddies sounding like a young porpoise in spring, over the hills, and sounding something like what Sabu must have heard when he saw 'The Dance of the Elephants', or move noiselessly along one of the few paths. The trouble about the paths is that they seldom lead in the right direction, and secondly, the Chinese are probably on them as well. On the whole the men are moving very quietly now, and the noise is not nearly as bad as it sounds at that time. All our Patrols are now done by night, fighting, ambush or reconnaissance. Few will forget the interminable hours of waiting during an ambush when the second hand of a watch moves as if it were the hour hand; the strain of the reconnaissance as one creeps nearer and nearer. Nor will anyone forget the first shot that breaks the darkness of the night, that feeling of shock, of fear, followed by that feeling of intense activity that leaves no room for other feelings. We have lost many good men on Patrols and found others".
On June 23rd, 'B' Company carried out 'Operation Maindy' - a Raid against an enemy occupied hill. This action is described by Major T. J. Jackson, DSO., in an article titled 'Company Attack' which appeared in Men of Harlech No 93/52. "The whole of the top of Hill 227 is covered with shell craters, collapsed Bunkers and battered slit trenches of greatly varying ages. There are also patches of wire, now no more than a nuisance value - a relic of the days when the United Nations held the feature. In the midst of this wreckage, the enemy have constructed some deep, large bunkers each connected by a subterranean passage well camouflaged one man fox holes, out of which they can fight and remain unlocated. On the reverse slope is the main communication trench with a number of deep, large bunkers each connected by a subterranean passage.
To 'B' Company was given the honour and task of carrying out the raid and the operation was known as Maindy.
When the raid was being planned 'B' Company were already holding a forward position on the Battalion front (the right hand forward Company on Hill 355); consequently they had to be brought out into Battalion Reserve on June 20th for rehearsal and recce's . Time was short - D Day having been fixed as June 23rd, 1952, with H hour at 0415 hrs. Much was achieved, however, because the troops were only too eager to clash again with the enemy and avenge themselves for previous casualties.
The move of 'B' Company from its reserve position to the assembly area commenced at 2130hrs and was completed by 2315 hours, June 22nd. At the assembly area all the troops were located in Bunkers or Dugouts resting until the time came for them to move forward to start the line. Hot tea and Rum was issued before the move forward. Morale was high.
At 0220 hrs, a party of one Officer and 12 Other Ranks of the 1st Bn,Royal Australian Regiment moved out and secured the minefield gap through which 'B' Company passed from their assembly area to their start line. At 0300hrs 'B' Company moved towards their start line and by 0405 hrs were all in position patiently awaiting H Hour.
The Company Commander's plan for the assault was 4 Platoon on the left., 5 Platoon on the right, 6 Platoon less one Section in reserve; Company HQ, together with the F.0.0. and M.F.C moved behind 5 Platoon. A Sapper Demolition Party, Stretcher Bearers and one Section moved behind Company HQ, but were dropped off some 150-200 yards before the objective.
At 0415 hrs the assault on Hill 227 began, and within 10 minutes both 4and 5 Platoons were actively engaged, but reached their objectives. 4. Platoon attacked Bunkers on the left, and after silencing them were ordered go to the assistance of 5 Platoon.
5 Platoon attacked Bunkers on the right, and although making good progress - they had cleared three small bunkers - had difficulty in clearing the deeply dug Bunkers located off the main communications trench. Eventually all these were silenced, but by this time 4 and 5 Platoon Commanders (Lt's Bingley and Mennel), their Platoon Sergeants (Davies 12 and Leahy) and Cpl Williams(44) were all wounded and Cpl Meech and Private Greer killed.
The Company Commander took over command of both Platoons, and was told a few minutes later that the F.0.0. had been killed and his Wireless operator wounded. The enemy, who were Initially taken by complete surprise, began to bring down heavy shelling, Mortars and Machine Guns. Casualties increased and so permission to withdraw was requested. An orderly withdrawal took place with all the wounded coming out first. In the F.D.L's the wounded were all well cared for by the Battalion Medical Officer (Captain Tony Reader, (RAMC) and his Staff. Some were flown out by Helicopter and others evacuated by Ambulance Jeep. It was with stout hearts because a good job had been done that 'B' Company marched back to their reserve positions, singing as they went along. The total casualties were 3 killed and 23 wounded.
The evening of July 28th saw the onset of the summer Monsoon, the hot and sultry weather being broken by 36 hours of heavy rain. Conditions underfoot and in the Dug-outs became extremely difficult and at the peak the level of the Imjin River rose by 40 feet. The heavy rain seriously affected the foundations of some of the Battalion Dug-outs, some collapsing. In one such incident 57 Pte J Williams trapped lost his life when trapped under such a fall. However, in spite of these natural obstacles Patrols continued to operate, but not without cost. In half a dozen or so of such operations the Division suffered over 100 Casualties.
Some welcome relaxation was provided by Sergeant Arnott of the Army Cinema Corps and his Assistant, L/Cpl Powell. These two stalwarts humping between them the equipment required for a Cinema show, inclusive of Generator, boosted morale no end by their appearance. Sgt Arnott put on three shows, one for each Platoon in a Platoon size Bunker with the Chinese only a matter of a few hundred yards. On the night 7th/8th August the Battalion was relieved on Hill 355 by the 1st Royal Canadian Regiment and moved back into Reserve.
While in Reserve the Battalion had two Companies engaged in digging and wiring on a reserve defence line, the two remaining Companies employed on intensive training. A change over of these duties was made on September 8th and one Platoon was stationed on Pintail Bridge over the Imjin River on anti-sabotage duties.
On the 28th September a Battalion Church Parade was held in the Reserve area the service conducted by the Senior Chaplain of the 1st Commonwealth Division, The Rev W.W. Rhys. At this Service were dedicated a Cross and Candlesticks made by Samuel Lee of Seoul from 25 Pounder Brass Cartridge Cases from 14th Field Regiment which had been fired in support of 1st Welch whilst holding Hill 355.
On the 5th October the Battalion moved up into the Line and took over Positions from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers. On that date also Captain P.B.Excell, MC. succeeded Captain I.W .Lloyd-Jones, MC. RWF, as Adjutant of the Battalion.
On October 10th a fighting Patrol of the Battalion led by 2/Lt J Daniel probed in no-man's land but made no contact with the enemy, similarly Patrols operating on the 13th and 15th were equally unsuccessful.
Between October 15th and 25th constant patrolling was carried out on the Battalion front at night, including several forays across the Samichon River. A few brief contacts with the enemy were made, but the Battalion suffered no casualties.
Although quiet on the 1st Welch frontage, September and October had seen the Chinese become considerably more aggressive, attacking in Battalion strength at other points along the Divisional front. Such an attack was witnessed by the Battalion on October 23rd when its old positions on Hill 355 were heavily shelled and then attacked by a large Communist force.
On October 25th the Battalion completed its last stint in the Line, being relieved by the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment on that day. Moving back, 1st Welch settled into a staging post just north of the Imjin River and actually astride the 38th Parallel. From that vantage point they once again witnessed heavy air strikes and were aware of heavy ground fighting on October 27th as the Communists launched an attack on a feature known as the Hook.
October 31st saw the G.O.C. Major General M.R. Alston Roberts West visit the Battalion to bid it farewell, and to present Gallantry Award to six members. This included tile presentation of the M.M. Ribbon to 19061814 Sgt D Hughes.
Following its relief in the Myon staging area by the 1st Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's Regiment, 1st Welch entrained at Tokchon and began a tedious journey by train to Pusan. There on November 6th, in the United Nations Military Cemetery overlooking the Harbour all ranks of the Battalion gathered to honour and say farewell to the thirty of their Comrades who had been killed in Korea.
The 30 Officer's and 700 Other Ranks were drawn up in hollow square before a dais before which stood the draped Drums of the Regime and the Wreaths which had been specially flown in from Japan. During the Service which was conducted by the Regimental Chaplain, The Rev. T.R. Jennings, the Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel H.H. Deane read the Lesson, and the Roll of Honour was read by the Adjutant,
Captain P.B. Excel, MC. The Battalion Choir under the direction of Captain D.J. Brimblecombe led the singing which included 'Cwm Rhondda' and the Anthem 'Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau. For the occasion, the graves of the Battalion were marked with the Ribbon and Badge of the Regiment.
On the 9th. November the Battalion embarked for Hong Kong on H.M.T. Devonshire. Prior to it's departure an impressive ceremony was held on the quayside with high ranking Korean and U.N. officials in attendance.
So was brought to a close yet another glorious chapter in the History of The Welch Regiment and which is today commemorated by the Battle Honour 'KOREA 1951-1952' on the Regimental Colour of it's successor, the present 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Wales.
OFFICERS WHO JOINED THE BATTALION DURING ITS SERVICE IN KOREA
Captain J. H. Swift 10th February, 1952
Major T. H. Trevor 16th February, 1952
Major T. T. Jackson 27th February, 1952
2/Lt T. C. M. Rees 28th February, 1952
2/Lt C. J. Williams 28th February, 1952
2nd Lt C. G. Graham 28th February, 1952
Major D. E. B. Salmon 14th April, 1952
Lt W. B. Carty 6th May, 1952
Captain J. H. Walliker.MC 9th May, 1952
2/Lt N. Liged 9th May. 1952
2/Lt H. R. H. Salmon 28th June, 1952
Major L. J. S. Watkins 20th July, 1952
2/Lt Evans 14th Sept, 1952
2/Lt Kingston 14th Sept, 1952
2/Lt A. J. Daniel 25th Sept, 1952
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