There are various sources of documentation, with resources available to enable enquiries to be made that result in fruitful searches for families and friends of casualties of the Korean War.  If you have any enquiries for burial locations or Plaque Numbers of Australian, New Zealand and South African War Dead from the Korean War, please ask!

During the Korean War, 74 members of the Light Infantry (made up from the county regiments of Yorkshire (KOYLI), Shropshire (KSLI), Cornwall (DCLI ), Somerset (SLI), Oxford & Bucks (later to become part of the RGJ (Royal Green Jackets) and the Durham (DLI).  The county regiments amalgamated in 1968 to form the Light Infantry.

The first British casualties  of the Korean War were six deaths on board HMS Jamaica when she was fired upon by North Korean shore batteries on 8 July 1950.  The soldiers had went aboard as Ammunition Loaders for the Royal Navy in Hong Kong as a jaunt; of those six deaths; 2 were members of 1st Battalion The Middlesex Regiment (Corporal Stanley Long and Sergeant Bernard Finch) and the other three were members of 58th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery (Gunners's Ralph Barwick, Kenneth Jepson and Sergeant Frederick Mersh).  The sixth was Able Seaman JD Mawdsley of HMS Jamaica.  These casualties were all buried at sea from HMS Jamaica and are commemorated on the relevant Memorial Wall plaques (Plaques 3 and 4 for the Army personnel and Plaque 1 for the Royal Navy).  On 12 August 1950, there were 2 civilian/Press Corps deaths; Mr C Buckley - of the Daily Telegraph and Mr I Morrison of The Times.

I have records of 37, 60 and 117 persons who were listed as being from Wales, Ireland and Scotland (respectively)!

This web site is a purely unofficial one, and therefore the information contained therein, is not necessarily guaranteed to be accurate.  Information has been extracted and modified by using brochures and publications available within the public domain.

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KOREAN WAR: UK MILITARY GRAVES

 

 

 

ENQUIRIES ARE FREE - I DO NOT CHARGE!

I am an ex-soldier who served 23 years in the Armed Forces serving within the Light Infantry and Adjutant General's Corps, I have links within the military service/civil service and therefore have various sources of information available.

email me at: stephensonjohn@hotmail.com or koreanwaruk_org_uk@hotmail.com or koreanwaruk@hotmail.com 

 

 

 

 

In the period: 1st to 31st July 1953:  

23 UK service personnel are recorded as being killed in Korea during July 1953.  Three of those killed are buried in the British Commonwealth Cemetery in Yokohama, Japan, 17 are buried in the UN Cemetery in Pusan and the remaining three are listed as having No Known Grave.

 

 

Service Number

Rank

Surname

Initials

Date of Death

Age

Parent Regiment

Unit

Grave Plot

Grave Row

Grave Number

22644684

PTE

DEWAR

R

02 July 1953

20

BW

1 BW

39

12

3454

14189830

SGT

BURGESS

SW

08 July 1953

24

RF

1 RF

39

12

3456

22670851

PTE

WATSON

TE

10 July 1953

19

DWR

1 DWR

70

1

7741

22655268

PTE

ROBERTSON

Derek

11 July 1953

19

DWR

1 DWR

D

B

13

22546181

PTE

ROWSON

JH

11 July 1953

20

ACC

1 DLI

70

1

7743

22627461

PTE

CAIG

GR

12 July 1953

19

KINGS

1 KINGS

70

1

7744

 

LT

EVANS

AJD

15 July 1953

29

RN

HMS OCEAN

 No Known Grave 

407730

LT

ADAMS-ACTON

LS

16 July 1953

23

RNF

1 RNF

 No Known Grave 

22798232

LCPL

MALBON

G

16 July 1953

19

BW

1 BW

D

B

15

21002468

PTE

MULLIN

E

17 July 1953

27

RASC

EFI

70

1

7745

22596602

PTE

GARDINER

BF

17 July 1953

19

OXS&BUCKS LI

1 DLI

70

1

7748

22666816

PTE

MILLION

P

17 July 1953

19

DLI

1 DLI

70

2

7754

 

LT

THOMAS

KM

19 July 1953

28

RN

HMS OCEAN

  No Known Grave 

22728225

PTE

HEPPLE

A

20 July 1953

20

DWR

1 DWR

70

1

7747

22653161

PTE

ROBERTSHAW

JB

22 July 1953

19

KINGS

1 KINGS

70

1

7746

14477562

CPL

ROBINSON

J

22 July 1953

24

KINGS

1 KINGS

70

2

7756

22669897

PTE

STONE

AJ

22 July 1953

19

KINGS

1 KINGS

70

1

7749

22807419

SPR

FLETCHER

John

24 July 1953

19

RE

RE

D

B

14

22616694

CPL

DARBY

E

27 July 1953

21

RF

1 RF

70

1

7750

22687426

PTE

LOGAN

JW

27 July 1953

19

RS

1 RS

70

1

7752

22687451

PTE

STEWART

IM

27 July 1953

21

RS

1 RS

70

2

7753

14131386

CPL

OUGHTIBRIDGE

RK

29 July 1953

25

RAMC

RAMC

70

1

7751

22625108

PTE

WALLACE

IR

30 July 1953

21

RAOC

 

70

2

7755

 

 

According to United Nations figures, the United Kingdom casualty figures: 686 Killed, 2,498 Wounded, 1,102 Missing/Prisoner of War - Total: 4,286

 

 

 

 

United Nations Military Cemetery Korea (UNMCK)

http://www.unmck.or.kr/

United Nations Cemetery in the early part of the war, the  British Graves are towards the rear on the left behind the Netherland Graves. The Cemetery was established on the 18th of January 1951 and dedicated on the 5th of April of the same year.  The land was granted to the United Nations in perpetuity, by the Republic of Korea, as a permanent tribute to those who laid down their lives in resisting aggression in Korea.  It is the only cemetery of this type in the world.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission erected the Memorial and the individual grave plaques.  The Memorial contains the names of 386 of those with no known graves.  Of the 2.267 buried in the Cemetery, 1,558 are from the Commonwealth and South Africa, and the Cemetery contains the graves of almost all the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Commonwealth and South Africa who died in service of their country and the United Nations in the Korean War.  In other sections of the Cemetery are graves of men from many of the Nations who fought under the United Nations flag.  The graves of the Commonwealth and South African Section each have a permanent headstone on which is a bronze plaque showing the name and Regiment of or Service.  On the Eastern edge of the section is the Memorial to those who have no known grave.  It is rectangular with an altar feature at the front above which is a bronze panel bearing the inscription shown in the photograph; the names are recorded on bronze panels on the other sides.  The whole edifice is in Gosford stone, and Australian sandstone which was brought from New South Wales.  The Unveiling and Dedication of the Commonwealth and South African Memorial in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery at Pusan, Korea was on Monday 24th May 1965 which was performed by Lieutenant General Sir William Pike KCB CBE DSO.

The United Nations Memorial Cemetery, Daeyon-ong, Pusan, Korea.   There lie buried the heroic dead of many nations who gave their lives in the cause of freedom and world peace.  The Cemetery, comprising 14.39 hectares (35.62 acres), was established by the United Nations Command on 18 January 1951 when interments were begun and remains transferred from six other cemeteries located at Kaesong, Inchon, Taejon, Taegu, Miryang and Masan, and was then dedicated on 5 April 1951. 

The Cemetery today - laid out to blocks of  graves of those countries who dead did not return home.

Dedication of the Commonwealth & South African Memorial in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery at Pusan, Korea was on Monday 24th May 1965 was attended by Sergeant William Speakman VC of the Black Watch (attached to KOSB).

On 17 November 1955, the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea adopted a resolution expressing gratitude and paying high tribute to the troops of the United Nations which fought in Korea.  The resolution recommended that the Government propose to the United Nations General Assembly the establishment of a United Nations Cemetery in Korea to commemorate the precious sacrifices of those who were killed in battle.

The General Assembly, subsequently, adopted a resolution on 15 December 1955 which decided that this Cemetery should be established and maintained as a United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea in honour of those who fell in the Korean conflict.  A formal agreement between the United Nations and the Republic of Korea was signed on 6 November 1959 and the administration of the Cemetery by the United Nations was assumed on 31 March 1960.  In the Cemetery, today, lie the bodies of 2,297 men from Australia (281), Canada (378), France (44), the Netherlands (117), New Zealand (34), Norway (1), the Republic of Korea (36), South Africa (11), Turkey (462), The United Kingdom (885) and the United States (34) as well as of unknown allied soldiers (4) and non-belligerents (11).  During the period 1951-1954, remains of about 11,000 men of the United Nations Forces were gathered here, and remains from Belgium, Colombia, Ethiopia, Greece, India, the Philippines and Thailand, as well as the majority of those from the United States and some from France and Norway, were repatriated to their home countries. 

United Nations Cemetery in Korea looking from the South West.

United Nations Memorial within the Cemetery in Pusan, South Korea.

Each grave is covered by a plaque bearing particulars of the deceased. {Pte Codling 14.jpg}.  Turkish Brigades which served in Korea have placed two memorials in the Cemetery upon the completion of their tours of duty, the last in June 1960. They are located on the west side of the Symbolic Area.  A memorial to the Greek Expeditionary Force in honour of its men killed in the Korean war, located on the west side of the Symbolic Area, was dedicated early in 1961. 

A memorial commemorating 386 members of the Commonwealth Forces who fell in Korea and who have no known grave dedicated in May 1965, can be seen on the lower east side of the main grave plots.  Under the Agreement, the Republic of Korea granted the land on which the Cemetery stands to the United Nations without charge, in perpetuity, as a permanent tribute to all those who laid down their lives in resisting aggression in Korea and in upholding the cause of peace and freedom.  There are twenty plots on the plateau, each dedicated to a Member of the United Nations and the Republic of Korea, which took part in the Korean conflict and flying the respective national emblems, marked by an individual bronze plaque. Twenty-two nations are represented with Belgium and Luxembourg, Italy and India sharing the same plots. This is known as the Symbolic Area.   The first British military main units to arrive at Pusan on 28 August 1950 were the 1st Battalion The Middlesex Regiment (1 MX) and 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (1 A&SH) under the 27th British Infantry Brigade.  They were soon joined by the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) from Japan where is was conducting its occupation duty.  The units initially served under command of the US 24th Infantry Division but then these units were formed into the 27th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade in October 1950 when Australian and Canadian units were assigned, which then served under the US 1st Cavalry Division.  The 29th British Infantry Brigade Group arrived  in September 1950, followed by the 28th Commonwealth Brigade Group in April 1951, which replaced the 27th, and then the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group.  In July these units were organised into the 1st Commonwealth Division.  The Division whilst under US/UN operational control, was administrated by the Commander-in-Chief, Commonwealth Forces which headquarters were located in Japan.  At the end of the war 14,200 commonwealth troops were serving in Korea.  A total of 26,791 Canadians and 17,164 Australian troops served in Korea.  The last British troops deployed for the Korean emergency departed Korea in December 1953, however, there were peacekeeping troops in Korea until December 1957.

OPERATION GLORY:

THE EVACUATION OF WAR DEAD FROM BOTH OPPOSING ARMIES TO THEIR RESPECTIVE SIDES.

An extremely good insight of the way the American War Graves teams carried out the exchange of the remains of both warring factions during the Korean War - just follow the link below.  

Korean War Exchange of Dead - Operation GLORY (external link)

 

UK MILITARY DEATHS

An example of Record Card for:

22583758 LBDR K ALDER - 20 FD REGT RA

Killed in Action on 19 February 1953.

The Roll of Honour is dedicated to all those men, whether combat soldiers’, rear echelon or even civilians caught up within the turmoil of the Korean War who gave their ultimate gift to other for the freedom of the downtrodden people of South Korea.

The total number of soldiers and civilians, on both sides, who gave their lives will never be known, yes – Governments on both sides will say that their people suffered the most and they lost so many because of the actions of the enemy! Who was the enemy? Was it the communists who wanted to re-unite the country, which had been separated for so long, or was it the United Nations who was basically forced into action by the supreme overwhelming force of the Americans? Once again the answer can only be achieved by examining one’s conscious.

The origins of the war have been questioned over the years, just because of the vicinity of the war where it was fought and for what reasons. The true answer will never be given due to the secrecy behind the financing and support given by the Allies against the Axis and vice versa by the Russians and also Chinese.

Private Peter John Codling  who died on 5 July 1952 of wounds received.

1st Battalion The Royal Norfolk Regiment:

 Plot 22, Row 8, Grave 1468

Examples of grave markers of British Servicemen who have known graves and are buried in the United Nations Military Cemetery at in Daeyon-ong, Pusan, South Korea.

Private Gerald Coley who died on 24 November 1952 of wounds received on 19 November 1952

1st Battalion The Black Watch: 

Plot 39, Row 2 Grave 3334

A Memorial to all the 37,895 members of the United Nations Forces who gave their lives in the Korean War is situated in the lower section of the Cemetery. Enshrined within the Memorial are Rolls of Honour containing all the names of the fallen except for those of the Republic of Korea forces. The Memorial was erected by the Republic of Korea and was dedicated in 1978.

A Memorial Service Hall, built by the United Nations, was inaugurated on 21 August 1964. Essentially modern in design, it incorporates a novel feature of six reinforced concrete "V" beams which are "hinged" and appear to clamp the building to its foundations. It was designed and constructed by a Korean architect, bearing in mind the various religious faiths represented in the Cemetery.

The Memorabilia Hall, the administration and utilities building were also built by the United Nations in 1968. The main gate, in oriental style, was dedicated in 1966 by the people of Pusan City.  Many of the trees and shrubs in the Cemetery grounds have been generously donated by Governments, organizations and private individuals.  The Cemetery, since 16 February 1974, has been administered by the Commission for the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea, made up of representatives of the eleven countries whose fallen remain here. The Custodian is appointed by this Commission.

.

ROYAL MARINES AND THE UNITED STATES NAVY

Commandos of the 41 Cdo Regt RM plant demolition charges along railroad tracks of enemy supply line which they demolished during a commando raid, 8 miles south of Songjin, Korea. Photo taken 4th October 1951.

On 25 September 1950 USS PERCH, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Robert Quinn and carrying 63 British Royal Marines of Detachment A, 41 Independent Commando led by Lieutenant Colonel  Douglas Drysdale, left Yokosuka to carryout demolition raids on the Korean east coast. USS PERCH's mission was to interrupt the flow of supplies to the North Korean army in the Taegu-Pusan area by destroying the railroad that ran along the eastern coast of Korea. Originally planned to provide relief for the allied ground forces which had been pushed into a perimeter around the port city of Pusan at the tip of the Korean peninsula by the initial North Korea invasion, the raid was delayed approximately three weeks because of concerns about enemy lines.

As USS PERCH approached the first target area west of Tanchon on the evening of 30 September, she was probably detected by radar. With the landing party already in the rubber boats, a potential disaster was narrowly averted when the motor on the skimmer refused to start.  Enemy activity on the beach, a curious North Korean patrol boat and airplanes in the area soon made it clear that a trap had been set. USS PERCH re-embarked the commando unit, stowed the inflatable boats and other gear and withdrew.

The next morning USS PERCH rendezvoused with DESDIV92 (the destroyers USS MADDOX and USS HJ THOMAS) to develop an alternative plan. It was decided to use USS THOMAS to create a diversion at the first target area while USS PERCH carried out a landing at the second site with USS MADDOX providing backup. That night (1st October 1950), the marines disembarked and landed unopposed. They demolished a section of embankment under the rail line and concealed explosive charges with pressure activated detonators in two adjacent railway tunnels.

The enemy was alerted, however, and in the ensuing encounters between the marines and the North Korean troops, one of the Royal Marines was mortally wounded. After recovering the raiding party, USS PERCH cleared the area in company with the two destroyers. The next day, the casualty, Peter R. Jones, MNE, Royal Marines, was buried at sea and USS PERCH returned to Yokosuka. MADDOX later reported that the explosive charge in one of the tunnels had been triggered and the tunnel destroyed. Mission accomplished! Lieutenant Commander Quinn later received a Bronze Star for this patrol. This was the only combat award earned by a commanding officer of a submarine during the Korean War. 

 

MISSING PERSONNEL -REPORTS

British Military (Army) missing personnel/casualties were recorded on forms which were titled “MISSING” which were kept in folders (AB 508 (Army Book)).  The information which could be recorded included the following:

Surname, Personal/Army Number, Christian Names, Rank, Unit, Next of Kin, and details of the Casualty Reports (Date of Report, Sender’s Number, Reported By, Casualty and Casualty Branch Number of Report). 

As in most of the cases, not all information was completed and in nearly all instances the Christian names are initials only, no next of kin and no further updates when soldier is either recovered or never found.  The forms were approximately 8"x5" (223mmx127mm) in size, and cream in colour.  The writing on the top of form reads "J4721" and "M.8455/20. 500m. 4/42 P.Press. (52-5467.)" 

Each man who was listed in any of the Casualty Lists would have one filled out for him.  For example: 52575 Major C.A.H.B. BLAKE of the Royal Ulster Rifles is reported in Casualty List No 16 dated 19th January 1951 as "Missing on operations in Korea" and in Casualty List No 38 dated 29th June 1951 as "Previously reported "missing" now known to have been Killed in Action".  According to the book "Casualties Sustained by the British Army in the Korean War 1950-53" - Major BLAKES CAHB is listed as Missing 20th January 1951 and then as Killed in Action (KIA) on 30th June 1951 - these details are collated from the The Times newspaper and therefore may be when the casualty was published!  In fact, he died on 3rd January 1951 aged 39 and is buried in the UN Cemetery within Plot 17 Row 1 Grave 690.

52575 Major Charles Anthony Howell Bruce BLAKE was born on 1st December 1911 at Sheffield, Yorkshire .  He was killed in action on 3rd January 1951 aged 39.  He was a member of the 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles.  He was married at the time of death and his Next of Kin (Spouse) was living in Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire - it is recorded that his Next of Kin was informed on 20th July 1951.

KOREAN WAR MEDALS

British and Commonwealth service personnel were eligible for two medals for their service in Korea. One issued by the UK, called the Korea Medal (1950-53) and the UN-issued Korea Medal. The Korea Medal 1950-53 was issued named to the recipient by the UK, or other Commonwealth, Government. The UN Korea Medal was issued by the UN unnamed except those to Canadian recipients.

Canadian Korea Medal

The Canada Korea Medal. The UK version did not have the word "Canada" on the obverse

The Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force each had different qualification rules for the Korea Medal:

  • Royal Navy personnel had to complete 28 days afloat in the operational areas of the Yellow sea and the Sea of Japan, or one or more days of shore duty.
  • Army personnel had to complete a service period of at least one day on the strength of a unit serving in Korea.
  • Royal Air Force personnel had to complete one operational sortie over Korean land or water, service of one or more days on Korean land or service of 28 days afloat in the same areas as mentioned in the Royal Navy requirements.
  • Personnel were also eligible for the medal if they completed a visit of an official nature lasting a minimum of 30 days.

Personnel of any service were eligible for the medal if they were unable to meet their service's requirements, due to sickness, wounds or being killed.  Those personnel award a MID wore a bronze oak leaf on this medal's ribbon.

Recipients of the Korea Medal 1950-53 were also awarded the UN Korea Medal, although the reverse situation did not apply.

This medal was sanctioned by the United Nations in 1951 and was awarded to all those who served with the UN forces during the Korean War. Various issues were awarded by the appropriate government, the British version being awarded to other Commonwealth service personnel. The basic qualification was one days service in Korea, with a longer period for those on official visits.

The medal was also awarded to those who served in Korea after the armistice was signed in 1953.

 

UN Korea MedalThe UN Korea Medal 1950-53

If you have any enquiries concerning the military records of British Army personnel of the Korean War (or other conflicts post World War 2), please write to the following Ministry of Defence department:

Army Personnel Centre (Historic Disclosures)

Mailpoint 400,  Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX

(+44) 0141 224 2033

or alternatively, email me at: stephensonjohn@hotmail.com