Tag Archives: korea

Hope ….

Hope ….

North and South Korea walking together under one flag at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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Embracing my anorak self …

Embracing my anorak self …

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For Valour … 1951

For Valour … 1951

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Bill Speakman

Bill Speakman, VC (born 21 September 1927) is a British recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was the first man to receive a VC from Queen Elizabeth II. He is now aged 88.

He was 24 years old, and a private in what was then The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), British Army, attached to the 1st Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers during the Korean War when the following deed took place at United Hill, for which he was awarded the VC.

On 4 November 1951 in Korea, when the section holding the left shoulder of the company’s position had been seriously depleted by casualties and was being over-run by the enemy, Private Speakman, on his own initiative, collected six men and a pile of grenades and led a series of charges. He broke up several enemy attacks, causing heavy casualties and in spite of being wounded in the leg continued to lead charge after charge. He kept the enemy at bay long enough to enable his company to withdraw safely. Press reports of the time reported that Private Speakman began throwing bottles at the enemy after running out of grenades.The bottles were in fact beer bottles sent to the line for platoon consumption (40 men-approx 4 per man). By the time the platoon were attacked, the bottles were empty, thus constituting suitable weaponry. These actions earned him the Victoria Cross.

The first YouTube clip below shows Bill Speakman at Buckingham Palace following his investiture in 1952. (He is the 2nd soldier pictured). The second shows him speaking many years later about this experience.

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Korea … Christmas Day (1951)

Korea … Christmas Day (1951)

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Men of Co “F”, 9th Inf Regt, 2nd U.S. Inf Div, enjoy their Christmas Day dinner at CO HQS, Korea. 25 December 1951.

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Beauty and the Beast … on target in 1951

Members of the University of Connecticut archery club, 1951

Beauty …

Members of the University of Connecticut archery club, 1951.
An excellent pose ladies!

And now … in stark contrast

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and the Beast

This photo was taken by a U.S. Army photographer 9 March 1951 near Wonju, Korea. It shows an M-114 155mm Towed Howitzer of the 503d Field Artillery Battalion, 2d Infantry Division as it fires against Chinese Communist forces to the north.

Tanks for the memory … Korean War

This photo was taken on January 4th 1951  by a U.S. Army photographer  as the last tank of the U.N. forces holding Seoul, Korea  evacuated the city by crossing to the south of the Han River. The pontoon bridge shown in the photo was the last one across the Han and was demolished immediately after  the M4 Sherman Tank had cleared off.
Chinese forces entered the Korean War on 25th October 1950 with over 300,000 troops. Allied forces were overwhelmed and the Communists advanced southward towards Seoul capturing it on 4th January 1951, the date of this picture.
The Allies were pushed back to a point 25 miles south of Seoul by the 10th of January. From that low point, the Allies fought back and Seoul was recaptured on 14th March. By July 1951 discussions for a truce were being considered although combat didn’t end for another two years.

The photograph above shows a Soviet-built T-34 tank belonging to the North Koreans. It was taken in October 1950 on a bridge south of Suwon.  It certainly seems to have been somewhat of a bad hair day for this particular tank.