Gloucestershire

Veterans pay respects at Battle of Imjin River memorial

British war veterans marching during the Gloster Valley memorial service
Image caption The ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the battle took place at the memorial site on Saturday.

Veterans of the Gloucestershire Regiment have paid their respects at the Gloster Valley Memorial in South Korea.

The Battle of Imjin River saw 866 soldiers hold off 27,000 Chinese soldiers for three days in April 1951.

It remains the bloodiest battle fought by British Forces since World War II.

The official ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary took place at the memorial, at the foot of Gloster Hill near Solma-ri on Saturday.

In the battle, more than 700 members of 1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, withstood the advance of 27,000 men of the Chinese 63rd Army.

Their stand gave other United Nations troops time to regroup and block the advance of Chinese and North Korean forces.

Some 1,078 British soldiers were killed during the Korean War.

'Very emotional'

The 1st Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment became known as The Glorious Glosters in recognition of their courage.

Members of the regiment joined other veterans at Saturday's official memorial service.

In an emotional ceremony the Glosters, many of whom were taken prisoner, paid their respects to their fallen colleagues.

Officials and dignitaries from the Korean government thanked the servicemen for helping to free the country from communist rule.

After the ceremony, Lance Bombardier Tom Clough, who was taken prisoner in Korea, said: "It was very emotional. I'm struggling to find words.

"It took me back."

To mark the 60th anniversary, The Rifles Regiment, a successor to The Gloucestershire Regiment, were awarded the freedom of Gloucester on 2 April.

A service of commemoration was held at Gloucester Cathedral.