Gloucestershire

Replica Carne Cross given to South Korean war museum

Replica Carne Cross
Image caption The replica Carne Cross was carved by a stone mason at Gloucester Cathedral

A replica of a stone cross carved by a British prisoner during the Korean War has been given to a new museum in South Korea.

It was handed over in a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Imjin River.

The original - known as the Carne Cross - was made by Col James Power Carne of the Gloucestershire Regiment and is now housed in Gloucester Cathedral.

The ceremony took place at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan.

Col Carne led 700 men of the Gloucestershire Regiment against more than 10,000 Chinese in the Battle of Imjin River for four days in April 1951, on what has now become known as Gloster Hill.

It allowed UN forces time to retreat to defensive positions north of Seoul, where the Chinese were halted, and led to the regiment gaining the nickname The Glorious Glosters.

Image copyright Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
Image caption Col James Carne was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroics during the Battle of Imjin River

Col Carne was eventually captured by Communist forces and spent 19 months in solitary confinement. He was later awarded the Victoria Cross.

During his time in captivity, he carved a Celtic cross out of volcanic rock using, it is believed, just a nail.

Other objects, including a replica of Col Carne's Victoria Cross, his original service dress uniform and a Webley revolver used in the battle, were given or lent to the new Museum of the Korean War in Busan.

On Friday another ceremony took place at the foot of Gloster Hill, marking the anniversary of the battle.

Chris Chatterton from the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, who handed over the replica cross to South Korean officials, said Col Carne was "a major figure" in South Korea.

"President Park named him as one of the heroes of the Korean War so we wanted to find some items that reflected that [to go on display in the museum]."

Image caption Veterans gathered together at the foot of Gloster Hill on 65th anniversary of the Battle of Imjin River

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