Christmas in Korea.

Saturday, 23 December, 1950

IWM(BF 224)

Left: Men of the 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles dig deep defensive positions in Korea. These later had to be abandoned when United Nations Command (UNC) forces withdrew in the face of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) Second Phase Offensive (© IWM (BF 224)).

Between 14 December and 1 January 1950, while the Chinese PVA was advancing toward the UNC defences along the line of the River Imjin, the 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles, in Corps Reserve, assisted in preparing alternative defensive positions.

The Battalion, since arriving in Korea on 5 November, was still somewhat bewildered by the unreality of what it had so far seen of the war; confusion, the near-panic withdrawal of UNC forces and the exaggerated stories about the enemy. No-one had ever experienced such an operation as the recent withdrawal, which bore so little resemblance to that phase of war. Despite this, the Battalion celebrated Christmas 'with a good deal of conviviality and a degree of comfort'.