Faughs arrive in Korea

Sunday, 13 June, 1954 - Sunday, 30 January, 1955

FlashAt the end of the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers' (Faugh's) tour in Berlin, the Battalion moved to the United Kingdom and proceeded on leave before reforming at Pelham Down on Salisbury Plain, England in March 1954. They prepared for their move to Korea where they would relieve the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots in the Commonwealth Division's 29 Infantry Brigade. (Right, Flash of 1st Commonwealth Division (Korea), © IWM (INS 6903))

The Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H S P Barstow, embarked on HMT Empire Fowey and sailed on 17 May 1954, bound for Pusan where it disembarked on 13 June. The Military Armistice between the United Nations and the Korean and Chinese, 'an armistice which will ensure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved', had been signed on 27 July 1953. Before that, and during the fighting, the Faughs had produced a draft of 9 Officers and 457 other ranks for the 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles and sent individuals to other regiments, including Cpl W Hanna who was awarded the Military Medal (MM) while attached to The Royal Norfolk Regiment. Of those Faughs who served with 1 RUR, six were killed, 13 wounded and 36 taken as POWs.

The Commonwealth Division continued to man that sector of the Kansas Line that overlooked the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) along the 38th Parallel. The Faughs, living under canvas, conducted patrolling and practised their operational plans as well as rebuilding and maintaining their bunkers and defensive works. They also indulged in constructing wooden shacks to improve their living accommodation as protection against the severe Korean climate. During this time, the Battalion was warned for its move to Kenya where it would confront the Mau Mau. The Faughs then began operational training to prepare for forest operations in Kenya's Aberdare Mountains and Rift Valley despite the cold and barren terrain in Korea. Handing over its positions to the South Korean Army, the Battalion departed Korea and landed in Mombasa on 30 January 1955.