This year marks the 70th Anniversary of The Battle of The Imjin River, which took place between 22nd - 25th April 1951 during the Korean War. The #Imjin70 Working Group was established to create a programme of activities and commemorations, to mark the anniversary. Chair of the group, Lt Col Anthony Ayres (The Rifles County Colonel for Gloucestershire), said:

“The anniversary of the Battle is 22-25 April, but a programme of activities will run from April until Remembrance Day with the main events taking place in and around September and October in the hope that we are past the worst of the current COVID situation. An important element of this anniversary programme will be to raise funds for a number of military related charities across the county.”

The Gloucestershire Regiment, known as the ‘Glorious Glosters’, is one of the most decorated regiments in the British Army. It has played a pivotal role in many conflicts during the Napoleonic Wars, both World Wars and most famously in the Korean War. After their courageous stand at the Battle of Imjin River, the Glosters were awarded the US Presidential Unit Citation for Valour, a unique award for a British Infantry Regiment.

In April 1951, the Chinese Spring Offensive was underway seeking to cross at the Imjin River, the historical key to capturing Seoul. The 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment was part of the 29th Brigade defending the main route to the South Korean capital.  During the night of 23-24 April, Chinese reinforcements crossed the Imjin, overwhelming UN forces. As the 29th Brigade withdrew to a defensible position, the Glosters continued to gallantly defend Hill 235 (now known as Gloster Hill) so as not to expose the 1st ROK Division to the west and the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division to the east to an outflanking manoeuvre. The Glosters were eventually surrounded but continued to fight off wave after wave of enemy troops, running out of ammo and suffering heavy casualties. Efforts to resupply and relieve the Glosters failed, and they were eventually captured on the morning of 25th with 522 soldiers including the commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Carne becoming prisoners of war.

Because of the efforts of the Glosters and the other defenders, the Chinese offensive was halted and the US 8th Army counter-attacked, pushing the communist forces back beyond the 38th parallel, which ever since has been the de facto border between North and South Korea. The Gloucestershire Regiment was singled out for a US Presidential Unit Citation, the highest American award for heroism and collective gallantry.

The story of the Gloucestershire Regiment’s heroic defence is told in the special Korean War Exhibition at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum. In South Korea, Gloster Hill Memorial Park and Gloster Bridge near the city of Paju commemorate the regiment’s actions.


Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum

The Museum displays the remarkable story of the Soldiers of Gloucestershire who have served their regiments since 1694. It depicts their courage, humour, traditions and their sacrifices in exciting and colourful exhibitions for all ages.



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