Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
THE ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES AND THE ‘BATTLE OF HAPPY VALLEY’
The Battle at Chaegunghyon - known as the Battle of Happy Valley - was the most ferocious and famous battle fought by the 1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifle in the Korean War. On the 3 January 1951, the Chinese Army, as part of their Fifth Offensive, made a concentrated attack on the Irishmen with the aim of breaking through the Allied Army and moving south to Seoul. The fighting lasted over 24 hours and involved close-quarter combat with machine-gun, hand grenades and bayonet. Losses were heavy with 157 men killed, wounded or captured. Majors H. M. Griffin and J. K. Shaw were awarded the D.S.O., 2nd Lieutenants H. Houston Shaw and Mervyn McCord the M.C. and Sergeants H. A. Campbell and D. Cooke the M.M.; McCord was a famous Irishman who subsequently commanded the Ulster Defence Regiment.
The Battalion's heroic stand was recognised by the U.N. Commander and by the Battle Honour 'SEOUL'. A memorial was subsequently erected on the battlefield to the memory of those who fell at Chaegunghyon. It was later transported back to Ireland in H.M.S. Belfast and re-erected at the Royal Ulster Rifles barracks in Ballymena, Co. Antrim. These barracks were closed in March 2008 and, following a request from the British Korean Veterans' Association, Belfast City Council gave permission for the memorial to be relocated to the grounds of the City Hall, near the cenotaph.
Pair: Rifleman J. Vance, Royal Ulster Rifles
Korea 1950-53 (19049339 Rfn. J. Vance, R.U.R.); U.N. Korea 1950-54, good very fine or better (2)
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