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April 25 1951 Battle of Gloster Hill ends

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The “Glorious Glosters” Greatest Battle – When 650 Glosters were up against 10.000 Chinese

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Unique in all the British Army, the “Glorious Glosters” wear badges on the front and the rear of their berets.  This right was earned in a noteworthy battle against Napoleon’s army in Alexandria, Egypt in 1801. The outmanned ranks of the 28th (North Gloucestershire Regiment of Foot) were given the order “Front rank stay as you are, rear rank about turn.” They held their ground in a desperate battle and the British accepted the surrender of the French garrison a few months later.

The Glosters is a regiment that has earned battle honours in wars from Quebec to India, Crimea to South Africa, and everywhere in between. It won over 80 distinct battle honours in World War One alone.  The regiment bore the brunt of the evacuation at Dunkirk, as well as the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy during World War Two.

For all this history, the greatest battle of all for the “Glorious Glosters” was at Imjin River in Korea in 1951.  They were virtually annihilated by an enormous Chinese army that came in like “a swollen wave….breaking on the shore…” in the words of the late Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley who served as a captain in that battle.

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Map showing the situation at 9 am, 25 April: The Glosters are isolated on Hill 235 near Solma-ri, west of Route 5Y. The brigade’s main line of retreat is Route 11. The Belgian battalion occupies blocking positions near the brigade’s command post, while RNF, RUR and 8th Hussars are still further north. Additional support is provided by elements of the U.S. 65th Infantry. Note also the escape route of the Glosters’ D Company.

 

(Snip)

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