Korea honour

BKS member Alan Guy MBE has been awarded the ‘Civil Merit Medal‘ on behalf of the President of the Republic of Korea to mark his 17 years as the British Korean Veterans Association’s Korea Liaison Officer, his 33 years as a BKVA member and his 84th birthday.

The medal and accompanying certificate were presented by the ROK Embassy’s Captain Ji (Navy) and Lt Col Park (Air Force) at a ceremony during a meeting of the BKVA’s Surrey West branch on 6 November. Some 70 British veterans and their wives were present.

Alan dedicated the medal to all British Korean War veterans , and ‘especially to the 1106 who never returned ho
 
BKS member Alan Guy MBE has been awarded the ‘Civil Merit Medal‘ on behalf of the President of the Republic of Korea to mark his 17 years as the British Korean Veterans Association’s Korea Liaison Officer, his 33 years as a BKVA member and his 84th birthday.

The medal and accompanying certificate were presented by the ROK Embassy’s Captain Ji (Navy) and Lt Col Park (Air Force) at a ceremony during a meeting of the BKVA’s Surrey West branch on 6 November. Some 70 British veterans and their wives were present.

Alan dedicated the medal to all British Korean War veterans , and ‘especially to the 1106 who never returned home
Of course it will be necessary for him to seek Her Majesty's permission to wear his Korean award alongside his Imperial medals.
Our naval casualties were 31 Royal Marines killed 17 taken POW with one electing to remain in N. Korea returning to UK in 1960. In addition two Royal Navy POW's both returning safely.
 
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witsend

MIA
Book Reviewer
When the Armistice was signed it was agreed, by all concerned, that those prisoners from both sides who chose to stay with their captors could do so. Captured North Koreans who chose to stay in the south totalled 25,000 which was about half of the total number taken prisoner. Of those captured by the north 328 South Koreans chose to stay along with 22 Americans and Marine Condron from Britain.. The lives of the men who chose to stay was not the Utopian one that they had been promised. The men were treated like freaks in a circus. They were taken from city to city and displayed as a great triumph of the communist cause. They had no contact with the local people and were kept isolated at all times. When the novelty had died down, after three years, all the Americans chose to return to the US. As they had all been dishonourably discharged and were now civilians no charges were faced by any of the returning men. Condron chose to move to China where he taught English and translated at the University of Beijing. Over the years many letters, telegrams and memoranda went back and forth between the Foreign Office, the Admiralty and the government in Hong Kong and the British Embassy in Beijing enquiring as the activities of Andrew Condron. Foreign correspondents that had been in touch with Condron reported that he was lively and an intelligent man and seemingly undecided on the merits of communism.
The British Embassy in Beijing reported, with some relish, that Condron was becoming an embarrassment to the Chinese. He had taken to drink ‘on a hearty scale’. He had also formed a liaison with two Chinese girls which put then in serious political difficulties as they were questioned as to why they were cavorting with a Western Imperialist. Further embarrassment was to come but not only for the Chinese but also for the Foreign Office as Condron formed a relationship with Jacqueline Hsiung/Baudet the illegitimate daughter of a senior French Diplomat. Andrew and Jacqueline were later to marry.
At this time Condron was becoming disillusioned with communism and the Chinese regime. He had some vague thoughts of moving to Czechoslovakia as it had the highest standard of living in the socialist bloc. Jacqueline was also questioned by the Chinese authorities for consorting with an Imperialist.
In 1961, Condron applied for a British passport even though the Admiralty had plans to arrest him and charge him with desertion as soon as he put foot on English soil. Condron, unlike the Americans, had not been discharged from the Corps. Knowing this Condron speculated that the easiest way to return to the UK would be to travel to Hong Kong and surrender to a Royal Navy ship thus getting a free passage home.
Condron eventually arrived in England in October 1962. Although records do not show how he actually did arrive back in the UK. His wife and son, Simon, followed close behind. Condron was not arrested as anticipated nor was he charged. In fact he was given an honourable discharge with back pay for the time he was a POW. It was deemed by the Admiralty and government too embarrassing, too expensive and too time consuming to follow through with the previous threats. He was, however, given a very serious debrief by the security services (MI5/MI6).
In 1986 Andrew Condron attended a reunion at CTC Lympstone and has attended several other Royal Marine get togethers since that time. Some of his fellow POW’s recommended Andrew for a decoration in recognition of his efforts whilst a prisoner to save lives and improve living conditions. This however was a step too far for the Admiralty so the suggestion was ignored.
Jacqueline got a job as a producer for the BBC World Service and for many years Andrew sold encyclopaedias door to door, which he was happy to do. Eventually he and Jacqueline were divorced and she moved to the US whilst Andrew remained in London. He passed away in March 1996 age 68.
Some statistics from the Korean War. More than 90,000 servicemen from the UK took part. Two notable participants were Fusilier Maurice Micklewhite (better known as Sir Michael Caine) and Captain Anthony Farrar-Hockley (who was promoted to General and later commanded NATO).
Although the US provided the majority of the servicemen the countries providing troops to the UN for service in Korea was diverse France, South Africa, Ethiopia, Belgium, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Canada, Greece, Columbia, Netherlands, Philippines, Norway and India. The cost of the war in human terms was Britain killed. 1,078. And the United States killed 36,574. I don’t have figures for the other countries but they can easily be accessed online. These figures were dwarfed by China and North Korea with losses of 1.5 million.






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