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Korean War 60th anniversary events

The MOD and Westminster Abbey will formally mark the bravery and dedication of those who fought in the Korean War over 60 years ago.

A parade and muster of veterans, and a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, will take place in London on Thursday 11 July 2013.

Some 100,000 British troops served on the Korean Peninsula, many of them National Servicemen, as part of a United Nations force after North Korean troops invaded South Korea in June 1950. They fought with conviction for peace alongside servicemen from the United States of America, Canada, Australia, India and many other UN member states.

An armistice was signed on 27 July 1953, by which point over 1,000 British servicemen had lost their lives and some 1,060 taken prisoner by the North Korean forces. Most famously, nearly all those in 1st Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment (now part of The Rifles) were killed or taken prisoner during the Battle of the Imjin River in April 1951.

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ocean (R68)
Royal Navy Colossus Class light fleet aircraft carrier HMS Ocean (R68) at Sasebo in Japan during the Korean War (library image) [Picture: Public domain]

Mark Francois, Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, said:

Sixty years on the Korean War remains an international conflict in which Britain played a significant role and one that should never be forgotten.

The commemorations to mark the 60th anniversary will, I hope, be a fitting way for the nation to give thanks to both the veterans and those who paid the ultimate price in a bitterly fought campaign.

Approximately 500 British veterans of the Korean War will march from Horse Guards to Westminster Abbey, remembering those involved in the campaign. A dedicated service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey will follow.

Representatives of the British Korean Veterans Association will attend a General Assembly of the International Federation of Korean War Veterans Associations in Seoul from 23 to 27 July 2013, and a Korean War Commemoration Day at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on 27 July 2013.

Those wishing to attend the service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey are asked to apply by email to PersTrg-DSSec-CECTMailbox@mod.uk or in writing to: Ceremonial, Events and Commemorations Team, Level 6, Zone C, Main Building, Whitehall, London SW1A 2HB.

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