Gloucester Valley Battle Monument
The Gloucester Valley Battle Monument (Korean: 파주 영국군 설마리전투비, literally "British Army's Seolmari Battle Monument in Paju") or Gloster Memorial is a memorial in South Korea that commemorates the actions of the Gloucestershire Regiment and C Troop, 170th Mortar Battery, Royal Artillery, of the British Army during the Battle of the Imjin River in 1951.
|Gloucester Valley Battle Monument|
파주 영국군 설마리전투비
坡州 英國軍 雪馬里戰鬪碑
|Revised Romanization||Paju Yeonggukgun Seolmari Jeontubi|
|McCune–Reischauer||P’achu Yŏngkukkun Sŏlmari Chŏnt'upi|
Hill 235, where the 1st Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment (the Glorious Glosters) was ordered to "Hold on where you are", is remembered as "Gloster Hill". The hill is south of the Imjin River and west of the Seolmacheon stream at Coordinates: in Jeokseong-myeon, Paju City, Gyeonggi-do Province, South Korea.
The memorial stands at the foot of Gloster Hill beside the Seolmacheon stream, the initial location of the Gloucestershire Regiment's headquarters during the battle at Imjin River. It was built by units of the British and South Korean armed forces as a memorial to the Gloucestershire Regiment and C Troop, 170th Mortar Battery, Royal Artillery.
The British Embassy in Seoul organises services for veterans on every anniversary of the battle, in April. Information on and artifacts from the battle are held by the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum in Gloucester, England.
The memorial was first unveiled on 29 June 1957. The memorial park was expanded and reopened in 2014. There is a memorial garden on the east side of the stream containing a large sculpture of the Gloucester's beret, a set of life sized Gloucester soldiers patrolling away from the Imjin River and a memorial wall. The stream is crossed by Gloucester Bridge and a path leads round to a flight of steps that takes you to the memorial stones set into a wall built into the side of the hill.
Four plaques on the original memorial still show the crest of the United Nations, the badges of the Gloucestershire Regiment and of the Royal Artillery, plus inscriptions in English and Korean which read:
Battle of Solma-Ri – April 21 to 25, 1951
This memorial on Gloster Hill commemorates
The heroic stand of the 1st Battalion the
Gloucestershire Regiment and 'C' Troop, 170
Light Mortar Battery, Royal Artillery.
Surrounded and greatly outnumbered they
Fought valiantly for four days in the
Defence of freedom.
This is a popular park for local Koreans. According to Lee In-jae, the mayor of Paju who raised money among local citizens to expand the park, "Freedom is not free – it is earned with blood".
1.7 kilometers away from the memorial and situated on Gamak mountain is a rope bridge known as The Gloucester Heroes Bridge. The insignia of the regiment is also on a marble effect wall towards the beginning/end of the bridge, depending on which side the walk is started.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gloucester Valley Battle Monument.|
- "Registered Cultural Heritage 407, British Army's Seolmari Battle Monument in Paju". Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- 등록문화재 제407호, 파주 영국군 설마리전투비. 문화재청 (in Korean). Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Daniell, David Scott (1975). Cap of Honour. George G Harrap. p. 375. ISBN 0-7509-4172-3.
- Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
- Salmon, Andrew. “Why Old Soldiers Love Korea”, Forbes (May 7, 2014).
- "Suspension Bridge of Gamaksan Mountain, Paju". en.ggtour.or.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 18 February 2018.