Author Topic: Irish soldiers & prisoners of the Korean War  (Read 356 times)

Offline ccmmgr

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Irish soldiers & prisoners of the Korean War
« on: Wednesday 14 March 18 11:31 GMT (UK) »
Hello everyone!

I am hoping someone who is a dab-hand with military records can help as I'm not having much luck. I have reached an impasse with my elusive grandfather's movements. I am told that he and his brother moved from Ireland to England when they were young and found themselves conscripted in the British Army, though I am not sure where this happened, and it is possible that they lied about their age. They both served in the Korean War, and my grandfather is said to have been a POW. I am told that they had green berets. The only tangible evidence I have are the silks he sent back to his mother from Hong Kong somewhere along the way. Both came back alive which felt like a miracle to those who knew and loved them.

Where is the best place for me to start looking? (FWIW, neither are living)

John Francis McDonnell, b. 1931, Co. Tipperary
Gerry McDonnell, b. 1935, Co. Tipperary



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Offline MaxD

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Re: Irish soldiers & prisoners of the Korean War
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 14 March 18 14:54 GMT (UK) »
Assuming that they did indeed serve in the British Forces in the Korean war, then their service records will still be held by the Ministry of Defence and can be applied (and paid) for, subject to the terms spelled out here:
https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-someone-elses-records

While it is desirable to have a service number, if you have the date of birth, death cert and fulfil the next of kin requirements, then the system should be able to find him/them.

Giving me pause is your line about green berets.  At that time, as far as I know, in the British forces, as today, only the Royal Marines (and others who had passed the Commando course) wore a green beret.  41 Commando RM fought in the Korean War.  The significance of this is that RM records are held by the Royal Navy not the Army so the application goes to them.

Difficult.  Others may have better ideas, note that the RM Museum does not have service records for that era.

MaxD
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Randle/Millington Warwicks
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Offline ccmmgr

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Re: Irish soldiers & prisoners of the Korean War
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 14 March 18 14:59 GMT (UK) »
Thank you so much Max, that is all helpful, it is going to be a difficult knot to unpick whichever details turn out to be reliable (this is always the problem with oral histories - I wish I could have asked him directly!) but it's good to know where I can start searching at least. Much appreciated RE: the green berets by the way, it's that kind of knowledge saves hours of research :)

Offline John915

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Re: Irish soldiers & prisoners of the Korean War
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 14 March 18 23:19 GMT (UK) »
Good evening,

Durham Light Infantry is another possibility. LI regts wear green berets in rifle green which is much darker than the Marines green.

Unable to find a diffinitive date when they first adopted the green beret though.

John915
Stephens, Fuller, Tedham, Bennett, Ransome (Sussex)
Rider (Fulham)
Stephens (Somerset)
Kentfield (Essex)

Offline ccmmgr

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Re: Irish soldiers & prisoners of the Korean War
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 15 March 18 10:33 GMT (UK) »
That's really helpful as well John, thank you.