News / 65


After World War 2 Korea, which had been annexed by Japan in 1910, was divided into two parts. The move was intended to be short term, pending a return to Korean independence. Soviet Russia would take control of north of the 38th parallel, while the south would be under American military administration. Russia backed a Stalinist regime in the north under Kim Il-sung and created the North Korean People’s Army, equipped with Russian tanks and artillery. In the south the political situation was chaotic. This resulted in an American-backed administration under President Syngman Rhee, who was determined to bring about national unity by force. The tensions between north and south built until, on 25 June 1950, the North Korean People’s Army launched an invasion of the south. In response the UN sent a mainly American force to help. 100,000 British service personnel were involved in the Korean War with over 1,000 killed.

The records in our collection cover 4,502 service personnel, who were killed or injured between 1950 and 1953. They include details such as a soldier’s name, place of birth, service number, rank, regiment, whether they were killed or injured, where and where it happened, and details of their burial.