Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria to include a Fine Collection of Napoleonic Medals (25 March 2015)

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Date of Auction: 25th March 2015

Sold for £600

Estimate: £300 - £350

Pair: Rifleman R. Boyd, Royal Ulster Rifles, taken prisoner at the battle of the River Imjin

Korea 1950-53, 1st issue (22307006 Rfn., R.U.R.); U.N. Korea 1950-54, unnamed, nearly extremely fine (2) £300-350


Rifleman B. Boyd, Royal Ulster Rifles, who came from Belfast, was taken prisoner at the battle of the River Imjin. He was last seen by his Section Commander firing at the ‘Swarms of Chinese who were overlooking the track’. Boyd was finally released from Camp 63 on 18 August 1953.

Sold with a photocopy of a document written by Corporal Farrell relating to Rifleman Boyd stating ‘The last time I saw the above mentioned soldier he was firing at a party of enemy approx 100 strong appearing along a ridge 255006 from a position in the Valley 254005. He was not wounded at the time’; a photocopy of ‘Casualties due to Battle - other ranks’ which includes Boyd and a copied document written to Boyd’s mother, Mrs A. Boyd who lived at 15, Rockland Street, Donegal Pond, Belfast.

The 1 Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles landed at Pusan on 5 November 1950 as part of 29 Infantry Brigade. Together with the Glosters and Royal Northumberland Fusiliers they moved North towards the Yalu River but then, together with the rest of the Allied Army, fell back towards Seoul. Their first big battle was at Chaegunghyon ‘Happy Valley’ where they held their position against a mass Chinese attack although suffering 157 killed, wounded and taken prisoner.
Their next big battle was the Battle of the River Imjin. Once again the Battalion was attacked by a mass of Chinese troops intent on breaking through the British Brigade, which included a Belgium Battalion, and capturing Seoul. The R.U.R. held their positions in the face of continual Chinese attacks but were gradually surrounded and, in line with the rest of the Brigade, were ordered to move back to alternative positions. It meant a difficult march of four miles under continual mortar and small arms fire. Some men escaped by riding on the Centurion tanks of the 8th Hussars, others fought courageously until eventually being captured. Amongst those captured was Rifleman R. Boyd.