We made a last-minute plan to re-visit the Gloucester Valley Battle Monument today and managed a precursory exploration of the terrain from the Imjin River to the Glosters' final position on Hill 235, where the monument is located. We threw together a picnic, but the weather forecast deteriorated en route, and no sooner had we finished the last roll than the heavens opened. That said, the coming week is the sixty-ninth anniversary of the battle, so the photographs I took will be more or less correct in terms of foliage and atmospherics. Apologies for any errors: there was no planning and I was working only on my phone with photos of the maps from the official history. The first time we visited, a number of years ago, the site was simple, well-kept and small, but at some stage recently it has been expanded and renovated considerably; the original monument is now only one part of a larger memorial park that includes car-parking, a picnic area and commemorative sculptures; it really is most impressive, and, typically for South Korea, immaculately maintained. You can also tell that the veterans themselves have had some input, because the historical accounts on site are rather good in spite of their brevity (only one typo!). The engraved black marble bears some very fancy 'ghosted' photographs of the contemporary battalion, and every soldier who was present is listed by name and rank (see video). Unfortunately, they are too shiny to photograph well without repeated reflections of my groin, so I decided to spare you that dubious pleasure. Random note, but adjacent to the site is a sanctuary for injured birds of prey. It was closed, but from the steps of the memorial I could see an eagle stretching its wings. Here is an overview (not mine): Here are the details of the site in print: Gloucester Valley Battle Monument - Wikipedia And here is a sketch of the wider battle: Battle of the Imjin River - Wikipedia First the 'new' memorial park: Now Gloster Bridge over the Seolmacheon (stream): The original memorial on the other side: Finally, some sample of the terrain (hmm, ankles...): Here's my best attempt at locating the Colonel Carne's dispositions at the start of the battle on a contemporary map. There is some lack of precision as the hills have been cut into and the roads have been straightened, widened and at some points re-routed. Each of these positions was evacuated, one by one and at considerable loss, as the battalion was concentrated on the HQ position of Hill 235 (shown below five days after the battle). A-Coy's peak is sometimes referred to as 'Castle Hill', but it certainly was not a castle. I think B-Coy was brought in closer to D-Coy, and the location I've marked here is early on in the fighting, but I'll have to get to a book to check whether that's right and, if so, when. I had mistakenly assumed that C-Troop, 170th Independent Mortar Battery was located with HQ-Coy, but it seems that they were initially in the hills across the road from the HQ and I missed the opportunity to take a look up there. This man is standing on the A-Coy position and pointing back towards Hill 235. The road is Route 5Y, which takes roughly the same course as the modern road. The slopes to the right of the road will, I think, be C-Coy's position, with D-Coy's initial positions out of sight to the left of this image. I had particular difficulty locating the ford over which the lead elements of Chinese 187 Division actually crossed under fire from Second Lieutenant Temple's fifteen-man ambush at 2200 on 22/4/51. The photograph here is taken from the northern bank, looking at the modern bridge, but the ford, I think, is/was located to the right of the bridge's location (as seen from the north). For what it's worth, this picture gives the approximate depth and width for the correct time of the year. The road that now crosses the bridge (marked in red below) is new, but the original road leading north to the south river bank (marked in green) came through a cutting in the high bank that is now home to a military observation post (and hence inaccessible); it's also hard to photograph from the north bank. The green line across the river shows the exact point at which the water is the shallowest. And, just for good measure, a few miles away we stopped at another much older memorial: a pagoda constructed for a scholar who left the government to write poetry and paint several, hundred years ago. The shop, run by a veteran attendant, sells hard-tack, MREs and C-Rations to nostalgic hikers. There was also a heavy artillery 'battery' (a guess) a few hundred metres from the site. I counted eight guns, partially concealed in sheltered bunkers facing north. A number of the roads through the valleys in this area are also pre-rigged with explosives behind concrete supports at strategic points. Their detonation, would, presumably, block the route to tanks and heavy vehicles if the North should attack once more.