Return of 8th Hussars from Korea, a captured enemy flag and a question

Discussion in 'Korea' started by Tolbooth, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Well-Known Member

    My dad had this rather battered photo of his return from Korea in Dec 51.

    It originally appeared in the Birmingham Post newspaper of 3 Dec 1951 with the headline "Chinese war flag is their trophy" and the following article;

    'Members of the 8th Hussars proudly displaying a Chinese flag they captured during service in Korea when they returned home to Liverpool on Saturday in the troopship Empire Halladale.

    Second from the left in the front row is Trooper A E (
    actually FW) Bagley of 18 Giles Close, Coventry and next but one to him Trooper G Knight of 64 Wyndhurst Road, Glebe farm, Birmingham.

    Also on board were men of the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment, home after 2 ½ years service in Hong Kong and Korea.

    There were many Midlanders among them. They were welcomed by Maj-General Guy de C Glover. He was accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire ( Mr H Wallace Copland).

    The battalion went on to Bursclough Camp, West Lancs., where they will be stationed for two months before moving to Northern Ireland.

    An advance party of the 1st battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment were also in the trooper. They left for Warminster (Wilts), to prepare for the homecoming of the Regiment, which is due at Southampton on Thursday, December 20.'

    It's fairly obviously not a Chinese flag but Korean - even my rudimentary knowledge of Asian languages managed to work that out. The question is though can anyone identify it or give a partial translation?

    Thanks in advance

    (Can't get over how skinny my old man looks! Not how I remember him)
    Charley Fortnum and 4jonboy like this.
  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    1. They are holding it back-to-front.

    2. The text along the bottom says it is the 'Seoul Branch' and perhaps something about leaving (it's incomplete).

    3. My vocabulary is too small! I'll consult Mrs Fortnum about possibilities for the two big characters at the top that are obscured by a hand.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
    AB64 and Tolbooth like this.
  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    At the bottom:

    서울 지부. 조선...

    Seoul Chapter. Korea...
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
    Tolbooth likes this.
  4. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Well-Known Member

    Thanks Charley, I knew you come through.
    So maybe not even a military flag ?
  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Well, that's the weird thing.

    If the two large characters at the top are what they appear to be, then they are 섬유, which means...

  6. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles


    Mrs opines: 조선 = Choson or Joseon, which is the historic name for Korea (all of it).

    However, the next character seems to be 소, which gives us 조선소, which is a shipyard or ship-building place. The confusion is akin to finding the word Burn and then finding the full word is Burnley!

    So it could be Seoul Chapter. Shipbuilders/Shipwrights.

    Looking again, what do you make of the symbol within the star? Could it be a large cog or a ship's wheel?

    We're still mystified by 'fibre' above the star. Unless, there's a historic or metaphorical word that means something else. My brother-in-law has studied ancient chinese and will be able to answer that (Korean is based on Chinese).

    Is there any hope of getting an undamaged copy from an original newspaper?
  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    It's beginning to sound more like a trade union banner
  8. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Well-Known Member

    Think I got the original text of the article from a microfiche copy in Brum Central Library so probably not very accessible at the moment!

    Just checked the online newspaper archive and, of course, the years 1945-1951 are missing!

    Does sound as though some enterprise Korean has been conning the ignorant British - "Oh yes, genuine North Korean Army ! Only ten tins of bully beef!"
  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I was thinking that it could be the British boys trying it on with the press.

    They get given a goodbye souvenir and tell the reporters that it was a captured Chinese battle standard!
    Tolbooth likes this.

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