THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: From the News Letter of May 1951
Royal Ulster Rifles pay heavy price in Korean War
“The Royal Ulster Rifles, who sailed from Liverpool on October 2 last year  for Korea, and went into action in the middle of November, have suffered heavily in the see-saw battles that have since taken place,” declared an editorial published by the News Letter during this week in May 1951 reflecting on the Korean War.
“Very soon after their arrival General MacArthur began the offensive which took his troops to the border of Manchuria and which was to bring the war to a swift end. Unfortunately the Chinese crossed the border in force, and in January the United Nations forces were driven south of the 38th parallel.
“It was in this battle that the Rifles suffered their first severe losses. Reports that the battalion had been wiped out were exaggerated, but the toll was heavy, and later in the month the War Office issued a list of 136 casualties - three officers wounded and five missing, eleven men killed, 45 wounded and 72 missing.”
The editorial continued: “Since then the United Nations forces have driven the Communists north of the parallel, but once more they are on the defensive and again the Rifles have suffered heavily.
“The latest casualty list contains 108 names, and 45 were reported on the previous day.
“These with the January figures make a total of 289, to which must be added the considerable number of men reported as casualties from time to time in other and shorter lists.”
There were hopes that some of the men missing in action might still make their way their way back to United Nations lines.
The News Letter editorial concluded: “But relatives of those who are in enemy hands will be glad to read Mr Shinwell’s [Emmanuel/Manny the Minister of Defence] statement yesterday that, though there is no news of operations by the International Red Cross behind the Communist lines, men who have escaped from the Chinese report that on the whole they have been well treated.
“The War Secretary’s replies in Parliament to questions about the despatch of goods and raw materials to China were unconvincing, and if British and other United Nations troops continue to suffer severe casualties British policy on the question of exports to China trill have to be reviewed.”