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"Korean War - finding a relative" Topic

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210 hits since 23 May 2024
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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korsun0 Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2024 6:07 a.m. PST

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The above was a thread I started last year about the anniversary of the Korean War armistice and how it seemed to be quietly ignored/forgotten/not remembered.
I subsequently found out from my dad that his cousin was killed in Korea. I had never heard this before so it piqued my interest.

I decided to find out what I could about the individual (L/Cpl Derek Budd) and the circumstances of his death. Through Ancestry I identified his nephew and found out a few snippets of information but he also knew very little about what had happened. Apparently the family had been so devastated at his death that all the associated memorabilia had been disposed of.
I did some searching and found references on the Australian War Memorial. This identified a date of death and a unit (1RAR). I found his name on the 1RAR Korean War Honour roll and I had a couple of photos but that was it. I couldn't find how he died, where he died or why a British bloke from Suffolk was fighting in 1RAR in Korea.
My search took me to unit diaries in Australia and UK, war memorials, records on Ancestry and other ancillary documents and veteran web sites. I'm lucky as my policing background is investigative and intelligence gathering so I liked nothing more than going down rabbit holes.
Eventually I found that Derek was born in the UK and was old enough to join up in 1945. He joined the Royal Berkshires and served until 1948 in Malaya when he finished his national service.
In 1950, Australia advertised for 1000 recruits to fill out the army for Korea. Derek applied and in 1951 came to Australia. He was promoted L/LCpl (probably because of his previous experience) and sent to Korea in April 1952 with 1 RAR. He was killed on 3 July 1952 with cause of death "wound, missile, head" but not where. This became a bit of a mystery.
Through access to various unit diaries (not a quick or easy process) I found that Derek had been part of a tank protection party. 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards had bogged a couple of Centurions in late June and decided to try and retrieve them on 3 July 1952 (Operation SNATCH). 1RAR provided the tank protection. In the diary of 5RIDG I found the line "During the recovery approx 78 mortar rounds landed in the area killing one man from 1 RAR".
That one line solved the mystery of how, when and where Derek had died. Derek is buried in Bhusan.
Derek's uncle was killed at Loos in 1915 as part of the Suffolk Regiment. He is buried at Abbeville.
I look forward to going to both of their graves now and saying "G'day'.

Apologies for the rambling nature of the post. It's a wonderful thing, is history.

ccmatty Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2024 6:11 a.m. PST

Thank you for sharing this!

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2024 6:24 a.m. PST

Well done, mate, and a great bit of research to find out what happened.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2024 8:17 a.m. PST

Great detective work. Not a ramble at all.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2024 3:01 p.m. PST

I agree with the above responses! Well done Detective!

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