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Unveiling of South Korea memorial to Glorious Glosters 'emotional' for Gloucester mayor Chris Chatterton

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 25, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Public Affairs reporter

  • The Glorious Glosters monument is unveiled

  • A ribbon is cut at the unveiling

  • Veterans watch on at the service

  • Veterans inspect the new memorial

  • Gloucester mayor Chris Chatterton speaking ahead of the signing of an agreement between Paju and Gloucester to work together

  • Gloucester mayor Chris Chatterton and Paju mayor In-Jae Lee at the signing of the memorandum of understanding

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UNVEILING a multi-million pound memorial to the Glorious Glosters in the South Korean city of Paju has left Gloucester mayor Chris Chatterton feeling ‘emotional’.

The huge beret sits against the backdrop of all the names of the Gloucestershire Regiment on the site of the Battle of Imjin River where they took part in the Korean War in 1951.

Paju’s mayor In-Jae Lee teamed up with Mr Chatterton to unveil the monument as a tribute more than 60 years after the Glosters’ efforts.

A message from Her Majesty was even delivered at the special ceremony on Wednesday.

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Mr Chatterton, who remains in South Korea until the end of the week, said after the event, which was attended by veterans, that it had been ‘very emotional’.

In a speech to the congregation, he said: “The bravery shown by members of the Glorious Glosters is difficult to comprehend. Standing on this spot brings into sharp focus the challenges that were faced and the astonishing courage that was shown.

“As the years pass, and age takes its inevitable toll, the number of those veterans who were part of this action is sadly decreasing. It is fitting that the unveiling of this new memorial is able to take place in the presence of some of those brave souls who came here as young men and fought to defend the rights and freedoms that so many of us take for granted nowadays.

“However, we are at a crossroads in time, a time of generational change, and this memorial also signifies a passing of the baton to the next generation.

“On behalf of the people of Gloucester I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to the people of Korea who have designed, funded and built such a fitting tribute to those that fell in battle.

“My hope is that this will serve to inspire all of us, and to cement the bond between the people of Paju and Gloucester. That will indeed be a fitting and lasting legacy to the people who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend life and liberty.”

Trade agreement is signed

Only when Gloucester mayor Chris Chatterton returns to our city will we be able to test the full potential of a new trade agreement signed with Paju.

Mr Chatterton told the Citizen in a phone call from his accommodation in the city that he was ‘delighted’ with how the signing of a ‘memorandum of understanding’ had gone on Tuesday.

It is designed to promote both economic and cultural links between Paju and Gloucester – and could be a boon for business in both cities who want to set up camp internationally or create new export arrangements.

Several Gloucester schools will see their pupils form new online friendships with their peers 5,000 miles away too.

Mr Chatterton, who has privately funded his trip, ended his visit to Paju yesterday and was heading to the capital city of Seoul for more cultural visits and to explore other opportunities across the wider country.

He admitted that the trip had left him ‘exhausted’ with long hours in his mayoral robes in searing temperatures of 30C and 90 per cent humidity.

Mr Chatterton will return to cooler temperatures on Monday but he will be hoping that the relationship between Paju and Gloucester will get hotter.

The city council’s regeneration team will be tasked with pursuing potential leads that could lead to new business.

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5 comments

  • jas37  |  April 28 2014, 9:53PM

    Mike-Smith-Gl, that was in the 1980's, what are the Council doing now to bring in Visitor attractions to the Docks area. The lower floors of Phillpotts Warehouse would be an ideal location for a much-needed visitor attraction but the Council appear to view it as an appropriate place to use for storing box files. What vision and ambition.

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  • RoadWombat  |  April 28 2014, 10:20AM

    So long as the museum is there, that is, in itself, a kind of "memorial". Besides which we have the memorial chapel in the cathedral, the memorial to the 1/5th Battalion at the park, plus the very fact the square is named after the Regiment. There is a sort of nod to the Gloucesters in that the (admittedly hideous) rusty needle has a quotation from poet Ivor Gurney, who himself served in the Regiment, around its base. So, whilst I agree with Mike that a straight out memorial to them would be vastly preferable to the trendy sculptures, we can't say the county regiment is ignored.

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  • Mike_Smith_Gl  |  April 27 2014, 11:43AM

    I don't think that is an entirely fair comment, Jas. Remember it was the City Council which kicked off the whole Docks regeneration when it took the bold decision to buy the, then dilapidated, North Warehouse from the British Waterways Board for just £1 in order to re-locate its offices there. We have had good support from the Council for the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Back Badge Square. Have a look at Armed Forces Day Gloucester page on Facebook. I wouldn't expect the Council to finance a Memorial to the Glorious Glosters, especially in its present straitened circumstances. It would have to be by public subscription.

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  • jas37  |  April 27 2014, 10:57AM

    Not a bad idea mike-Smith-Gl, but I'm afraid the City Council appear to see the Docks purely as a site in which their Offices are sited. Visitor attractions don't seem to be on their radar.

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  • Mike_Smith_Gl  |  April 26 2014, 5:49PM

    Why can't we have something like this in Back Badge Square at The Docks (near the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum) rather than rusty abstract 'sculptures'.

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