Bob died on 26 June 2003 aged almost 72.

LCpl EO Erricker
LCpl RO Erricker

He enlisted at Godalming on 22 August 1949. After basic training with the 8th RTR at Catterick.

He joined The 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars at Leicester East airfield in the winter of 1949. He was initially employed in the ration store, being a member of Charlie Hedley’s staff. He was transferred to the Reconnaissance troop. He was promoted to lance corporal in July 1950.

After training at Tidworth, he sailed with the troop, and the Regiment from Southampton on 11 October 1950 for Pusan (Korea), arriving on 14 November 1950, to be met by an American negro band playing The St Louis Blues and Baby It’s Cold Outside and it was.

Reconnaissance Troop was part of the Regiment that moved up to Pyongyang on December 1 1950. Shortly after their arrival, they were on the road to Seoul, as the Chinese had entered the war in a big way.

At the end of December 1950, Cooper Force was created. It consisted of six 8H Cromwells from Recce troop and six RA OP Cromwells. They were commanded by Capt Astley-Cooper 8H.

They were north of the capital Seoul and under command of the Royal Ulster Rifles. On the night of 3 January 1951, the Force was withdrawing south, when it was overwhelmed by Chinese Infantry. Bob and 21 of his comrades were captured and four were killed. After a long march, the prisoners arrived at Camp 5 in North Korea in mid-March.

Bob was to remain a POW for two years and eight months.

He was released on 9 August 1953. After a short time in Japan to recuperate, he sailed for home on 17 August 1953 arriving on 16 September. He was discharged on 11 August 1954 and spent a further seven years on the Reserve.

For many years he organised reunions of the Camp 5 inmates, at the Union Jack Club and at his home.

Initially, he took up employment with Sainsbury’s, and then with Bishops in Cheam.

In 1957 he met Jean, and they were married in April 1960. They had three children Gary, Karen and Sally.

In 1969 Bob started work at Jean’s father’s nursery Sunnyside. Jean, Bob and later the family developed it into a prosperous and well-respected nursery. Bob retired in June 1996.

He was a staunch and active member of the Regimental Association, together with Jean, supporting all Regimental and most troop events in UK and Germany. He was also a prolific seller of Derby Draw tickets. He was a most generous subscriber to the Champion VC appeal, and always took a great interest in the museum at Eastbourne.

Bob was a loyal Irish Hussar, who always took a full part in Regimental events. He was though at times a little irascible, but that was just Bob!

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. Korea 1950-51