Bernard died on 6 April 2003 aged 72 years.

Tpr B Jones
Tpr B Jones

He enlisted in May 1949 at Shrewsbury. After recruit training at Catterick with The 8th RTR, he joined The 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars at Leicester East airfield.

He became a member of Recce Troop. He moved with the Regiment to Mooltan Barracks, Tidworth in the Spring of 1950.

He sailed with the Regiment from Southampton on the Empire Fowey on 10 October 1950 arriving at Pusan (Korea) on 14 November to be met by an American negro band playing The St Louis Blues and Baby It’s Cold Outside, and it was.

He was part of the Regiment that moved to Pyongyang on 1 December 1950. Unfortunately for him he also took part in the Happy Valley Battle (2 January to 4th January 1951). The Recce Troop under Capt Astley-Cooper had been reinforced with 6 Cromwell OP tanks.

They had a vital role in holding back the Chinese north of Seoul, to enable a large number of Ulster Rifles and Northumberland Fusiliers to escape. Bernard, together with many other members of Recce Troop were taken prisoner on 3 January 1951, when they were overwhelmed by Chinese Infantry.

Bernard and 21 of his comrades were captured and four killed.

After a long march the prisoners reached Camp 5 in mid-March. Bernard was to remain a POW until he was released on 7 August 1953, and after spending several weeks in Japan to recuperate sailed for home on 17 August, arriving on 17 September. He then went on leave until being posted to the RAC Depot in January 1954. He was discharged on 20 May 1954, but spent a further seven years on the Reserve.

He married Beryl at St Augustine’s Parish Church at Leicester on 19 December 1953 and had four children, David, Wendy, Denise and Christine.

In civilian life he first worked for Imperial Typewriters and then became a plastic moulder/tool setter until retirement, and remained a resident of Leicester until his death. Bernard was a loyal and respected member of the Regimental Association, and since its formation, the Leicester Troop.

Together with the core members of the troop he attended Regimental and British Korean Veterans Association events throughout the country, and Camp 5 reunions arranged by Bob Erricker. His last appearance a few weeks before his death was at the Leicester Troop St Patrick’s Dinner.

Related topics

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