1st Bn Royal Fusiliers and Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (London) Branch of the Fusiliers Association

Photo by Martin Bisiker

Photo by Martin Bisiker

Photo by Martin Bisiker

Royal Fusiliers Memorial Service June 27th 2023

The London Branch held their annual pilgrimage to Holy Sepulchre, Holborn Viaduct made special as it was to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Cease Fire in Korea. 
It was a special occasion for several reasons.  Firstly the ceremony was conducted as usual by the Reverend Nick Mottersley but this time with his new title of Regimental Chaplin which is so well deserved.  There was a record turnout of 51 attendees.  Only 15 were Fusilier Veterans which is understandable in that we are all 89 years plus. 
The support of carers and associates of the Regiment is important as eventually us old boys will either die out or be too infirm to make the journey to London.  If we are to continue to remember those who died in Korea and a significant battle honour we should be looking at a new format for eligible worshippers including young Fusiliers to continue the tradition.  How many people would give their right arm to have lunch at the Tower of London?


Secondly, we were gratified to have the presence of Sir Michael Caine and Lady Caine and most importantly his reason for being there.  I know that Sir Michael has had many requests to attend various events associated with his part in the war in Korea and he has never wanted to cash in on the fact that he was one of the few film stars who had actually experienced mortal combat.  The fact that he wanted to attend to “be with his old mates” says much for the man.


Thirdly we had the presence of George Hodkinson, DSM holder of one of the highest decorations awarded in the Korean War.  George also has been modestly quiet since his retirement and he was at last persuaded to attend this special occasion. The shortly to be published film the Royal Fusiliers in Korea will tell the story of the gallantry shown by the Cockney boy from Bermondsey.  Thanks George for your help in passing on a significant bit of Fusilier history.


Fourthly we thank our overseas Fusilier Veterans Jack Durbin and Len Lockmuller who came from South Carolina and Vancouver to be with us. A long journey which shows great pride in Regiment and what we did so long ago.


Fifthly we previewed the recently produced film the Royal Fusiliers in Korea which will be shown at St Sepulchres Church to visitors on large screens.  It was generally applauded and with minor correction will be ready for release imminently.


Our thanks to the Standard bearers and the Bugler and the London Taxi drivers who take us with all speed to the Tower after the service.  The Regimental Chaplin and the Reverend Tessa Bosworth conducted the Service and Sebastian Fox, Chairman of the Fusiliers Chapel Committee, read the lesson and the Exhortation next to the memorial.   Here we must mention the part played by our Fusilier Korean Veteran John Ingle.  John told the story of how his job as a driver was to take ammunition to the Fusiliers in the front trenches.  On one trip he was told to take a passenger in his vehicle who acted normally until he experienced artillery fire when he completely broke down until the barrage had ceased; this happened on successive nights. On enquiring why, he was told the passenger was suffering from shell shock and he had to be exposed to it until he got used to it again before he could go back into the line.  PTSD what’s THAT!

Mike Mogridge BEM and Brigadier Lamb, MC laid wreaths from the Regiment and “Your mates who made it home.”


Otherwise the service and lunch at the Tower ran with its usual calm efficiency thanks to Major Mick McCarthy who was both our benefactor and man behind the scenes and without whom the event would not be possible.


Finally after a sensible lunch of Salmon en croute Mike Mogridge gave a short speech of thanks to all who had made the occasion possible and gave his recollection of the night the cease fire was declared when the Regiment were on the Samichon Ridge position.  In the morning the Chinese and we emerged from our trenches and one Chinaman waved to us.  One of our number gave a peremptory wave in return.


Mike Mogridge BEM


Photo by Martin Bisiker

1st Bn Royal Fusiliers and Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (London) Branch of the Fusiliers Association


Ray O'Brien

5 Ashurst Drive, Worth, Crawley,

West Sussex RH10 7FS

Tel: 07988 833944

Email: rayobn1@gmail.com



Colonel M J Dudding OBE TD DL



Lieutenant Colonel K W Kiddie


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Kent DA5 2HY

Tel: 01322 550285


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