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NOTICE
Regimental Headquarters The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers HM Tower of London London EC3N 4AB
Tel: 020-3166-6909 Fax: 020-3166-6920 E-mail: rhq@thefusiliers.org

RHQ/RRF/1363 14th November 2017


Mr Ben Smith


It is with much sadness that we inform you of the death of Lieutenant Ben Smith, formerly of The 1st Battalion Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

Ben was commissioned at Sandhurst with intake 5 in July 1950 just as the Korean conflict was breaking out. He had expected to join 1RNF at Warminster where they were fulfilling the role of the demonstration battalion. Instead he was sent to Bury St Edmunds as part of 29th Infantry Brigade and then joined the Battalion in Korea in March 1951 as a reinforcement.

On St Georges Day - 23rd April 1951 - the Chinese attacked across River Imjin. Ben at the time was with his Platoon forward of the main defensive position tasked with giving early warning of any attack and was then to withdraw to pre prepared defensive positions. When the Chinese struck, they did so with such speed that Ben's platoon was quickly surrounded. The 8th Hussars engaged what they thought was the enemy but this turned out to be Benís platoon. There were no communications with the tanks so Ben waved identity panels to identify his Platoon's position. However, the Hussars continued firing on his platoon and as a result he was wounded. He was evacuated to Japan, and then followed 3 months of treatment. He then returned to Korea to continue operations before leaving the country at the end of October 1951.

Funeral details to follow.


Colonel (Retd) J W Denny MBE
Regimental Secretary
The FUSILIERS


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