Veterans of the Korean War gather for a celebratory reunion at Fordham Abbey

British Korean War Vets and British Legion lunch and march, Fordam Abbey. Picture: Steve Williams.

British Korean War Vets and British Legion lunch and march, Fordam Abbey. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Veterans of the Korean War mustered for a special celebratory lunch and reunion at Fordham Abbey.

Fifty-five men and women, from all over East Anglia including the Ely, Soham and across the Fenland area, who served in the war, sometimes labelled the forgotten war, attended the event organised by Victoria Coldrey, secretary of the British Korean Veterans Association.

Andrew Mead, Newmarket-based blood stock agent for Castlebridge East, and a former soldier, sponsored the event, with Louise Hurst from Chippenham preparing the meal of World War Two stew, followed by apple crumble, and cheese and biscuits.

The gathering, which was done in association with the Royal British Legion, began with a parade of around 20 veterans, two in wheelchairs, the parade was led by standard bearer Don Collin, who came out of retirement especially for the occasion. They marched up the front drive and past the house.

The party concluded with entertainment that included music played by an eight-year-old concert pianist and dancing by a Tahitian dancer.

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Fordham Abbey’s owners the Dojima Sake Brewery loaned the house for the party and Noriko Tomioka, who manages the property, said: “We were delighted to welcome the veterans. This was a charity event and we hope to host many similar events in the future.”

Mrs Coldrey, whose husband served in Korea with the 8th Hussars, said: “The association was officially disbanded and the standard was laid up at a special service at York Minster, but the veterans felt they wanted to carry on while they still can, so that’s why we decided to hold this lunch.

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“I think everybody really enjoyed themselves, they are all in their 80s and 90s now, so it was important for them to enjoy a reunion while they still can.”

The Korean War from June 1950 to July 1953 was a war between North and South Korea, in which a United Nations force led by the United States of America fought for the South, and China fought for the North, which was also assisted by the Soviet Union.

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