Korean War 'Happy Valley’ Military Medal Group of Seven - Sergeant H. A. ‘Harry’ Campbell, Royal Ulster Rifles (Late Royal Armoured Corps and 22 S.A.S. Regiment)
- Product Code: MM-4626
- Regiment: Royal Ulster Rifles / Royal Armoured Corps / 22 SAS Regiment Availability:1
A Korean War MM group of seven awarded to Sergeant H. A. ‘Harry’ Campbell, Royal Ulster Rifles, late Royal Armoured Corps and 22 S.A.S. Regiment, who distinguished himself during the desperate 'Happy Valley' night action of 3/4 January 1951.
George VI Military Medal named to 22243358 A/Sjt. H.A. Campbell. R.U.R.
General Service Medal (Clasp - Palestine, Malaya) named to 408751 Tpr. H.A. Campbell. R.A.C.
1939-45 Star unnamed as issued
WW2 Defence Medal unnamed as issued
War Medal 1939-45 unnamed as issued
Queen's Korea Medal named to 22243358 Rfn. H.A. Campbell. M.M. R.U.R. (with official corrections to rank and MP of CAMPBELL)
UN Korea Medal unnamed as issued
M.M. - London Gazette 17 April 1951:
‘During the night of 3-4 January 1951, at Chaegunghyon, Korea, Sergeant Campbell was with the rearguard company of his Battalion when it withdrew through a defile from defensive positions. The force was ambushed at close range in a river bed and in the confusion of the attack men and vehicles were scattered. Sergeant Campbell displayed great coolness and leadership, organising and controlling his men throughout the action.
He personally stalked two Light Machine-Gun positions which were blocking the escape and put them out of action with hand grenades.
He later gathered together a party of men, and led them to break out of the ambush. His coolness and courage throughout this action which took place at night, at close quarters and in considerable confusion, undoubtedly contributed to the escape of a large part of the trapped force.’
Henry Adams Campbell was born in Barrow-in-Furness, in February 1918. He enlisted in the 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards in October 1935, and served in Palestine, October 1938 - December 1939. Campbell transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps in April 1939, and served in France, 17 February - 2 June 1940. He served at Home for the remainder of the war, and was discharged in 1946.
Campbell re-engaged for service with the Royal Ulster Rifles in November 1948. He was serving with the 1st Battalion, at the time of the above cited deeds in ‘Happy Valley’, north of Seoul, Korea, 3-4 January 1951. The Battalion had fought its first action against the Chinese on the previous day, but it was compelled to join a general retreat south of Han on the 3rd, the Ulsters’ C.O. having been informed by his neighbouring American counterpart: “Colonel, we are buggered.”
Thus ensued a chaotic night action in the vicinity of Chaegunghyon, best summarised by one of Campbell’s comrades as ‘a proper shambles, a right cock-up’, an action in which the Chinese used mortars, machine-guns and the bayonet to good effect - initial casualty returns for the 1st Ulsters listed a total of 208 officers killed, wounded and missing, a figure later revised to 157 men once assorted stragglers made it back.
An excellent feature, Slaughter in Happy Valley, by Andrew Salmon, appeared in the Belfast Telegraph, 4 January 2009, marking the occasion of the unveiling of a memorial at Belfast City Hall, from which the following extract is taken:
‘Their flank exposed, the R.U.R. retreat led down a valley overlooked by enemy, what the regimental history calls ‘a death trap.’
It was a frozen, moonless night and columns of soldiers, with vehicles in the centre, moved stealthily down the steel-hard track. The Cromwells squeaked along at the rear, slipping and sliding.
Captain Charley, leading with ‘B’ Company, met with American trucks at the valley mouth. All was going to plan. Suddenly, fireworks burst overhead: U.S. aircraft dropped flares. The column was bathed in eerie white light. Men swore under their breaths. Officers hissed into radios, trying unsuccessfully, to halt the flaring.
The enemy could not fail to spot the retreat. Mortars rocked the valley as streaking tracers raked the column. Then came hundreds of shadowy Chinese pelting down into the valley to seize a village on the southern track, blocking the route.
Lance-Corporal Joe Farrell was lying in cover when an enemy squad charged over his back. Grabbing a wounded sergeant, Farrell clambered onto a passing vehicle that ran the gauntlet. Those behind were less lucky.
The tanks were dismembered with pole charges. The last radio signal from Hussar Captain Donald Astley-Cooper, the armoured group’s commander was: “It’s bloody rough!” He was never heard from again.
McCord, in the rearguard, was loading dead onto a carrier when someone said: “You’re missing something.” He looked down and recoiled. the corps was headless.
Beneath a railway bridge the Chinese had placed a machine-gun. There was only one possible action. McCord and Sergeant Campbell assaulted through the position, knocking out the gun and clearing the route (both were subsequently decorated).
Out of the flashing darkness Support Company Commander Major John Shaw appeared. After yelling at McCord for smoking his pipe in combat. Shaw regrouped the survivors and led a charge through the blazing village and into the hills.
At dawn Shaw’s men crossed the Han River bridges just before they were blown. The burning capital was abandoned. Early on January 4 U.S. Forces Korea commander, General Matthew Ridgway, had raged at his subordinates for leaving the British.
The R.U.R. lost 157 men captured or killed. The artillery and Hussars lost 42 men and 10 tanks. The unit commanders, Blake and Astley-Cooper, were among the dead. All in one night.’
The Battalion continued to serve as part of the 29th Independent Infantry Brigade, and as such would later bear the brunt of the attack launched by three divisions of the Chinese 63rd Army at Imjin.
Having advanced to Sergeant, Campbell was posted to 22 S.A.S. Regiment at Singapore, in March 1953. He returned to serve with the 1st Battalion, R.U.R., in August 1953, and was discharged from the Army in 1961. Campbell died in the Royal Infirmary Chester in July 1975.
The group comes with a quantity of research.
We take great pride in our stock and will always strive to bring you genuine items. All our items are carefully checked to make sure they are authentic original pieces.
Having worked in the field for many years we appreciate that there can occasionally be differences of opinion. This is why we have a no quibble returns policy on ALL items. If you want to return any purchase, for whatever reason, we will issue a full refund including your postage costs.
We accept payment by:
Credit and debit cards
Cash (any currency)
U.K. postal orders
Exchange of goods
Our standard shipping costs apply on almost all of our items. The prices are as follows:
UK Standard Delivery - £3.45
UK Special Delivery - £7.95
Europe Priority Airmail - £9.95
Rest of World Priority Airmail - £11.45
Some large/heavy items may incur extra shipping costs. This will be clearly marked in the description and all prices will be shown before any payment is taken.
For more information on payment and shipping please click here
Tags: Gallantry Medals Gallantry, MM, Military Medals, Campaign Medals, British Medals, Korean War, Korea, WW2, World War Two, Second World War, Pakestine, Malaya, SAS, Special Air Service, Royal Ulster Rifles