Remembered with Pride
I found the record for
Harold Smith Orr on the Commonwealth War Graves web site. He was in the
1st Battalion, London Irish Rifles, Royal Ulster Rifles, and
died aged 20 on 1 March 1944 on the beach at Anzio, Italy. He is buried at
The Beach Head Cemetery, Anzio, plot XXII, A. 3.
His elder brother Charles,
was at the time recovering from machine gun wounds received in Sicily
17-18 July at Fosso Boftacetto, on the Catania Road.
in the regular army having joined the Royal Ulster
Rifles in 1934 and saw action in the Khyber Pass area of India (Waziristan campaign)
North West Frontier, before going to Iraq, the Middle East, North
Africa, Italy and
Europe during WWII. He survived the war and served then in post war
Italy, Austria and West Africa before the conflict in Korea, The Ulster
Rifles were the first British troops to arrive in Korea and the last
troops to leave the encircled city of Seoul from which they had to
fight their way out. The battle of Chaegungyon is remembered by survivors
as "Happy Valley" in which 103 men were killed or died of wounds and 207
were taken prisoner. The Ulsters were then in the
ferocious battle on the Imjin River in April 1951 when the greatly
outnumbered regiment, along with the `Glorious Gloucesters`, 45 Field
Regiment Royal Artillery, the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and a Belgian
off some 70,000 Chinese troops, mostly in close range and hand to hand fighting. Later
service was in Hong Kong and BAOR (Germany). He served with the colours for over 21
years before taking a Commission, subsequently serving as a Captain in the
Royal West African Frontier Force and retiring as a Captain Quartermaster.
An interesting statistic is that he drew pay
and rations, then his army pension, for a total of seventy five years,
passing at the age of 95.
Another brother, Robert, served with the
Royal Ulster Rifles (1939-1946). Tragedy in war can also strike at
larger family unit as with Bobby, who had a brother in law, William
Kane, KIA at Cambes Wood on 7 June 1944 with another brother in law, Alex
wounded the same day.
Yet another brother, Samuel
Orr, Sergeant, 40 Commando, Royal Marines was killed in Malaya, 27
December 1950. Further details of Sam`s death have come to light and
his story is separately told .