James Dowie

James Dowie served honorably as a member of the Royal Ulster Rifles during the Korean War.  His family had a history of service, and it was with great pride that he continued the tradition.  He enlisted on 17-1-46.  He served in the Malaysian campaign before transferring to the Royal Irish Fusiliers for training.  Upon completion, he departed for Korea with the Royal Ulster Rifles.  At the Battle of Imjin, he was taken as prisoner of war. The date was 24-4-51.  His mother received a telegram a few days later indicating that her son was missing in action.  A month later, The British Red Cross Society informed the family that his name was indeed recorded as a prisoner of war.  He was help captive at the Chongsong POW camp until his release in September of 1953.  While held prisoner, he experienced very cramped living spaces, often 10 men to a room with less than a square yard per man.  The living conditions were quite intolerable.  Hunger was an ever present issue.  Chinese indoctrination classes were mandatory for the prisoners where they would spend long hours listening to lectures and discussions.  Obedience and good behavior were expected and examinations would be given.  Mr. Dowie survived and was returned home.  He continued his service until 14-1-58.  He was discharged with exemplary conduct and it was stated that he deserved “the best civilian life”.  We are thankful for Mr. Dowie.

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Korean War - Key Events

January 17, 1950

North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung proposes the “liberation” of South Korea to Soviet officials. Weeks of telegram exchanges between Beijing, Moscow, and P’yŏngyang follow, and by early spring Kim has secured assurances of support for the invasion from Soviet premier Joseph Stalin and Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

These events are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica

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