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B A T T L E F I E L D    K O R E A

Pakchon, North Korea, 29 October 1950
Pakchon, North Korea, 29 October 1950. Australian troops on an American tank halt by the wayside after the capture of Pakchon. (AWM HOBJ1627)

The 3 RAR withdrawal continued and that night the battalion occupied a position only one mile north of the position it had vacated that morning. During the night of 1/2 January, the remainder of the brigade moved back through 3 RAR and, at 3.00 a.m., the battalion began to withdraw again to an assembly area in Seoul.

On 3 January, 3 RAR and the Middlesex again moved north out along the Seoul-Uijongbu road to occupy covering positions on the mountain ridge just north of Seoul. The Argylls guarded the bridges in Seoul itself. Early in the night the last units of the 8th Army moved through the brigade's position and at 11.00 p.m. D Company contacted the enemy advance guard. Enemy probes and attacks were repulsed throughout the rest of the night and the enemy was prevented from re-entering Seoul. At 4.00 p.m. on 4 January, 3 RAR was again ordered to withdraw and, as the last company mounted its trucks, the diggers could see the Chinese moving into the positions they had just vacated.

The 3 RAR diggers passed through the Argylls' lines and were the last troops to cross the railway bridge over the Han River south of Seoul before it was blown up. After the Argylls had withdrawn from their covering positions in Seoul (being the last UN troops in the South Korean capital), the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade continued its slow drive southwards, impeded by heavy traffic and refugees, moving towards Toda-Nae, about 100 miles from Seoul, and arriving late at night on 4 January 1951.

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