Korean Christmas card

Korean Christmas card

Back of card - click to see detail

Christmas card sent home to New Zealand by Gunner Bob Jagger in 1953. Click on thumbnail to see inside.

Commentary about this image by Bob Jagger

In December of ’53, we each sent a Christmas/ New Year card home. It commemorated the Coronation Day held on 2 June of the same year.

The card was emblazoned with the insignia of The Royal Artillery, 1st Commonwealth Division (the Commonwealth land forces division in the Korean War). It was a multinational unit including British and Canadian Army units, Australian infantry, New Zealand artillery and an Indian medical unit. It also included numerous South Korean troops.

The design of the badge derives from the Coat of Arms of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. It depicts the Royal arms with a cannon and the motto:

Quo fas et gloria ducunt

which translates to:

Whither right and glory lead

Inside the card

I sent my love and best wishes to all for the 1953 Christmas and the New Year of 1954. The card I used had been specially supplied to all those in:

  • Headquarters, Royal Artillery
  • 16 Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery
  • 20 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • 81 Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery
  • 61 Light Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • 74 (The Battle Axe Coy) Medium Battery, Royal Artillery
  • 1903 Independent Air Observation Post Flight, Royal Air Force
  • The Commonwealth Artillery Training Centre.

The coloured photo portrayed the Twenty-one Gun Salute given in Korea on Coronation Day, 2nd June 1953, more than a year after the accession. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ceylon and Pakistan. It also meant that she was now Head of the Commonwealth, a significant fact to our 1st Commonwealth Division.

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