Organisation here to help members of forces

Northumberland and Tyne and Wear branches of ssafa have celebrated Armed Forces Day for 2013.

Events throughout were a chance to support our armed forces and remember the contribution that they make to the nation.

While we enjoyed the celebrations, we would have remembered the personal cost that is so often paid by servicemen, women and their families. It is also a good time to remember all those who have served before.

This month the Royal Air Force celebrated its 60th anniversary. To mark the day RAF Boulmer held a number of events in Alnwick Castle.

It is also good time to remember those of the Korean War, as the anniversary of the end of this conflict falls on July 27.

Prior to the commencement of the war on June 25, 1950, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel into Communist North Korea and non-Communist South Korea zones of occupation in 1948 where rival governments were established.

Relations became strained, particularly when North Korea mounted an invasion of South Korea thereby the start of the Korean War.

America immediately authorised the use of land, sea and air forces, strengthened by, one week later, authorisation from the United Nations for 15 other countries, including Britain, to be placed under the command of the USA.

Heavy fighting took place until the North Korean capital Pyongyang was captured and fell to the allied troops – the heavy fighting escalated as the allied troops were forced back and North Korea captured the capital city, Seoul, in South Korea, finally the conflict centred itself on the 38th parallel where it remained for the remainder of the war.

Eventually, negotiations between North Korea and China and South Korea and the USA took place only to see them collapse on at least four different occasions, but after much difficulty and nuclear threats an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.

Casualties of US and allied troops amounted to 54,000 dead – of which, 1,139 British personnel from the army, navy and air force were lost.

For many of those who served, the mental and physical wounds of this so called ‘forgotten war’ have left them with life long scars.

All that serve, or have served, in our armed forces will remember ssafa is here to support them and offer help if they find themselves in need.

The network of ssafa trained volunteers, including our Northumberland and Tyne and Wear branches and their divisions work locally to make sure that help is always close at hand.

If you would like to find out more about the help we can offer or would like to become a volunteer for ssafa where we offer lifelong support for our forces and their families and we always remember that their commitment deserves our commitment.

For further information please contact Major Brian William Finlayson, public awareness and fund raising officer, Northumberland branch ssafa, telephone 01665 576756 or e-mail

Major Brian William Finlayson