AHERN, Gerard

Royal Marines
Royal Navy
Service number: 
CH/X 5110
Thursday, August 8, 1929
Died : 
Monday, April 30, 1951
Killed in action or died of wounds
Marine Gerard Ahern died whilst a prisoner of war in Korea.

Extract from an article in the Lancashire Telegraph 28th January 2004

Fred Hayhurst, from the 41 Independent Commando Association, said: "What happened to him remained a mystery to us for nearly 50 years. On the night of November 29, 1950, Jerry was captured and was separated from the other Royal Marines taken prisoner. We know that despite being wounded he was forced to march with a group of US marines into China. Days and nights were spent in the open with no shelter or medical treatment for the wounds and frostbite. 

After a few weeks the group was marched back into Korea to a PoW camp run by the North Koreans. In the camp was a much larger group of prisoners, who had been captured in South Korea within days of the North Korean invasion and the capture of Seoul. When Marine Ahern arrived in the PoW camp he was befriended by American, Wilbert Estabrook,   who has never forgotten him. Wilbert would dearly like to contact and possibly meet any relatives of Gerard. In a letter Wilbert, now in his 70s, wrote: "Jerry Ahern, the only British soldier with us, died in my arms. He had been machine gunned. Both his legs and feet were riddled with bullet holes. Without medical attention Jerry was a doomed man. He died like a man, far away from his beloved England. He was among friend and we loved him like a brother."

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