Post-43: Tea-Time at Gloster Hill

In post-40, I wrote about what General Paik Sun-Yup [백선엽] had to say about the British serving in Korea in the Korean War. In his war-memoir (chapter five), I found this:

                The British [in the Korean War] were absolutely devoted to the ritual observance of tea-time.
                They dropped everything at 4 P.M. to consume tea and cookies, even during combat. British
                artillery ceased firing for tea-time and then picked up the tempo afterward.

He made those comments shortly after mentioning the battle at Gloster Hill, in which an entire British battalion (800 men) was encircled for three days and compelled to surrender in April of 1951. This led me to wonder if the Gloucester Battalion also found a way to stop everything for tea, at the appointed times, on those three days of encirclement. Gen. Paik implies that they would have.


Caption: Soldiers of the English Gloucestershire Regiment battalion
stop for afternoon tea. In April, 1951, this battalion was overrun
by a massive Chinese attack and only a few of its members
reached UN lines. (Defense Department photo.) [Source]

A short-story or movie (or short-film), based around this surreal premise, really yells out to be created. I’d entitle it:
Tea-Time at Gloster Hill
I imagine it to be a dark-comedy, set in the British positions at Gloster Hill, April 23rd, 24th, and 25th, 1951.

Maybe the story would have three acts, each act depicting tea-time on one of above-mentioned each days.

            Act I: Day-1 Tea-Time — High Spirits — Maybe they can repulse the attack?
             Act II: Day-2 Tea-Time — Defeat Looming — No escape
             Act III: POW Tea-Time [As I understand it, the Englishmen all surrendered before noon on the 25th.
             Maybe the third act we have them on the march north, bound for POW camps. Maybe the Chinese
             commander would have allowed them drink tea on that first afternoon as POWs, as a show of good-will].

I like this premise. Why not?


  1. teatime charlie flew a mono plane down the valleys dropping propaganda leaflets upon us, usually on sunny friday afternoons.

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