Belfast Telegraph

Royal Ulster Rifles Korean War hero Robin Charley remembered at cathedral

Inspiration: Robin Charley
Inspiration: Robin Charley
Alf McCreary

By Alf McCreary

A thanksgiving service will take place in St Anne's Cathedral today for the life of the late Colonel Robin Charley, who served with the Royal Ulster Rifles in the Korean War.

Colonel Charley, who died earlier this year at 95, was the commanding officer of the Queen's University Officers' Training Corps in the 1960s, and he was also Colonel of the Army Cadet Corps.

In his retirement he actively supported several charities, including the St John Ambulance, where he was a Knight of St John.

He was chairman of Clifton House, and a member of the board of the Northern Ireland War Memorial, and he also took up a role in the RUR Museum.

In the early 1990s he became a trustee and honorary treasurer of the Somme Association, which had been established to commemorate the sacrifices of Irish soldiers in the First World War, particularly at the Battle of the Somme. Both his father and his uncle had served at the Somme.

He was influential in helping to establish the Somme Heritage Centre, which opened in 1994 and which later became known as the Somme Museum. He was chairman until 2011.

Carol Walker, director of the Somme Association, said: "He will be remembered by all in the Somme Association and the Somme Museum as a truly remarkable gentleman who was full of life and a man of integrity.

"He was inspirational and his enthusiasm was infectious. He had a fun-loving nature, and could captivate people with his stories. He will always be remembered as having the loudest 'Yo' when the regimental march Killaloe was being played."

During the Korean War Colonel Charley took part in the so-called Battle of Happy Valley, where some 150 RUR soldiers were killed or taken prisoner.

He had a keen sense of humour and once when he "borrowed" in Korea a trailer with supplies for 100 men from a US supply dump, he signed the invoice "Mickey Mouse".

Today's service takes place at 3.30pm.

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