THE 70th anniversary of the Korean War has been marked by an act of remembrance at the Saltcoats war memorial.

Members of the Saltcoats, Ardrossan and Stevenston branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland gathered at the memorial on Thursday.

Nearly five million people died during the three-year conflict, which ended with the signing of an armistice on July 27, 1953.

The branch's minister, the Reverend Don Currie, led a short service at the Saltcoats memorial, which culminated with a remembrance cross being laid by branch member Agnes Hillcoat, whose late husband, Danny, served in Korea.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

The war broke out after the North Korean People's Army invaded their neighbour to the south following five years of clashes along the border, with the country having been divided in two following the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945.

British troops, some 81,000 in number, were among forces from 14 UN member nations who responded to the invasion in support of South Korea.

A total of 1,106 British service personnel died in action during the conflict, while some 37,000 American troops also lost their lives.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

An estimated 500,000 North Korean and Chinese troops died during the war, with a similar number from the South Korean forces, while around two million civilians were killed.

In stark contrast to the Second World War, there was little reporting of the conflict and little recognition given to the British soldiers when they returned home, leading many of those who served to dub the conflict "the forgotten war".

Commemorations were held across the UK on Thursday to mark the anniversary, with the Duke of Gloucester among those who paid thier respects at a ceremony outside the British Army's headquarters in London.