Korea: 70th Anniversary of Battle of Kapyong

22 Apr 2021

The Battle of Kapyong will be commemorated in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and in Korea on Saturday 24th April.

ACKVA Newsletter Battle of Kapyong Anniversary
Battle of Kapyong – 70th Anniversary Commemoration

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong we recognize how the conduct of the Australians, Canadians, Americans and New Zealanders won the highest respect of their allies. At this time we also acknowledge the contemporary commitment of the British at Imjin River in facing the same Chinese Spring offensive.

On behalf of Australian veterans and families we send greetings to the Korean War veteran communities of Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, the United States  and of course the Republic of Korea.

The Battle of Kapyong defended against China’s PVA attack which threatened Seoul and supply routes in the  Chinese Spring offensive. This heroic defence prevented Chinese breakthrough on UN central front and the capture of Seoul.  Australian losses were 32 killed, 59 wounded and three captured, while Canadian casualties were 10 killed and 23 wounded.  American casualties were three men killed, 12 wounded and two tanks destroyed, all from A Company, 72nd Heavy Tank Battalion. The New Zealanders lost two killed and five woundedOne of the three Australians taken prisoner of war was Private Slim Madden who died of privations while assisting fellow prisoners and was awarded the George Cross for openly resisting enemy efforts to force him to collaborate. One Australian missing-in-action from this battle is one of those whose location or identification is still under inquiry by Australia’s UWC-Army and the Korean War MIA Working Group.

For the Australian Korean War veteran community commemorative activities on Friday 23rd April in Canberra include:

  • 11:30 am light refreshment, followed by the service at 12 noon at the Korean War Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra. After the service which will run for about an hour to an hour move to a restaurant;
  • 5.00 pm – Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial;

In England there will be a short commemoration service on 25th April 2021 in Gloucestershire to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Imjin River with live streaming here: https://www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk/worship/services/special-services/a-service-for-the-70th-anniversary-of-the-battle-of-the-imjin-.php

Canada’s recognition of the Korean War through The National War Memorial, a cenotaph symbolizing the sacrifice of all Canadian Armed Forces personnel who have served Canada in time of war past, present and future, will be given a Kapyong focus through a Gift from Gapyeong, Korea to be unveiled at Korean War Veterans Wall of Remembrance in Brampton, Ontario, on Korean War Armistice Day as a monument marking the 70th anniversary of the 2nd PPCLI participation in the April, 1951 Battle of Kapyong.