Dignitaries from China and Korea gathered for a small ceremony Friday marking the 70th anniversary of Canadian Forces participation in a Korean War battle. (Michael Chong/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Dignitaries from China and Korea gathered for a small ceremony Friday marking the 70th anniversary of Canadian Forces participation in a Korean War battle. (Michael Chong/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Canadian battle in Korea remembered 70 years later at Langley memorial

A small ceremony was held by veterans, dignitaries, and Canadian Armed Forces members

Representatives of South Korea, war veterans, and Canadian Armed Forces members were among those who gathered in Langley for a quiet ceremony Friday, marking the 70th anniversary of a Canadian victory in the Korean War.

The Battle of Kapyong, also known now as Gapyeong, was fought on April 22 to 25, 1951, in what is now Gapyeong County, South Korea.

A mixed force of Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand forces, with some British and American support, halted the advance of a much larger Chinese army during.

The battle was one of several clashes that slowed an advance towards the current capital of South Korea, Seoul, preventing the city’s capture.

The April 16 ceremony was in Langley’s Derek Doubleday Arboretum, where a memorial stone marking the battle was set up two years ago.

Friday’s event was organized by the Korean War Veterans Association and Gapyeong County, and was emceed by Michael Chang, the honourary ambassador for Gapyeong County in Canada.

A warrant officer from the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the unit that fought in the battle 70 years ago, was among the speakers, along with Township Councillor Blair Whitmarsh, South Korean Consul General Byung Won Chung, and MPs Ted Hawthorne, Nelly Shin, and Langley-Aldergrove’s Tako van Popta.

Historian Guy Black, who walked 300 kilometres from a memorial in Tofino to the one in Langley, laid a wreath at the ceremony.

The event was by invitation only this year due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions on large gatherings.

The ceremonies and memorial stones have marked the links between Gapyeong, Korea, and Canada.

READ MORE: War memorial: From small-town Korea to a Langley park

Last year, organizer and emcee Chang also announced that Gapyeong was donating masks to local medical groups, when they were sorely needed at an early phase of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Korean county donates masks to Langley

Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

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