For students of the Korean War and of Canadian military history, April is a month heavy with the weight of the past. It is the month of Kapyong.
As the 60th anniversary of Canada’s most famous battle in Korea draws closer (April 24th), there is increasing attention focusing on this remarkable encounter in which outnumbered and surrounded Canadian troops helped save Seoul from capture by the Chinese.
This article appeared in today’s edition of the National Post newspaper:
Last Monday, a new look at the battle, “Triumph at Kapyong” by Dundurn Press was released.
On Friday morning, April 15 a ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa will honour what Canada did at Kapyong.
Within the next week, an Australian TV documentary on Kapyong will be broadcast that was filmed in several international locations, including the Kapyong site, and also in Canada with interviews with several Canadian veterans. The docu-drama includes portrayals of the Patricias and Lt Mike Levy calling in artillery fire on his own position.
A Canadian television documentary team from Bloc 4 is soon heading to Kapyong to film the anniversary ceremonies at the site of the battle for inclusion in a Canadian telling of the Kapyong story. Accompanying them will be Kapyong veteran Hub Gray, who commanded a heavy machine gun unit that saved the unit’s headquarters from being swarmed.
At Camp Shilo, Manitoba, the home of 2PPCLI (The Kapyong Patricias), a series of … well, not celebrations exactly, but of commemorations and memorial services will be held on the last weekend of April.
With surviving veterans of Kapyong now in their 80s and 90s, this month will be the one last chance for these aging and modest warriors to gather at the site of their triumph and reflect on their ten slain comrades who did not come down off the hill and who will remain, as they say, “forever young.”