It didn't take me long to find this place. All I did is when I reached Gapyeong I flashed my Canadian passport and the cab driver knew what I wanted to see. Located here are three monuments to commemorate Canadian participation in the Korean War: a stone cairn to commemorate Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI); a stone tablet with three panels in Korean, English and French listing the units of the Canadian Forces which participated in the Korean War and the larger memorial, unveiled in 1985, and dedicated by the people of Korea to the memory of the approximately 26,000 Canadians who served in Korea. Of these, 516 died and 1,255 were wounded. Note that this is a recent memorial as the Maple Leaf did not become Canada's flag until 1965.
This spot was chosen for a memorial due to the Battle of Kapyong. The Communist Chinese struck at UN positions during the night of 23/24 April, 1951. Canada's 2nd PPCLI and the 3rd Royal Australian Regiment took up the two hills and the British 1st Middlesex Regiment backed them up. The next day the Chinese infiltration intensified; this forced the Australians to withdraw. The withdrawal left the 2nd PPCLI's position open to enemy attack.
The Canadians face furious action with close-in, hand-to-hand combat. When daylight returned, the enemy attack subsided and the 2nd PPCLI soldiers still stood. The 2nd PPCLI lost 10 killed and 23 wounded - relatively light casualties considering the intense fighting that took place. It has been written that had the Canadians not stood fast, the outcome of the Korean War might well have been different. For their heroism the 2nd PPCLI and the 3rd Royal Australian Regiment received the United States Presidential Citation; the only UN Force units other than American to receive so high an award.
It is worth noting that an 85-year old farmer, who concealed himself with Canadian troops during the Battle of Kapyong at this site in 1951, comes to the Park each week to care for the foliage.
The Commonwealth Wall is dedicated to all who served in the Commonwealth units during the Korean War. Remembrance services are held at the Wall every year by units from countries that made up the Commonwealth in the 1950s.
Kapyong is where elements of the 27th Commonwealth Brigade between the23-24 April, 1951. The units involved were Canada's 2nd PPCLI, the 3rd Royal Australian Regiment, and the British 1st Middlesex Regiment .
The inscription on the memorial reads:
THIS SHALL BE OFFERED TO THE HEROIC AND BRAVE WAR DEAD, WHO SACRIFIED THEMSELVES, FROM AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND AND THE GREAT BRITAIN TO KEEP THE WORLD’S PEACE AND INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM DURING THE KOREAN WAR.