Korean War not forgotten at Ramornie service
THE Korean War is sometimes known as the forgotten war, but it was at the forefront of everyone's mind at the Ramornie service yesterday, which commemorated the 65th anniversary of one of the fiercest battles of the conflict, the Battle of Kapyong.
Korean War veteran John Fitzpatrick said he was very pleased to have a service dedicated to Kopyang Day and the Korean War.
"It's not mentioned very often, but the battle was very important to the war, everyone there was a hero," he said.
"It means a lot to me, to think that the Australians and the Canadian regiment held the left wing of the UN forces, if they gave way who would've known what would've happened."
Mr Fitzpatrick said it was special to be able to attend the ceremony with four other veterans of the conflict from the Clarence Valley.
"It's a time to remember my mates who were in Korea, so it means a lot to me," he said.
Korean War veteran Snow McClymont said it was an emotional day at the service.
"Every year we attend the service at Ramornie, but when Bob (Hayes) said they wanted to dedicate it to the Korean veterans I thought it was pretty good to give us a bit of recognition," he said.
Mr McClymont said he always looks forward to the Ramornie and Anzac Day services, and especially likes to see the younger generation taking part in the commemorations.
"I always look forward to Anzac Day, it's a good get together and to see all those school kids it's really great," he said.
"Everyone seems to pop up with a different story each year, so I'll get out on Anzac morning that's for sure, listen to a few little fibs being told."
South Grafton RSL Sub Branch president Fred Norris said the Ramornie service, traditionally falling on the Sunday before Anzac Day, carried a bit more significance on the 65th anniversary of Kapyong Day.
"The Korean War has got a reputation as a forgotten war, so it's special to be able to commemorate it on Kapyong Day this year and try to bring it to the forefront a bit," he said.
"Everybody refer to the Korean War as the forgotten war, and it's actually still on, it hasn't technically finished and that's the sad part about it."
The Battle of Kapyong was a significant moment in Australian military history, where 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, along with Canadian Light Infantry, defended one of the major routes to Seoul against advancing an advancing Chinese division of over 10, 000 men.
Fighting started on April 23 and continued until Anzac Day, 1951. Thirty-two Australians were killed and 53 wounded in the battle that stalled the Chinese advance and preventing Seoul from falling into enemy hands.
Mr Fitzpatrick said he was amazed by the actions of those who have served their country.
"The more I read about Australians who served in combat, how ordinary every-day blokes were such heroes on the battlefield, it's incredible," he said.