Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta will be at a ceremony marking 70 years since Canadian soldiers fought at the Battle of Kapyong, held at the Gapyeong Memorial in Langley’s Derek Doubleday Arboretum on Friday, April 16. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta will be at a ceremony marking 70 years since Canadian soldiers fought at the Battle of Kapyong, held at the Gapyeong Memorial in Langley’s Derek Doubleday Arboretum on Friday, April 16. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley battle memorial marks 70 years since pivotal clash in Korean War

The Gapyeong Memorial will host a small, private ceremony this Friday

Members of the Korean-Canadian community, local politicians, and a historian are all expected to mark a historical anniversary of the Korean War on Friday, April 16 in Langley.

The event marks the April 22-25 Battle of Kapyong, where Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand troops blocked an advance towards South Korean capital Seoul by a full division of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army.

Guy Black, a military historian from Coquitlam, is walking between markers commemorating the battle and will finish his walk in Langley on April 16, at the Gapyeong Stone Korean War Memorial in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum in Langley.

He started his trek on Wednesday, April 7, at the Kap’Yong Memorial on Radar Hill in Tofino, and aims to complete his journey by 11 a.m. on Friday, April 16, at the Gapyeong Stone Korean War Memorial in Langley.

He said he’s always wanted to do a long-distance walk to mark a Korean War anniversary, and that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong in 1951.

“There was a Canadian battalion that held back Chinese soldiers from invading further south into Korea and capturing the capital city of Seoul. The Canadian soldiers stood alone on this hill and fought for two days. The odds were like seven-to-one.”

So far, he’s headed through snow and has endured some very sore feet as he treks 30-plus kilometres per day.

“COVID has made too many important anniversaries slip by, so that is why I am doing the walk, something kind of significant to honour Korean War veterans,” Black said. “Much more needs to be done to highlight veterans.”

Also planning to be present at Friday’s ceremony is Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta.

“I want to thank the veterans in our community and pay tribute to the more than 26,000 Canadians who served in the Korean War,” said van Popta.

The battle took place over a little over two days, as a massive Chinese offensive headed south with the aim of capturing Seoul, resulting in fierce fighting with Republic of Korean, American, and British troops.

The Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders were part of a reduced brigade of Commonwealth troops that were called up to what is now known as Gapeyong County. The Australians and Canadians took up positions on a pair of hills, with the New Zealand artillery backing them up.

The Australians took the brunt of the fighting on the first day, with the Canadians defending their positions on the second day.

After halting the advance, the Commonwealth forces were relieved by a larger American battalion. Seoul was largely out of danger as the advance had been blunted.

A total of 10 Canadians died in the battle, and about 23 were wounded.

The memorial in Langley was installed in 2019.

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

READ MORE: Korean county donates masks to Langley

Donation of the memorial was facilitated by the Gapyeong Stone Committee, made up of members of the Korea Veterans Association of Canada, the Korean War Veterans Association, the Korean Veterans Association, and the Vietnam War Veterans Association.

The stone itself was quarried in Gapyeong, and the memorial joined the community’s other significant war memorials, including the Walk to Remember and commemorative structure for soldiers who fell in Afghanistan, as well as an oak tree grown from an acorn from Vimy Ridge.

Last year, the citizens of Gapyeong donated 8,000 disposable masks to Langley as the coronavirus pandemic was causing mass lockdowns, in honour of the connection between the two cities due to the memorial.

Black, the historian, can be reached by email at for anyone who would like to reach out to him.

– with files from Black Press Media

LangleyNorth KoreaParksvilleTofino,Veterans

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

Nurses Ann Bason and Brandon Hunt stand outside the new Langley Memorial Hospital entrance (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Working during a pandemic; what it’s like for two nurses at Langley Memorial Hospital

COVID has changed a lot, but not their devotion to their profession

Kay Palmer and Doris Riedweg were nurses at Langley Memorial Hospital for several years. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Retired Langley nurses loves caring careers

Langley Hospital Heritage Committee members share historical perspective for National Nurses Week

Barbara-Ann Kubb is a nurse and manager at the long-term care facilities that include Langley's hospice. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Langley hospice nurses feel calling for end-of-life care

It’s a tough job, but one that has rewards, says Langley hospice nursing manager

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Twenty-nine staff members at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. in Newton have tested positive for the virus, according to an information bulletin from Fraser Health Saturday (May 8). The health authority issued a 10-day closure order, effective May 7. (Image: Google Maps)
29 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey poultry processing plant

Meantime, outbreak over at Surrey Memorial Hospital

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

<a href="Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning." target="_blank"></a>Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning. (File photo)
Man killed in fatal hit-and-run collision between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Body reported at 6 a.m., police close North Parallel Road, single highway lane as they investigate

Most Read