Emma Pritchard, Clarence Valley Independent
More than 100 people gathered at the Ramornie cenotaph on April 24 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong, which raged for three days during the Korean War, 1950 – 1953.
Between April 23 and 25, 32 Australians died, close to 60 were wounded and three were taken prisoner as the efforts of the Commonwealth forces halted a communist Chinese advance in South Korea.
Conducted by Fred Norris, Vice President of the South Grafton RSL Sub Branch, the ceremony was attended by representatives of the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment (2PPCLI), 16th New Zealand Field Regiment and a company of 72nd US Heavy Tank Battalion, with each one giving a poignant and moving speech, signifying the importance of the anniversary of one of the most decisive battles of the Korean War and the vital roles of the represented forces.
A special plaque designed by the late Major Bob Hayes as a tribute to those who served during the Korean War was consecrated by the Reverend Canon Camellia Flanagan as members of the Hayes family stood close by.
Damien Hayes acknowledged the crowd on behalf of his late father and thanked Mr Norris for his contributions in ensuring the event was able to go ahead.
Wreaths were respectfully laid around the plaque and a lament by piper Ivan McLennan and the Last Post, followed by the sounding of Rouse performed by bugler Garrett Salter which filled the air as the crowd bowed their heads in a united show of respect.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Mr Norris gratefully thanked everyone for their attendance and said it was a wonderful way to commemorate the 70th anniversary.
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 28 April 2021.