Often called the forgotten war, the Korean War is not forgotten by veterans or their families.
A Korea Day Commemorative Service was held at the memorial fountain at Club Taree on Tuesday, July 27 to commemorate the cease fire or the Korean War on July 27, 1953.
A small crowd gathered for the ceremony, which was conducted with a COVIDSafe plan.
The service did not escape the effects of the pandemic. Normally, members of the Sydney Cheil (Korean) Uniting Church, make the trip to Taree to attend the service, however being in Concord, the area is in lockdown and they could not attend.
Treasurer of the Taree RSL Sub-branch, Ted Hill, instead delivered a message from the paster of Cheil Church, Matt Kang.
For me it's a remembrance day for the chaps that served there and also the men that died there.Philip Hudson, Korean War veteran
The 317 Squadron Royal Australian Airforce Cadet Unit and TS Manoora Australian Navy Cadets are regular participants in the annual event to form the honour guard, however, once again because of COVID, were not able to attend.
Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead delivered a commemorative address where he outlined the history of the Korean War.
"Korea was a place that few Australians knew much about until 1950," Mr Bromhead said. "From 1950 to 1953, almost 18,000 Australians in the army, navy and air force, fought as part of the United Nations multinational force defending South Korea from the communist force of North Korea. The war ended with an armistice in 1953. After the war, some Australians remained in Korea for four years as military observers."
Korean War veterans Philip Hudson and Ernest Worth attended the Commemorative Service with family members.
"For me it's a remembrance day for the chaps that served there and also the men that died there," Philip said.
Ernest said for him, it meant freedom for Australia.
"It was born in me to be a soldier, my Dad was at Gallipoli and he was also in the 4th (Light Horse) Regiment at the Battle of Beersheba."
Philip said his memories of the war are fading. However that didn't stop the two men, Philip in his 90s and Ernest turning 90 on Saturday, from reminiscing together after the service.
Both men were in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, which was bestowed the equivalent of a battlefield VC. Ernest was also in the 1st Battalion.
Award of Distinguished Unit Citation Battle Honours for 3rd Battalion
The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, along with the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and Company A 72nd Heavy Tank Battalion (United States) were cited by the then President of the United States of America for "extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of combat duties in action against the armed enemy near Kapyong, Korea, on April 24 and 25, 1951".
Documentation relating to the citation reads as follows:
The enemy had broken through the main line of resistance and penetrated to the area north of Kapyong. The units listed above were deployed to stem the assault.
The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment moved to the right flank of the sector and took up defensive positions north of the Pukham River.
The 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, defended in the vicinity of Hill 677 on the left flank. Company A, 72nd Heavy Tank Battalion supported all units to the full extent of its capacity and, in addition, kept the main roads open and assisted in evacuating the wounded.
The forward elements were completely surrounded going through the first day and into the second. Again and again the enemy threw waves of troops at the gallant defenders, and many times succeeded in penetrating the outer defences, but each time the courageous, indomitable, and determined soldiers repulsed the fanatical attacks.
Ammunition ran low and there was no time for food. Critical supplies were dropped by air to the encircled troops, and they stood their ground in resolute defiance of the enemy.
In some instances when the enemy penetrated the defences, the commanders directed friendly artillery fire on their own positions repelling the thrusts.
Toward the close of April 25, the enemy breakthrough had been stopped. The breakthrough on the central front had been changed from defeat to victory by the gallant stand of these heroic and courageous soldiers.
The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment; 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry; and Company A 72nd Heavy Tank Battalion, displayed such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing their missions under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions set them apart and above other units participating in the campaign. By their achievements they brought distinguished credit on themselves, their homelands, and all freedom-loving nations.
- General Mathew B Ridgeway, Supreme Commander United Nations Forces