A man from is walking from Tofino to Langley to commemorate the 70th anniversary of a Korean War battle that claimed the lives of 10 Canadian soldiers.
Guy Black, 56, started walking from Radar Hill on the west coast of Vancouver Island on Wednesday, April 7, and will have walked 300 kilometres when he arrives at the Battle of Kapyon monument in Langley on Friday, April 16.
Black passed through Nanaimo on Tuesday, April 13.
The Battle of Kapyon was a major engagement in the Korean War that took place April 22-25, 1951, when, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia, troops from Australia and 700 Canadian troops of the Second Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment defended a position known as Hill 667 against multiple waves of attacks by a force of 5,000 Chinese soldiers. The Australians suffered heavier casualties and were forced to withdraw.
“At some point in the battle, it was only the Canadians that were left blocking the Chinese army and the odds were maybe one Canadian to seven Chinese soldiers,” Black said. “Canadians were, near the end of the battle, the last [British Commonwealth] there at the Kapyon Valley and they took the brunt of the assault, stood their ground and won.”
Black doesn’t have any family members who fought in the Korean War, but he’s come to know a number of veterans of the conflict over the 20 years he has been doing commemorative work. He received e-mailed thanks Tuesday morning from the son of a lieutenant who fought in the conflict.
Black said he’s doing the walk to commemorate the Korean War and the sacrifice Canadians made. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, he knew there would be no public commemoration ceremony.
“The walk was the only way I could find to do something that was significant and COVID-friendly,” he said.