Perth Korean War Memorial honours Western Australian veterans

The Perth Korean War Memorial was officially unveiled at a ceremony at Kings Park which was attended by veterans who served in the war and dignitaries from both Australia and South Korea.

The memorial was unveiled on the 70th anniversary of the Armistice of the Korean War by Premier Roger Cook, the Korean Ambassador to Australia Wan-Joong Kim, veterans from the war and other dignitaries from Western Australia and Korea.

RSLWA president Duncan Anderson laid a wreath during the ceremony saying, RSLWA was proud to participate in the unveiling of the memorial, 70 years since the Armistice was signed in Korea. 

“This memorial takes it rightful place alongside so many memorials that commemorate the sacrifice of so many in the name of our great nation,” he said.

Work to erect the Perth Korean War Memorial began in 2018, with members of the RSL Highgate Sub-Branch playing an instrumental role in bringing the project to life along with the Perth Korean War Memorial Committee.

Committee secretary Peter Heeney said many of the 44 veterans of the Korean War who were at the ceremony were so emotional and amazed.

“So many were crying and were so emotional because the forgotten war is no longer forgotten in Western Australia,” he said.

“They were just absolutely amazed, it was very emotional.”

The memorial received huge support from both the Australian and Western Australian Governments, as well as the Republic of Korea and County of Gapyeong, which donated the memorial’s centrepiece, a five-tonne rock shaped like the Kapyong Mountains that was taken from the battlegrounds of the war.

The memorial features the names of 1,916 Western Australian veterans who served in the war between 1950 and 1953, and those who served in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the years following until 1956.

The paving around the memorial has been shaped in the Rose of Sharon, which is the national flower of South Korea.

Premier Roger Cook said the location and design of the memorial has created a fitting site for all who wish to pay their respects.

"The creation of this memorial corrects a long-standing wrong in Western Australia,” he said.

"The Korean War is the 'Forgotten War' no more.”

Veterans Issues Minister Paul Papalia said the WA Government was proud to have contributed to the creation of Perth's Korean War Memorial.

"Thirty-four Western Australians were killed in action and another five died during peacekeeping efforts in the years that followed. All 39 are acknowledged in an honour role at the front of the monument,” he said.

"Close to 90 Korean War veterans are still alive in Western Australia.

"The memorial provides a peaceful and contemplative place for veterans, their families and others to acknowledge the spirit and sacrifice of those who served in the Korean War."

To see more photos from the event please visit our photo gallery.