Commemorating the Korean War

Just five years after the end of the Second World War, Australia committed personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian Regular Army in defence of South Korea.

6 July 2020

Sydney's Light Rail vehicles bearing images of eight Korean War veterans
Rear Admiral Ian Crawford AO AM (Mil) RAN (Ret'd) with Acting NSW Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors
and Veterans, Geoff Lee, and Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Sydney, Sangoo Hong,
at the unveiling of Sydney's Light Rail vehicles bearing images of eight Korean War veterans.

On 25 June 1950, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Army crossed the border into the Republic of Korea. This marked the start of the three year, one month and two day-long unrelenting war of attrition, the first open conflict of the Cold War.

Australia was one of 21 countries that supported South Korea and committed more than 17,000 troops to the fight against the spread of communism. Some 1,500 casualties were suffered during the war and post-Armistice period, which tragically included the deaths of more than 350 Australians.

More than 150 Australian nursing sisters served both in Korea and Japan, treating the wounded and sick in hospitals and aboard hospital trains.

This year, on 25 June, Australians across the country commemorated the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. In New South Wales the significant occasion was commemorated by featuring images of eight Australians who served in the Korean War on Sydney Light Rail carriages.

Korean Veterans’ Day is commemorated every year on 27 July, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice ending the war. Australian forces remained in Korea as part of a multi-nation peacekeeping force until 1957.

We remember all those who served and all those who lost their lives during the Korean War.

For information and resources about the Korean War, visit the Anzac Portal