A Republic of Korea honour guard was on hand this week as the remains of Canadian Archibald Hearsey arrived at Incheon Airport. Hearsey, who was born in Ignace, Ont., is reported to be the first foreign veteran of the Korean War to be brought back to the country for burial.
Archibald sailed to South Korea with the 2nd battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in February 1951. Although his older brother Joseph joined the same regiment and was sent to Korea in July, Archibald was unaware of those facts until called to his brother’s side as he died of wounds following a battle in October.
Unable to return to Korea to visit his brother’s grave, Archibald, who died in 2011, stipulated in his will that his ashes be laid to rest next to his brother.
This week the brothers separated by battle 60 years apart rest together in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan South Korea. The ceremony took place during Korea Revisit Week, when 200 Commonwealth veterans were visiting the country.
Read about a Korean War veterans pilgrimage in Dan Black’s story Return to Kapyong, published in Legion Magazine in 2011.