Aug 2013: Few vets 'survived' Hong Kong
Margaret Owen says the Second World War killed both her parents, even though each survived it. Her father died in 1969 from a variety of ailments suffered as a prisoner of the Japanese following the 1941 Battle of Hong Kong.
Mar 2013: So dedicated, he enlisted twice
Winnipeg Grenadiers Lance Cpl. William Bell lived through the Battle of Hong Kong, was saved when a fellow soldier made the ultimate sacrifice by jumping on a grenade before it exploded, and survived extreme deprivation in the Japanese prisoner of war camps.
The Canadians in Hong Kong: Giving Me My Remembrance Day
WWII Canadian Recruiting Poster referencing Hong Kong When I was a kid, I didn't care about Remembrance Day. Sure, in my head, I knew what it was about: every year, November 11 was set aside for Canadians to remember those who had given their lives for the country in WWI, WWII, and subsequent wars since. I'd attend the ceremonies, I'd wear the poppy, I'd recite In Flanders Fields, I'd observe the moment of silence. But in my heart, I felt nothing. Perhaps, if you understood where I was…
The War in the Pacific. Japan was an axis power, and were kind of did a silent but deadly attack. On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes bombed the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbour, destroying half the fleet. The bombing stunned the Americans, and the next day USA declared war on Japan. The whole world was at war now. Canada sent 1,975 Canadians to Hong Kong, and all were either killed, or taken prisoner. Canadians at home wre horrified.
Gander the regimental mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada departing for Hong Kong in 1941.( Source: Hong Kong Veterans Assn) One night in December 1941, Gander showed his true courage. That night, Gander saw a grenade tossed near a group of wounded Canadian soldiers. He ran to it, took it, and rushed away with it. The grenade exploded and Gander was killed. But he had saved the lives of the seven soldiers who never forgot Sergeant Gander.