Canadian Hong Kong Veterans
Selected Documents & References
- Report No. 163 Canadian Participation in the Defence of Hong Kong, December 1941
- Proof of POW Forced Labor for Japan’s Foreign Minister: The Aso Mines (article)
- The Town of Richmond Hill Recognizes Hong Kong Veterans Download PDF (49 KB)
- The 1946 Trial of Inouye Kanao (called “Kamloops Kids”) – Case No. WO235/927 (Hong Kong War Crimes Project)
- Case Note of the 1947 Trial of Inouye Kanao (called “Kamloops Kids”) before the HK Supreme Court (Hong Kong War Crimes Project, PDF)
- The 1946-1947 Trail of Noma Kennosuke (Head of the Kempeitai) – Case No. WO235/999 (Hong Kong Crime Project)
- Hong Kong’s War Crimes Trials Collection (HKU Libraries Digital Initiatives)
- The Battle of Hong Kong – Canada at War
- Canadians in Hong Kong – Veterans Affairs Canada
- Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association (HKVA)
- 1941: Japanese attack Canadian troops in Hong Kong (CBC Digital Archives) (Radio, 1972)
- Hong Kong veterans seek redress from Japan (CBC Digital Archives) (TV News, 1986)
- Canadians captured in Hong Kong receive compensation (CBC Digital Archives) (TV-National, 1998)
- Hong Kong’s War Crimes Trials Collection (‘HKWCT Collection’)
- Remembering the Kamloops Kid (Thomas Smith Forsyth remembers)
- Hong Kong War Diary (Tony Banham)
- Savage Christmas: Hong Kong 1941 (A film by Brian McKenna, 1991, 104 min 1 s)
Books & DVDs
Baird, Kenneth G. Letters to Harvelyn: From Japanese POW Camps: A Canadian Soldier's Letters to His Young Daughter During World War II. Toronto: HarperCollins, 2002.Major Baird of the Winnipeg Grenadiers writes letters to his daughter and wife. (Grade 6+)
Daws, Gavan. Prisoners of the Japanese : Pows of World War II in the Pacific. New York: Quill, 1994.Based on hundreds of interviews with those who survived the Japanese imprisonment. The book contains recollections of American prisoners of war before, during, and after their capture. 16 pages of photos are included.
Endacott, G.B. Hong Kong Eclipse. Hong Kong: Oxford UP, 1978.
'Hong Kong Eclipse' was the first comprehensive study of Hong Kong during the Second World War, a catastrophic and crucial period in the Colony's history. The central theme is the Japanese conquest and occupation between the years 1941-1945, preceded by a picture of the Colony on the eve of the invasion and followed by an account of the problems of rehabilitation after the Japanese surrender.
From the Journal of Asian Studies (Aug. 1980) "Written for the general reader … Endacott focuses on the government and the British … Little Chinese materials is used … interest of the book is parochial and its audience local."
MacDonnell, George S. One soldier's story 1939 – 1945: From the fall of Hong Kong to the defeat of the Japan. Toronto: Dundurn, 2002.
McIntosh, Dave. Hell on earth : aging faster, dying sooner : Canadian prisoners of the Japanese during World War II. Whitby (ON): McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1996.The book is constructed mainly from firsthand accounts of Canadian POWs who gave testimony to parliamentary inquiries as well as transcripts of medical interviews conducted by Dr. Marcel Gingras, whose report supports the compensation claim against Japan that was taken to the United Nations by the War Amps and Hong Kong veterans.
Roland, Charles G. Long Night's Journey into Day: Prisoners of War in Hong Kong and Japan, 1941-1945. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2001.
Vincent, Carl. No Reason Why: The Canadian Hong Kong Tragedy – An Examination. Belleville (ON): Canada's Wings, 1981.From the back cover: "In late 1941 almost 2000 Canadian troops set said for Hong Kong. Nearly 600 of them would not come back. Black and white photos, map and index are provided. (grade 11+)
Canada' Hong Kong Veterans – The Compensation Story (DVD). Producer: Cliff Chadderton. The War Amps of Canada. 1993 (Available in most public library systems in B.C.)The documentary is produced and hosted by, War Amps CEO. It covers the struggles of former Hong Kong PoWs for compensation including making their case to Japanese government, the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, and the Canadian government. Archival footage and artists' illustrations convey the horrors endured by the prisoners of war.
Savage Christmas: Hong Kong 1941. Videorecording. Directed by Brian McKenna. Montreal: National Film Board, 1992. (The Valor and the Horror series) http://www.nfb.ca/film/savage_christmas_hong_kong_1941 (video 104 min)The story of the Hong Kong campaign deals with questionable decisions by Canadian and British politicians, poor planning and strategy by the British military leaders in the colony of Hong Kong, and the savage brutality of the attacking Japanese force. But, most importantly, it is a film about the fighting spirit, courage and tenacity of the 1,975 young Canadian soldiers who, in December 1941, found themselves in a no-win situation against all of the odds that were stacked against them.
Witness to History: Canadian Survivors of WWII in Asia (DVD). British Columbia Association for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA), 2005. archive.alpha-canada.org/OralHistoryFour testimonies provided on this DVD: Tony Cowling who spent 3 ½ years in many slave labour camps in the Dutch East Indies, Tang Tonjiang whose family moved many times fleeing Japanese attacks; Marius van Dijk van Nooten experienced many concentration camps in the Dutch East Indies, and Miriam who also experienced many concentration camps in Sumatra.
Canadian Prisoners of the Axis Powers (Canadian War Museum)
In December 1941, 1,685 Canadians of the Hong Kong garrison became prisoners of the enemy. Download related newspaper articles from Democracy at War section of the Museum:
- 1064 Canucks Held in Prison in Jap Islands (The Hamilton Spectator, 12/02/1945)
- Report Most Recovered After Hong Kong Ordeal (The Globe and Mail, 03/12/1947)