This press release, verbatim from the Department of Veterans Affairs:
Veterans Affairs Canada
August 13, 2009
Minister to Unveil Memorial Wall Honouring Veterans of the Battle of Hong Kong
The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, will dedicate the “C” Force Memorial Wall to honour all those who served in the Battle of Hong Kong during the Second World War. Veterans of the battle will be in attendance.
Location: King Edward Avenue and Sussex Drive (east of King Edward
on National Capital Commission property)
Date: Saturday, August 15, 2009
Time: 11:00 a.m.
During the Second World War, Canada sent a force of 1,976 to help the British reinforce their outpost in Hong Kong to deter hostile action by Japan. The force consisted of two battalions - the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada. Over 17 days of fighting in December 1941, 290 Canadians were killed and another 493 were wounded. Those who survived were held in prisoner of war camps until the end of the war on August 15, 1945.
The press release soft-peddles what happened to the Canadians "held in prisoner of war camps..." Canadian soldiers were brutalized from the time they were captured and marched through Hong Kong without water (civilians who tried to give the Canadians water at the Kowloon YMCA were beaten), through their internment in Hong Kong and after the transfer of many of them to slave work in Japan. The Canadians were worked to death in Japanese coal mines and steel mills. All of them sere denied adequate food and most received mo medical treatment. Here's a good link to a web site on the POWs: http://www.geocities.com/canadianhongkongveteran/OmineList.html. The Canadian government knew from the start that the prisoners were being mistreated but censored all news of the cruelties inflicted on them.