Battle of Hong Kong - Dr. Charles Best Secondary School Library

Battle of Hong Kong
By Annie, Lynsie, Ho-Jin, Michelle
• Through late November and early December
– life in the colony: as usual
– Many false alarms and air of optimism prevailed:
it is supposed to report of Japanese troops
massing to the north of the Chinese border.
• December 7
– Report of Japanese concentrations in the area :
• demonstrated as “certainly exaggerated”
and “deliberately fostered by the Japanese”.
• The next day the Japanese attacked Hong Kong.
War begin
• Fifteen hours before the Japanese attack
– Hong Kong already prepared to defense
• Japan attack Hong Kong at 8:30 in December 8th
• Japan, Hong Kong, Canada and British involved
Canada role
• First engaged in battle
• Had visually no chance of victory
– Their task was a difficult and costly one
• Refused to surrender
until they were overrun by the enemy
• For seventeen days of brutal fighting
How Canadian participated?
• Cabinet colleagues and military advisors
– Argued Churchill that Hong Kong’s strategic
importance involved an increased military
• Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King
– Agreed without questioning the “wisdom of
the judgment”
– Transmit 1,975 soldiers arrived in Hong Kong
on November 16, 1941
Developments as a nation
• In October 1941
– Royal Rifles of Canada and Winnipeg Grenadiers
• Prepare for service in the Pacific
• From a national perspective, the choice of
battalions was ideal.
– Both battalions represent eastern and western regions
of Canada.
• Canadian soldiers who involved in Battle
– came from the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal
Rifles of Canada.
• The sacrifices and achievements of all Canadians
– who fought in the defense of Hong Kong
– accomplished so much and left a lasting legacy of
Result of the War
• Surrendered on Christmas Day, 1941.
• Highest casualty rates of any Canadian place of
action in the WW2
• From 1975 Canadian soldiers
– Approximately 290 Canadian soldiers were killed
– approximately 267 more died as POWs
– Almost 500 Canadians were wounded.
• prisoners of war (POWs)
– Torture and starvation by Japanese captors.
Pictures related POW
• Left two men
– Picture of POWs
• Right two letters
– Letters from Canadian
during battle of
Hong Kong
Memories of a Japanese Prisoner of
War: December 1941 – August 1945
“I, John Edward James fought the Battle of Hong Kong for 17 days in
December 1941. When we first arrived at we stayed at Sham Shui Po
Barracks – a British Military Camp…… There was fierce fighting in the area
around December 18th 1941…… We surrendered to the Japanese and
became Prisoners of War on Christmas Day, 1941 while I was at Queen
Mary Hospital. Prisoners including myself were moved in Mid-January
1942 to Bowen Road Hospital. … Many soldiers died due to poor living
conditions and lack of decent food. I was one of the lucky ones because I
was wounded during the initial battle. I worked as a clerk for Dr. Colonel
Crawford keeping records in the POW camp…… The Canadian POW’s had
to respond that we were happy or amused OR ELSE. Or Else meant that
you could be beaten, bayoneted or killed. The Japanese took no mercy.
They believed that it was dishonourable to be taken prisoner…… We
moved in May 1945 to the Industrial School …We were here until August
1945 when the Japanese surrendered……”
Hong Kong Canadians aboard the "Glory" arrived home October 27th, 1945.
By John Edward James H6912 – Winnipeg Grenadiers AKA Jesse James
Sacrifice of Canada
• To help bring peace and freedom to the people of
Asia and the Pacific
• An example of the kind of effort that would be
required to eventually triumph
• POWs’ difficulty servers as an additional reminder of
the great cost of war

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