Recorded Virtual Events

You can check out the list of all our videos published on our Youtube channel, or select a specific event below.

Links to Recorded Virtual Events

Date Topic Links
January 22, 2024

The Dark Side of the Sun

Michael Palmer is the grandson of George Palmer, a Hong Kong veteran. Some years after George died Michael began thinking about how little he really knew about his wartime experience. He began to look for information to answer his many questions, which ultimately led to the publication of his book “The Dark Side of the Sun: George Palmer and Canadian POWs in Hong Kong and the Omine Camp”.

Join us as Michael recounts what sparked his interest, what he learned about George, and how he came to write a book about his grandfather’s untold story.

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November 6, 2023

HKVCA Online!

Our webs and social media presence, along with our newsletters, are vital in preserving the legacy of ‘C’ Force, communicating with our members and supporting our mission of educating the Canadian public. Join us for a talk with our webmaster, Jim Trick, and one of our Facebook Admins, Lori Atkinson Smith, as they take you on a tour of our sites and Facebook group.

Bring your questions about using our web site and Facebook group! Jim and Lori will try to answer them all.

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September 19, 2023

In Their Own Voices

Michael Petrou, Historian of the Veterans' Experience at the Canadian War Museum, presents on "In Their Own Voices", an oral history project of the Canadian War Museum that explores the enduring effects of war and military service on veterans and their loved ones from the Second World War to the present day. Petrou has so far interviewed nearly 200 veterans and family members for the project, which will result in an online exhibition, material for classrooms, a conference and a book.

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April 24, 2023

Canadians in the Battle of Hong Kong: Myths and Memories

This presentation examines how the Battle of Hong Kong’s negative legacy developed in Canada, the topic of Brad St Croix's PhD dissertation. Many individuals, including historians, journalists, and authors have contributed to the negative legacy’s creation and propagation, starting from the Second World War and continuing today.

Dr St Croix's discussion is separated into two halves. The first part will focus on the history of the battle by exploring several myths that plagued our understanding of the Canadians at Hong Kong. Myths surrounding why the Canadian troops were sent to Hong Kong, the relationship between the British and Canadian armies from 1914 to 1941, the defence planning of Hong Kong from 1841 to 1941, the selection of the units of “C” Force, and their training will be explored. The second part of the presentation will focus on the memory of the battle. The 1942 Hong Kong Inquiry and the 1992 television miniseries The Valour and the Horror will be discussed as the factors relating to the battle’s legacy since the Second World War.

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January 16, 2023

Battle of Hong Kong Virtual Mapping

This event will showcase two very exciting and complementary uses of virtual mapping in telling the story of the Battle of Hong Kong.

Dr Kwong Chi Man, Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, will describe and demonstrate the “Battle of Hong Kong Spatial History Project”, an easy-to-use virtual mapping system that enables a viewer to see the Battle of Hong Kong unfold in a whole new way. It includes an extensive inventory of combatants, armour, and military infrastructure such as pillboxes, shelters and medical posts. The system's timeline shows how troop movements took place beginning with the initial Japanese attack and ending with the surrender on December 25, 1941. It aims to bridge the gaps that exist between the British and Japanese accounts to offer a clearer view of the battle and to show the diverse experiences of the combatants and the civilians during the eighteen days of fighting.

Nathan Kehler, co-founder of the Canadian Research and Mapping Association, will demonstrate “The Fall of Hong Kong”, which uses virtual mapping to visually tell the story of Canadian involvement in the battle. The 3D topographical maps used in this visualization vividly show the rugged terrain where “C” Force engaged the enemy.

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November 21 2022

The PoW Experience in Hong Kong and Beyond

Noted Canadian historian and author Nathan M Greenfield will discuss the differences in experiences between Canadian PoWs in Europe in both world wars and those of Canadian PoWs in Hong Kong. He will discuss issues such as the legal status of the different PoWs, forced labour, starvation, beatings, executions and resistance to their captors. He will also touch on PoWs held in Canada during WW II.

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September 26 2022

Lives Lived: Edmund Lionel Hurd

Edmund Lionel Hurd came from a military heritage and community built on a foundation of trust, ethics and caring for family and neighbours. His life experience would be completely contrasted by the atrocities that he and his comrades experienced as POWs at the hands of the Japanese in prison and labour camps. This story captures the human side of Captain E L Hurd, Battalion Quartermaster, Royal Rifles of Canada.

A presentation by his son Frederick E. Hurd will reveal who he was, where he came from, and how he came home to a changed world where he found the courage again to adapt, and to defend and hang on to his dignity while he strove to rebuild his life.

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April 18 2022

GANDER in Hong Kong

Gander was a large, black Newfoundland dog who struck fear into the Japanese soldiers attacking his human companions in Hong Kong in December 1941. Gander was not only fearsome to look at, but every bit as brave as the Canadian soldiers he went into battle with. Together, against a vastly superior force, they demonstrated the determination and grit of Canadians in battle. George MacDonell, one of only four living Canadian veterans of the Battle of Hong Kong, and writer/researcher Sue Beard tell the fascinating story of this most unusual soldier.

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March 21 2022

WW2 Civilian Internment in Hong Kong

Beginning in December 1941 well over 100,000 Allied civilians across China and Southeast Asia were taken prisoner by the Japanese, including entire families. Although at the outset these civilians were in general not treated quite as harshly as were military POWs, their internment was extremely unpleasant, and for many, deteriorated drastically later in the war. Some 2,800 civilians, among them a number of Canadians, were interned in Hong Kong.

Our two speakers, Martin Heyes of Hong Kong and Julien Lehoux of Montreal, will tell you about Hong Kong’s civilian internees and how they lived during their imprisonment, the complex negotiations to repatriate the Canadians among them, and the impacts on their lives after their return to Canada.

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Jan 24 2022

Shipped to Japan

Even as early as Pearl Harbour itself, some senior Japanese realised that they could be getting into a war of attrition which they could ill afford. Sooner or later they would need to free up as many men as possible to join their armed forces. Once Allied POWs fell into their hands, they realised that they could kill two birds with one stone: put the POWs to work in the the mines and factories and docks, and liberate the Japanese workforce. Starting in September 1942, they therefore began shipping some 4,817 Canadian, British, and local POWs, captured in Hong Kong, to the Japanese mainland. This talk, given by noted Hong Kong historian Tony Banham, explores those journeys and their outcomes.

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Nov 22 2021

"The Fence"

“The Fence”, a feature-length documentary produced by Tortuga Films, powerfully tells the story of one of the longest incarcerations of WW II, with personal accounts from Canadian veterans George MacDonell and George Peterson. Meet the film’s director, Viveka Melki, survivor Luba Estes, who witnessed unspeakable war crimes watching and waiting for her imprisoned father from outside the fence of Sham Shui Po POW camp, and Dr. Chi Man Kwong, East Asia Military Historian.

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Oct 18 2021

"We Remember Hong Kong"

The life-changing and heartwarming story of the student pilgrimage to Hong Kong in 2005 to commemorate the Canadian soldiers who lie buried at Sai Wan War Cemetery and to leave behind a memorial time capsule in their honour. This presentation is a tribute to the Veterans and the students who collaborated to bring attention to these brave and valiant soldiers of the Second World War.

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Sept 27 2021

'C' Force's Indigenous Peoples

Veterans Affairs Canada estimates that as many as 12,000 Indigenous people served in the great conflicts of the 20th century, including the Battle of Hong Kong. Did you know that Indigenous people volunteered to fight for Canada before they were considered Canadian citizens and allowed to vote?  Join us for a talk about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, their involvement in Canada’s military and specifically 'C' Force, and stories of some of 'C' Force’s Indigenous Veterans.

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June 21 2021

Canada's Nursing Sisters in the Battle of Hong Kong and Royal Canadian Institute Tour

The HKVCA and the Royal Canadian Military Institute present the story of Canada’s Nursing Sisters in the Battle of Hong Kong. The event includes a tour of the RCMI museum’s extensive collection of military artifacts and its library and archives. Hear the fascinating story of Lt. Kay Christie and Lt Anna May Waters, and visit Canada’s foremost institute promoting the study and discussion of military history, defence, security and international affairs.

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May 17 2021

Finding War Relics in Hong Kong

Live from Hong Kong! Discover how amateur historian Craig Mitchell and his colleagues search the battlefields to find relics of the Battle of Hong Kong, trace their history, and return them to their owners’ family members.

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April 19 2021

'C' Force Postal History

Before the internet, email and cheap long-distance calls, letters were the essential way of keeping in touch. Meet postal historian Sam Chiu for a fascinating talk as he links letters and stamps with the history of Canada’s “C” Force before, during and after its fateful deployment to Hong Kong in 1941.

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March 22 2021

In Conversation with Jonathon Reid

In August 1941, Capt. John Reid, a young Canadian doctor, was assigned as one of four medical officers for Canada’s 'C' Force, soon departing for Hong Kong. In the prison camps in Hong Kong and Japan, Capt. Reid cared for his Canadian colleagues under terrible conditions. Join his son, Jonathon Reid, author of “The Captain Was a Doctor” as he tells the story of Capt. Reid’s experiences both during the war and afterwards as he grappled with his personal challenges after returning home.

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