|Title||Description||Author||ISBN / Publisher|
|Royal Rifles of Canada - War Diary||Hosted on our site. Covers unit activities from 1 Dec until 25 Dec 1941. (PDF)|
|A Historiography of C Force||Article - available online. Intended to explore the somewhat controversial differences in interpretation (between Canadian and British historians) of the relationship between the two nations during Hong Kong’s defence.||Tony Banham||Canadian Military History|
|Betrayal||This book delves into the key players whose decisions sent Canadian soldiers to Hong Kong in 1941 and the reasons, political or military, behind the decisions. It also lays out the reasons why Hong Kong fell to the Japanese in the manner it did. Given the circumstances, defeat was inevitable, but not necessarily with the surrender of all Allied troops.||Terry Meagher||
Order from HKVCA:
|Where Life and Death Hold Hands||Published in 1989, autobiography of William Allister, 'C' Force, D116237, RC Signals||William Allister||
Stoddart Publishing, Toronto
Try a web search using these words: "book where life and death hold hands allister"
|'C' Force to Hong Kong: A Canadian Catastrophe||
(This book was written
and we just discovered it, so we've added it here.)
This is the story of a "no military risk" campaign that slowly turned into a nightmare. The book provides new answers to a number of difficult questions beginning with a discussion of why Canadian troops were sent to Hong Kong at the request of the British War Office. Were the British duplicitous in making this request? Was Canadian Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant-General Harry Crerar, guilty of putting his own interests above those of his men in telling the minister of National Defence that there was "no military risk" in sending the "C" Force?
The book recounts the formation of the "C" Force and its departure to Hong Kong where it arrived just three weeks before the Japanese attack. It outlines the course of the battle from December 8, 1941, until the inevitable surrender of the garrison on Christmas Day. It places appropriate emphasis on the Canadian contribution, refuting 1947 allegations by the British General-Officer-Commanding - allegations which were only made public in 1993 - that the Canadians did not fight well. Greenhous attacks these charges with solid evidence from participants and eye-witnesses.
Finally, the book tells the story of life and death in the prison camps of Hong Kong and Japan.
Brereton Greenhous worked for twenty-five years in the Department of National Defence's Directorate of History. He has authored, co-authored, or edited a dozen books on Canadian military history.
|Hoping In Hell||The story of a teenage boy who enlisted immediately following the declaration of war in 1939 intent on fighting the Nazis in Europe. He rose to the rank of Sergeant as an instructor of recruits then platoon leader in the Royal Rifles of Canada. Instead of being shipped to England he and the Royal Rifles were dispatched to protect the British colony of Hong Kong being threatened by the Japanese as they marched across China in a reign of terror. Twice wounded in battle, he survived the slaughter of doctors, nurses and wounded soldiers at St. Stephen's hospital. Then he fought for survival for three years and eight months of starvation, disease, hard labour and torture at the hands of the Japanese. He returned to Canada to marry his teenage sweetheart he had left behind in London, Ontario.||Robert J. "Flash" Clayton and Howard W. Raper||
Branch 488 of the Royal Canadian Legion located in Brechin,
The book can be purchased by sending a cheque or money order to R.C.L. Branch 488, Brechin, Ontario L0K 1B0 in the amount of $27.60 which includes HST and mailing costs. (the book is priced at $19.95) It is also available at Nanticoke Books in Orillia, Ontario.
|They Never Surrendered||
is a story about Canada's soldiers who, despite their defeat
and capture by the Japanese at Hong Kong in World War II,
never gave up and never stopped fighting.
On the battlefield, suffering heavy casualties, they fought with determination and courage until they were ordered to lay down their arms by the British Governor of Hong Kong.
As prisoners of war they were shipped to Japan as slave labourers. In unimaginable conditions in their camps in Japan many died of starvation, overwork, disease, and savage abuse.
During nearly four years of their captivity they remained undaunted. They never failed in their duty to try and resist, and they never submitted to the demands of their cruel enemy.
While prisoners of war in the very heartland of their enemy, their sabotage was astonishingly successful in crippling the Japanese war effort.
Their courage and defiance are part of our history - and one we can be proud of.
Published in Oct 2014
Order from Volumes
|Forgiveness||(From HarperCollins Canada) - When the Second World War broke out, Ralph MacLean traded his quiet yet troubled life on the Magdalen Islands in eastern Canada for the ravages of war overseas. On the other side of the country, Mitsue Sakamoto and her family felt their pleasant life in Vancouver starting to fade away after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. more...||Mark Sakamoto||HarperCollins|
|'C' Force Decorations, Medals, Awards and Honours||
This book is dedicated to the men and women of 'C' Force who displayed outstanding courage, tenacity and valour during the Battle for Hong Kong as well as their trials and tribulations while prisoners of war of the Japanese. Their actions are among the finest in the long tradition of Canada's soldiers. The book contains the citations and other honours for those soldiers so honoured.
Cost: $20 including shipping.
Make cheque payable to:
|A Dog Named GANDER||
It is also dedicated to their mascot who was an unusual and heroic Newfoundland dog named Gander, who fought bravely until, in a final act of heroism on the battlefield of Hong Kong, gave up his life for his comrades.
The Story of brave Gander and the Canadian defenders of Hong Kong is not about how they were defeated by vastly superior Japanese forces, but how together, in their gallant defence of the island, they showed the world the mettle of which they were made.
40 Pages, Photos - Size 11" x 8.5"
George S MacDonell & Sue Beard
WRITTEN, DESIGNED & PRINTED IN CANADA
Order from website
French version: Gander le Chien
|The Home Front: Hopscotch & Heartache While Daddy Was at War||
Margaret Dennis was seven years old in 1941 when her father,
Lieutenant Victor Dennis,
was sent with the Winnipeg Grenadiers to defend Hong Kong
against the Japanese Army.
The battle of Hong Kong was a fiasco and on Christmas Day 1941, the Canadians surrendered. They spent the next four years in a prisoner-of-war camp.
The Home Front is the story of his loved ones at home. Told through the eyes of young Margaret, it portrays her mother, Lucy, and younger brother and sister during the four long years their father was away. With poignancy and humour, the author offers a colourful picture of Canadian life during the dark days of World War II.
A Winnipeg writer and a
retired school teacher. She has been
|Uncle Mac's Hong Kong Diary||
This book, 185 pages long, has two distinctive sections; events before surrender, and while a POW. The subject matter has often been written about in the recent past, but this rendition covering December 1941 contains some very emotional language.
Following the surrender, as to be expected with any publication with the words “Hong Kong Diary” in the title, the theme focuses on the lack of food, medicine, and freedom.
Whether due to illness or the lack of paper, or that it just got lost, the portion of the diary for 1943 is missing.
Not an easy read, but one every collection of the history of “C” Force should have.
Diary was compiled by his niece Betsy in 2010.
|Philip J.M. (Mac) Gallie, RRC||
To purchase, call Betsy at 1-519-744-6633
Cost: $25, postage included
My Life with the Samurai
(HOW I SURVIVED JAPANESE DEATH CAMPS)
The first edition of My Life With the Samurai
was recognized as an important contribution to the study of
the Pacific Theatre during WW ll. This new, limited edition
3rd printing includes maps, photos, the names of those who
fell in camp, in addition to new chapters which document the
brutality experienced by many nations of S.E. Asia during
the Japanese reign of terror. My Life With the Samurai tells
the true story of a 17 year old boy (AUTHOR) captured by the
Japanese in Indonesia.
|Anthony Cowling||Can be purchased from the author's web site|
|Hong Kong Internment 1942-1945||
in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley
This book tells the story of the more than 3000 non-Chinese civilians: British, American, Dutch and others, who were trapped in the British colony and interned behind barbed wire in Stanley Internment Camp from 1942 to 1945.
|Geoffrey Charles Emerson||Author's web site|
|The Damned: The Canadians at the Battle of Hong Kong and the POW Experience, 1941-45||
Damned tells the largely unknown saga of Canada's first land
battle of the Second World War -- fought in the hills and
valleys of Hong Kong in December 1941 -- and the terrible
years the survivors of the battle spent as slave labourers
for the Empire of Japan.
Their story begins in the fall of 1941 when almost 2,000 members of the Royal Rifles and Winnipeg Grenadiers were sent to bolster the British garrison at Hong Kong. In the seven-day battle for the colony 290 men were killed and another 500 wounded for a casualty rate of some 40%—the highest rate of any battle the Canadians fought in the Second World War save for Dieppe.
The second part of their story lasts 1,378 days—more than three and a half years—and is of how the Canadians survived the horrid conditions of Japanese POW camps. Four were executed for trying to escape. Another 260 died from diseases brought on by malnutrition, effects of beatings, and slave labour in shipyards and coal mines. Hundreds more suffered from beriberi, diphtheria, typhus and other diseases, and malnutrition, which in many cases led to blindness. Scores of Canadians were tortured; hundreds of were turned into slave labourers in factories, shipyards and dangerous coal mines.
Media articles: Globe and Mail
|Nathan Greenfield Ph.D., is the Canadian correspondent for The Times Education Supplement and a contributor to Maclean’s, Canadian Geographic and The Times Literary Supplement. He is the author of Baptism of Fire: The Second Battle of Ypres and the Forging of Canada, April 1915, which was a finalist for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction, and the widely praised The Battle of the St. Lawrence. Greenfield lives in Ottawa.||
Released in Oct 2010.
Order from Chapters
The following ISBNs are associated
with this title:
|Veterans with a Vision – Canada’s War Blinded in Peace and War||
book outlines the history of Canada’s war blinded beginning
at the turn of the 20th century up to the
present. It documents the rehabilitation of these men, and
their trials and tribulations in getting our government to
provide pensions, job retraining and other social programs
that allowed them to achieve a good measure of independence.
(Visit the Amazon.ca web site for a further description)
||Serge Marc Durflinger||
Sir Arthur Pearson Association of War Blinded and the
Canadian War Museum
Purchase from: amazon.ca
Dark Side of the
(Cost: $25 plus postage)
pages, paperback format) story about my
grandfather's (George Palmer from PEI) journey in WWII where
he was involved in the battle of Hong Kong. He was shot,
captured, had plans to escape across China to friendly
lines, but was then sent on a POW ship to Japan where he and
his comrades endured brutalities, slave labour and
starvation for a few years at the Omine POW Camp. They were
close to death by the time the Americans rescued them (and
they were only 160 kms from Nagasaki - where one of the
atomic bombs was dropped). One interesting note: It's the
only published book in existence containing in-depth
information on the happenings at the Omine POW camp.
Interview with CBC on 11 Nov 2010 (mp3, audio)
Interview (mp3, audio)
|Michael Palmer, Grandson||
|Sergeant Gander: A Canadian Hero||
fascinating account of the Royal Rifles of Canada's canine
mascot, and its devotion to duty demonstrated during one of
Canada's biggest military tragedies, the Battle of Hong Kong
of the Second World War. Armed only with his formidable
size, an intimidating set of teeth, and a protective
instinct, Gander fought alongside his fellow Canadian
soldiers. As the Royal Rifles' position became more
precarious, the men were forced to retreat into the hills of
Hong Kong and it was here that a group of wounded Canadians,
threatened by a live grenade, came to fully appreciate the
loyalty of Gander. Of all the Canadians who took part that
day, only one was awarded the Dickin Medal, the animal
equivalent to the Victoria Cross for humans. This honour is
dedicated to animals displaying gallantry and devotion to
duty while under any control of the Armed Forces. Sergeant
Gander is the 19th dog to receive this medal and the first
Canadian canine to do so.
Published in September '09
Available through Amazon.ca
Beyond The Call
|Beyond the Call tells the story of the thirty-three members of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals who were part of “C” Force, the Canadian contingent sent to bolster the British garrison at Hong Kong in October, 1941. It follows the men through their enlistment and training, the voyage to Hong Kong, their participation in the battle following the Japanese attack of December 8, 1941, their years as POWs and their eventual repatriation to Canada.||D. Burke Penny||Published by the Hong Kong Veterans
Commemorative Association, 2009
|We Shall Suffer There||A text book covering the Hong Kong POW and Internee experience from capture to liberation. Like Not the Slightest Chance, it takes a chronological approach to the subject, and attempts to cover each and every camp, draft, and movement so that the experiences of all individual POWs can be understood. It also investigates the deaths of each individual lost in the camps.||Tony Banham||Publication was in March 2009.
Please visit this page on Tony's web site for other details.
A Hong Kong Diary Revisited- The Family Remembers
($30. plus s. &h.)
is the diary kept by Lieut. Leonard Corrigan, WG, during 3
1/2 years in Hong Kong as a POW. This unique inside story
includes daily journal entries buried during the years of
imprisonment and brought home after liberation.
Lieutenant Corrigan’s four daughters have added their reflections on the time before, during and after the war, the readjustments to his homecoming, and his life until his death in 1994.
|ISBN No. 978-0-978-3430-3-3
Contact Frei Press at P.O.BOX#38
For further information:
|Kartoons by Kelso||At the outbreak of the Second World War two brothers, Henry and John Robert Kelso, enlisted with the Winnipeg Grenadiers. John was also a gifted cartoonist and with sponsorship from T. Eaton Companywas to have attended a prestigious art school in Chicago following the war. A few months into training the brothers along with the Winnipeg Grenadiers were posted to garrison duty in Bermuda and Jamaica. It is there, while stationed in the Caribbean, that John sketched 40 cartoons of military life that you now see on these pages||John Kelso||Copyright: © 2007 Curtis J. Phillips. Available at lulu.com for download or purchase|
|Passing the Torch: Our Youth Remember Hong Kong||A collection of war stories produced by the students from Ontario who adopted a Hong Kong veteran and contributed a commemorative piece to show their thanks for the sacrifices.||Edited by Nancy & Michael Strahl||Available at
lulu.com for download or purchase
Derrill has six copies of this one for mailing costs ($4.00) only. Use address at bottom of this page.
|'C' Force Decorations, Medals, Awards and Honours||The book documents the decorations, medals, awards and honours including citations given to soldiers of the Canadian Army that fought at the Battle of Hong Kong, December 1941. Following the battle they became Prisoners of War of the Japanese from January 1942 until August 1945.||Vince Lopata||Available at lulu.com for download or purchase|
|DEADLY DECEMBER The Battle of Hong Kong The Royal Rifles of Canada, The Winnipeg Grenadiers||For the first time the saga is told from a Canadian perspective, using the words of those soldiers who fought that, long ago, almost forgotten battle.||Ronald C. Parker||Available at
lulu.com for download or
Also available at Amazon.com. Link
|Royal Rifles in
Hong Kong 1941 - 1945
($50, all costs included)
This reprint contains a few more photographs than the original and it has a foreword by the author of Part 1, Grant Garneau.
For those unfamiliar with this book, Part 1 deals with the historical aspects of the reforming the Royal Rifles in 1939; the Crown Colony of Hong Kong; the battle as seen by the RRC; and the imprisonment following the surrender. Part 2 is illustrations and photographs supplied by the veterans. Part 3 is mainly personal accounts. The book has 436 pages in total.
guerre au Japon (1941-1945)
($15 plus $3 postage)
*Not available in book stores*
19 ans Bernard s’engage volontairement dans le régiment des
Royal Rifles du Canada, dont 35 à 40% sont des
Canadiens-français bilingues.Un an plus tard, son régiment
est envoyé à la défense de Hong Kong. Ils ont eu à peine
trois semaines pour se préparer à la bataille. Malgré une
résistance courageuse contre toute attente de victoire
possible, après dix-huit jours de combat féroce ils se sont
rendues le jour de Noël 1941.Les pertes canadiennes étaient
Les survivants des Royal Rifles et les Winnipeg Grenadiers demeureront aux mains des Japonnais comme prisonniers de guerre durant 3 ans et 8 mois.
Bernard à tenu son journal presque quotidiennement pendant toute cette période. Dans ce journal Bernard nous raconte ce qu’il a vécu au jour le jour.
|Bernard Castonguay, auteur Renée Giard, rédactrice||ISBN 2-9808972-0-5 (Jun 05)
Order from HKVCA. Address at the bottom of this page.
|Hong Kong Prisoner of War Camp Life||A visual record of the conditions in which the prisoners of war of the Japanese lived in Hong Kong. Alexander Skvorzov, risking his life, secretly sketched and hid his work during his imprisonment in Shamshuipo and Argyle Street camps.||Lieut. A.V. Skvorzov||
Note: as of mid-Nov '08 the following message was posted on the vendor's web site:
"This product is out of print and no longer available from the publisher"
|Letters to Harvelyn||From Japanese POW Camps: A Father's Letters to His Young Daughter During World War II||Major Kenneth G. Baird||0-00-200096-2|
|Behind the Fence||
Life As A P.O.W. in Japan 1942-1945
Card cover 288 pp 6x9”
Les Chater, a Canadian with the Royal Air Force, was captured by the Japanese in 1942 at Singapore, and remained a prisoner until liberation in 1945. During that time he kept a secret diary, recording life in the camps day by day. b/w photos, illustrations, Appendices.
|Les Chater & Elizabeth Hamid
|Not the Slightest Chance||
from the jacket: This book assembles a phase-by-phase,
day-by-day, hour-by-hour account of the battle. It considers
the individual actions that made up the fighting as well as
the strategies and plans and the many controversies that
|One Soldier's Story ($15 plus $3 postage)||
Canadians who were sent to Hong Kong with only the munitions they carried off the troop ships and without any air or naval support, after seventeen days of battling overwhelming enemy numbers, soon found themselves as prisoners-of-war in Japanese camps.
Many POWs have taken different routes in coming to grips with the memories that haunt them still. Sgt. George MacDonell wrote a book.
Brings together the micro details surrounding a military action which took place during the battle for Hong Kong in December 1941
Order from HKVCA. Address at the bottom of this page.
|No Reason Why ($40 all costs included)||
This book, of which we have a limited number of copies, has been called the best book written about Canada's involvement in the defence of Hong Kong. It covers the background of the regiments; the politics involved; the battle; years of imprisonment; and the return to Canada. No library on the subject on Hong Kong is complete without this book!
Published: 1981 by Canada's Wings Inc, Stittsville, ON
Order from HKVCA. Address at the bottom of this page.
|Desperate Siege: The Battle for Hong Kong||
on interviews with survivors of the battle and the POW
cages, Desperate Siege is a powerful tale of human courage
in the face of impossible odds.
|In Enemy Hands||
Prisoners of War 1939-45
|Daniel G. Dancocks||0-88830-240-1|
|Banzai You Bastards||Allied Prisoners of War on Taiwan||Jack Edwards||962-7290-03-3|
|A Handful of Rice||Canadian Prisoners somewhere in Malaya||William Allister||Martin Secker & Warberg Ltd.
Try a web search using these words: "book handful of rice allister"
|Hostages to Fortune||The fall of Hong Kong...The horrors of Shamshuipo Camp...The tragedy of the Lisbon Maru...The last days before the atom bomb.||Tim Carew||241 02001 8|
|From Jamaica to Japan||
diary of a Hong Kong Prisoner of War
Read an excerpt
|Thomas S. Forsyth||Available as a PDF|
|17 Days Until Christmas (sold out)||Léo Paul Bérard's first hand account of his WWII experience as a prisoner of war of the Imperial Japanese Army after the Battle of Hong Kong in December 1941.||Léo Paul Bérard||0-9683049-0-7|
|Where Life and Death Hold Hands||William Allister||0773722688 amazon.ca|
|Three Military Leaders||The conflicts between feudalistic ideas of the samurai's role and the realities of modern warfare made dramatically evident in this triple biography of the Japanese WWII military learders - Heihachiro Togo, Isoroku Yamamoto and Tomoyuki Yamashita||Edwin P. Hoyt||4-7700-1737-5|
|Hell On Earth||Aging faster, dying sooner; Canadian Prisoners of the Japanese during WWII, painting a vivid picture of the experiences of the Canadian POWs and their brutal treatment at the hands of the Japanese||Dave McIntosh (Edited by Legion Magazine)||0-07-552821-5|
|Diary of a Prisoner of War in Japan 1941-1945||Available in English and French, the author's journal portrays the harrowing experience of Canadian POWs in Hong Kong and Japan, and a strong French Canadian perspective of the war that is both moving and informative. The author was one of them. The English edition is available from: VERO, 400 Saint-Eugene, Apt #5, Rimouski, Quebec, Canada, G5L 8S3 or phone 418-723-1423||Georges "Blacky" Verrault||English Edition
|"C" Force to Hong Kong; a Canadian Catastrophe||Recounts the formation of "C" Force in WWII and its departure to Hong Kong as well as the story of life and death in the prison camps of Hong Kong and Japan||Brereton Greenhous||1-55002-267-9|
|The Ruins of War||Full of interesting pieces of information and history which appears in narratives on pill-boxes, gun emplacements, batteries, shelters, casualty lists, buildings and more||Ko Tim Keung and Jason Wordie|
|Escape to Life||A novel, in which patriotic guerillas liberate 1000 human guinea pigs from a Japanese run experimental death camp. Please remember, it is an historical fact that NO ONE escaped from the hideous camps||Jan J Solecki|
|At the Going Down of the Sun||
Kong and South/East Asia 1941-45. Quote from the jacket
"the first factual account of what happened to the allied prisoners and to the British, American and Dutch families who were subjected to the callous brutality of their captors for almost four years. It also covers the activities of the British Intelligence Organisation in China which was initially extraordinarily successful in establishing contact with the POWs and internees..."
Published by: Hamish Hamilton, London, England
|The Lasting Honour||
Fall of Hong Kong 1941
Slaves of the Rising Sun
($15 plus $5 postage)
|This excellent summary of the Battle of Hong Kong and the role of ‘C’ Force was prepared by History Television in 2002. This documentary is 49 minutes long and includes the history of the HKVA and the eventual formation of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association. Our story is well portrayed and is both interesting and educational.||History Television|
($20 including postage)
|Produced by the War Amps, this bilingual DVD is a valuable keepsake, documenting the dedication ceremony which took place in Ottawa, ON on 15 Aug '09||War Amps|
|Canada's Hong Kong Veterans:
The Compensation Story
by Cliff Chadderton, War Amps CEO and Patron of the Hong
Kong Veterans Association of Canada. It was Chadderton who
started the claim, marshalling the strength of six Allied
nations and the Human Rights Community in Geneva.
To order this excellent DVD call 1-800-250-3030.The cost is only $12.00 postage paid to Canadian addresses. Add $8.00 if sent to the USA or $15.00 if sent to International addresses."
(where not specified elsewhere)Maritime provinces and NFLD: $11.25
& Manitoba: $8.50
The three western provinces and the North: $12.50
All items shown in red above may be ordered by sending a cheque to:
1861 Robertson Road
Ottawa, ON K2H 1B9
Questions? Contact our librarian.
If you know of other books, videos or articles that you feel should be included in our list, please let us know.