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Short Introduction

Clippings below were sent to the webmaster some time ago, and appeared to be copied from microfiche. We have lost our records indicating who the generous person was, but if you're reading this, we thank you for adding to the online historical record.

Transcription of the paper copies was a painstaking job due to the lack of clarity of the reproduction. We would like to thank Anne Trick for her patience and dedication in making the conversion from paper to digital.

The items below are reproduced with the kind permission of the current publisher, Sharon McCully, of what is now called The Record. Thank you!

Some changes have been made to the text, mainly the spelling of names of the soldiers and of locations, in order to agree with our current records, and to assist search engines.

Photos that formed part of the original articles could not be reproduced due to poor quality, but captions have been included as part of the text below.

Sherbrooke Daily Record

Pre-war Articles

Nov 7/41


Hong Kong, Nov.17. A sizable force of Canadian infantrymen took up stations in this Far Eastern outpost today, “ready for anything that might occur.”

The troops, under command of Brig. J. K. Lawson, arrived here early Sunday in a large transport, formerly a passenger liner, which was strongly escorted.

The populace of Hong Kong, particularly the Chinese colony, greeted news of the contingent’s landing with jubilance.

The Canadians marched behind two military bands to specially outfitted barracks. They carried full equipment and fixed bayonets.

Brig. Lawson told correspondents that his men were from Manitoba and Quebec, and had been “Overseas once before in this war.” While the contingent was made up largely of infantry, the command said “we have others things as well.”

The troops will be under the higher command of Maj.-Gen. C. M. Maltby, commander of all troops in Hong Kong, and under the supreme Command of Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, commander-in-chief for the Far East, with headquarters in Singapore.

Nov. 17/41

Canadian Troops Reinforce British Hong Kong Garrison

Regiments from Quebec Province and Manitoba Arrive at Hong Kong, Prime Minister King Announces – Action Coincides with increased Tension Caused by Japanese Troops in Far Eastern Sections.

Ottawa, Nov. 17. Canadian soldiers are in Hong Kong, ready with other British forces to resist any assault on that great naval base off the China coast.

Safe arrival of the Canadian troops after an uneventful voyage was announced Saturday night by Prime Minister Mackenzie King. Sizes of the detachment and names of the units involved were not disclosed, for security reasons. It was not stated in Mr. King’s statement but presumably the troops crossed the Pacific Ocean from Canada.

The Canadians, first to serve in the Orient since the end of the last war when some Dominion troops were at Vladivostok, are under command of Brig. J. K. Lawson, of London, Ont.

The brief Saturday statement quoted Mr. King as saying “defence against aggression, actual or threatened, in any part of the world is today a part of the defence of every country which still enjoys freedom. It is in accordance with this view that the Government have deemed it advisable to associate Canadian troops with those of the forces from other parts of the British Commonwealth now stationed in the Orient.”

The reference to “aggression, actual of threatened,” could only be interpreted as a reference to Japan whose international policies have given rise to fears that war may break out in the Pacific zone.


London Papers Believe Troops Will Be Despatched from Canada to Hong Kong and Singapore. By Russ Munro (Canadian Press War Correspondent)

London, Nov. 15. (? Cable)

The possibility of Canadian forces being sent to the Orient was raised today by the Daily Telegraph which said it was understood the Dominion was “planning to play a part in defending Hong Kong and other bases.”

Observers in London, commenting upon the story which was a 100-word item on the front page headed “Canada’s part in the Far East” said that if a Canadian force were chosen for defence of Imperial interests in the Orient it probably would be chosen from among troops in Canada, such as the 4th and 6th divisions rather than from the Canadian Corps in England.

The corps in Britain is doing a vital though unspectacular job in defence of the island and has been built up into a self-contained formation as complete as any army corps in the Empire. Three infantry divisions, a tank brigade and an armoured division will be knit together with the next few months as a gigantic fighting force and military observers believe there is little possibility at the moment that it will be decentralized by the dispatch of parts of it to other theatres of war.

Creation of this corps and its development has been a lengthy two-year task. The plan has been carried out in practically its entirety now and Lt.-Gen. A. G. L. McNaughton describes his force as a “danger pointed at the heart of Berlin.”

The strategy of the corps is closely related to Britain’s plans on the European front and its first action probably will be here in England repelling an invasion thrust or participating in the assault on the continent if and when Britain decides upon such a move.

Post-war Articles

Sept 7/45 – Sherbrooke Daily Record

Five Eastern Townships Men Captured By Japanese At Hong Kong Now Reported Safe

[Three photos are listed and titled as follows:]


The names of five Canadian military personnel from the Eastern Townships who are now safe in Allied hands after being captured by the Japanese at the fall of Hong Kong on Christmas Day in 1941 were released by Defence Headquarters last night.

At Shamshuipo Camp, Kowloon, are:

Captain E. E. Dennison, Sherbrooke; Captain S. M. Banfill, East Angus; Major M.A. Parker, Sherbrooke, and Major W. A. Bishop, Bury.

Included in the second list containing the names of eight more Canadian military personnel safe after Japanese internment is: Rfmn. Henry Salter E3047, Gibbs Club, Sherbrooke. His next-of-kin is listed as Thomas Keeley.

Shamshuipo Camp, Kowloon, Sept. 6.

Canadian deaths from all causes at Hong Kong since hostilities began until last Friday totalled 419. It was announced in a statement issued by Lt.-Col. William Jas. Home, of Quebec, Commanding Officer of Canadian prisoners of war at this camp. Of this number 100 were killed in action, died of wounds or are missing and 120 died of sickness.

The figures for deaths by sickness referred to deaths occurring at Hong Kong only. Canadians at Hong Kong at the time the list was issued numbered 300. Others left for camps in Japan at various times, some as early as 1943, totaling 1184.

Col. Home was commanding officer of the Royal Rifles of Canada, from Quebec Province, which fought in the siege of Hong Kong in 1941. Other Canadian units were the Winnipeg Grenadiers and a headquarters company.

Col. Home’s statement, issued last Friday, said: On our release from captivity after three years and eight months, the Canadian prisoners at Hong Kong send to their loved ones at home heartfelt greetings and hope for an early reunion. We can as yet hardly realize that we are free men again and have one thought – of returning to our homes as soon as possible. We are all equally anxious to receive news from our people as it is now a year or longer since most of us heard from them.

The majority of Canadian prisoners of war here may be said to be in fair condition of health and, according to medical advice, with good food and improved living conditions should soon return to a normal physical state. To the parents, wives and other dear ones of those who will not be returning with us, we send our deepest sympathy and condolences. It may perhaps help to alleviate the suffering of those parents, wives and other dear ones to know that their men-folk died here doing their duty (that Canada might live).

Here, in Hong Kong are 350 Canadians of all ranks. Those who left here on various drafts as early as January, 1943, and up to April, 1944, for we believe, Japan, number 1184.

One thousand nine hundred and seventy-four including two nursing sisters arrived here November 16, 1941.

The total Canadian deaths here from all causes from the opening of hostilities in December, 1941; until today (last Friday) number 419, made up of 290 killed in action, died of wounds or missing, and 120 died of sickness.

Vancouver, Sept. 6. Encouragement to families of Canadians now being released from Japanese prison camps was given today by Col. Dick Malone, director of Canadian Army Public Relations, in a broadcast from Radio Tokyo.

His report was picked up at a San Francisco listening post at the request of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and broadcast today over the corporation’s Canadian network.

“You have heard stories of bad treatment in prison camps,: Malone said. “It is important the families of these men back home in Canada should not become alarmed and think that all our men are in bad condition.

The actual percentage of Canadians rescued to date which can be considered serious cases is very low. Only a dozen that I have seen so far were in serious need of hospitalization, and of those just five were bad cases. This is not to say their treatment was not severe, however.”

Sept 13/45 – Sherbrooke Daily Record


Mr. and Mrs. John G. Allen, of Windsor Mills, have received a telegram from the Director of Records in Ottawa, advising them that their son, E29921 Rfmn. Irvin Allen, previously reported a prisoner of war in Japanese hands is now officially reported safe with the Allies.

Rfmn. Allen was born and educated in Windsor Mills, and was employed in the paper mills there before enlisting with the Royal Rifles. He was with the battalion when the garrison at Hong Kong fell into Japanese hands on Christmas Day 1941.

15 Sept 45 – Sherbrooke Daily Record

Carefully-Organized Underground Brought In Medical Supplies For Hong Kong Sick

By William Stewart C.P. War Correspondent. Manila, Sept. 15 (CP-Cable)

A carefully organized underground of which a large majority of the prisoners knew nothing functioned at Shamshuipo Camp in the Hong Kong area from the autumn of 1942 until the late spring of 1943, bringing in medical supplies urgently needed to combat sickness.

It also delivered to secret agents in China valuable information about conditions among the prisoners, some 340 of whom were Canadian.

When Japanese suspicions which resulted in six arrests and three executions forced the camp underground to break contact with outside agents, plans were being considered for a mass escape from Shamshuipo, aided by an Allied air raid on Hong Kong and a guerrilla rescue operation into the camp grounds.

Three Canadians officers and a Canadian non-commissioned officer were among the handful of men who took their lives in their hands to maintain the organization which at one time delivered information about Canadian prisoners to the Canadian envoy at Chungking.

However when the Japanese arrested three British officers, two British N.C.O.’s and Sgt. R.J. Routledge (sp?) of Regina and Forrest, Man., in July 1943, it was only because they chose to remain tight-lipped under torture that the [unreadable] Japanese [unreadable] gave us the scent, leading to the inner workings of the underground and its personnel.

A British Colonel who was on the staff of the China Command during the Hong Kong battle in 1941 died before a firing squad in December, 1943, for his part in the organization.

The Japanese also executed a British Captain who was an underground leader at Shamshuipo Camp and an R.A.F. Flight Lieutenant whose last warning to his companions was: “For God’s sake don’t bring anyone else into this.”

The organization of carefully selected and most trustworthy prisoners started to build up slowly at Shamshuipo after September, 1942, when individual members of prison work parties, taken daily to Kai Tak airfield which was being extended, were furtively handed Chinese messages written on tiny sheets of paper.

These first messages, which around only fears that the Japanese were laying a trap for anyone who might try to establish contact with the sender, were passed on to the Captain of the Hong Kong Volunteer force inside Shamshuipo but otherwise ignored.

However, members of the Hong Kong volunteers, most of whom from Hong Kong experience knew Cantonese, cross-examined the Chinese messages bearers at length.

By good fortune one message, addressed to a British major at Shamshuipo who later earned a reputation as a collaborator was intercepted.

Eventually officers at Shamshuipo took a chance with a guarded reply to one message and also requested the originator, who gave his name as a British major escaped earlier from Hong Kong, to confirm his identity. Soon a reply came from somewhere in China, bearing the Major’s signature which was recognized in the camp.

A captain of the Royal Scots was let in on the secret of the message exchanges because of his acquaintance with the escaped Major and an R.A.F. Flight Lieutenant also was brought in because of his alertness and reliability.

A British sergeant and a British corporal became a reception team for communications, receiving slips of paper from the Chinese while they were brewing tea for workers at the airfield.

Outgoing messages containing information about prisoner drafts to Japan, the death rate in hospital cases, the ration scale and complaints about the conduct of the prison were prepared in a camp book by the Royal Scots captain, with assistance of a lieutenant of the Hong Kong volunteers.

When communications reached the point where they were going out and coming in almost daily they were written with invisible ink made with rice of white flour.

During a brief stay at Shamshuipo of a Royal Navy lieutenant-commander, he was brought into the confidence of the underground members and took on the job of extending it to the officers’ camp at Argyle Street, Kowloon, to which he expected a transfer.

Capt. W.P.C. LeBoutillier of Ottawa, became the Canadian liaison officer for the underground to which Maj. W. A. Bishop of Bury, Que., was added.

When work parties at Kai Tak airport were discontinued, contact was maintained through the British driver of a ration truck which left the camp regularly.

Lt.-Col. Jack Price of Quebec joined the organization when, upon his departure from the Argyle Street camp to join the Canadians at Shamshuipo, he was asked by a British colonel to carry a highly-important message to the Royal Scots captain at the main camp.

When the message was safely delivered, although the colonel’s kit was turned inside out by guards, the Quebec officer was asked to join the underground organization at Shamshuipo in an advisory capacity.

Col. Price agreed but repeatedly refusing during the winter of 1942-43, when there was a diphtheria epidemic in the camp, to consider requests from outside agents for an escape attempt by the prisoners. The organization accepted his view that at the moment medical supply was the first priority and that following any escape reprisals against the prisoners, in their weakened condition, would endanger lives.

Disruption of contact was threatened when the British truck driver was removed from the ration party but Routledge, at that time also a member of the party, was approached by Price and accepted a job operating as courier through the camp gates.

For a time, to throw off the danger of detection, messages were prepared in Bishop’s shack but in May, 1943, contact was broken and all documents inside the camp were destroyed when the Royal Scots Captain passed word around that the Japanese were highly suspicious.

The Flight Lieutenant was arrested without warning on July 1 and the British sergeant and Routledge were also rounded up, though Routledge managed to slip a message of warning to another member of the underground.

All three were tortured, at first at gendarmerie headquarters at Kowloon, then at Stanley Prison, Hong Kong, where they were kept in solitary confinement. But they kept the secret to themselves and the Japanese were unable to reach into the organization beyond the British Colonel, the Royal Scots Captain, the R.A.F. officer, two British N.C.O.’s and Routledge.

Early in December, 1943, all were tried by court-martial, the officers were executed on December 18 and the N.C.O.’s – saved only by the fact the officers insisted the N.C.O.’s were acting strictly under their orders – were sentenced to 15 years in prison.

16 Sept 45 – Sherbrooke Daily Record

Torture in Jap Prison Described

Water Treatment Among Violent Tortures Used by Japs in “Bridge House” at Shanghai.

Shanghai, Sept. 18. (AP) The story of torture, filth, starvation and death inside the cream-colored Shanghai apartment building named “Bridge House” – perhaps the most infamous Japanese war prison in all Asia – was made known yesterday now that the last of its living survivors have been liberated.

The secret prison, operated by the brutal Japanese gendarmerie, was as terrifying to people of [story ends here].

21 Sept/45 – Sherbrooke Daily Record

Nearly All Canadian POW’s On Way To Guam And Manila

By William Stewart, Canadian Press Staff Writer

Tokyo, Sept. 21.

All but possibly small and isolated groups of Canadian prisoners have been evacuated from Japan and now are en route to Guam and Manila.

During the last few days the bulk of Canadians liberated in the Japanese home islands have been placed aboard ships and planes and evacuated. Lt.-Col. M. W. McA’Nulty (sp?), of Sherbrooke, Que., head of the Canadian Far Eastern Reception Group, has returned to Manila to complete the job of speeding the liberated men to their home in Canada.

Among the Canadians remaining there are twenty-three nuns at Senda who will stay in Japan until instructions are received from their religious orders in Canada. There also are a few civilians of Canadian origin, including one or two women who lost their nationality by foreign marriage, whose status and qualifications for repatriation have not yet been determined.

First contact with some groups of Canadian prisoners in remote areas was made by Capt. Ken Woodsworth of Toronto, member of the reception group, who set out on his own with two non-commissioned officers and travelled by train to camps beyond the present reach of the occupation forces.

Capt. Woodsworth was the first to reach the Kamaishi area where there were British, Dutch, Chinese and Canadian prisoners. The Woodworth party, preceded and trailed by Japanese police, obtained sorely needed relief for one group of Chinese who had suffered fifty per cent deaths from illness, hunger and exhaustion.

Over the protests of a police chief that he had no authority to act, Capt. Woodsworth, who speaks Japanese, issued instructions for suspension of work by the Chinese and provision of food for them.

Capt. Woodsworth now is on a trip to Kobe and is due to return this week-end.

In the Tokyo area, where one can drive 20 miles through a district once densely populated but now swept clean of buildings by bombing raids, Japanese go about casually with their everyday affairs while United States military personnel proceed with the job of occupation.

There is no outward friction and the Japanese seem happy.

Sherbrooke Daily Record, Wednesday, September 26, 1945

Photo with description as follows:

RFN, JOHN LEAVITT, of the Royal Rifles of Canada, who was taken prisoner at the fall of Hong Kong, has sent a telegram to his wife at 25 Esplanade Avenue which states that he is well and expects to arrive home shortly. He is present at Melbourne, Australia.

Next article is:

Birchton Jap POW Arrives in Canada.

Vancouver, Sept. 18. – (AP) Seven Canadian soldiers, the third group of repatriated Japanese prisons-of-war to reach their homeland, arrived here late last night.

Taken prisoners of war at Hong Kong on Christmas Day, 1941, the men absorbed nearly four years of brutal punishment at the hands of the Japanese.

The men include: Cpl. A. Brazel, Birchton, Que.; L.-Cpl. W. J. McDowell, Huntingdon, Que.; and Rfmn. A. E. Elsliger, Jacquet River, N.B.

No date – Sherbrooke Daily Record

Twenty District Jap P.O.W.’s Arrive In Montreal Today

More than one hundred liberated Japanese prisoners of war from Quebec and the Maritimes will arrive in Montreal by train today at 4:45 p.m. Twenty of the men will leave the train in Montreal for homes in and around Montreal. The rest will carry on to Quebec, where the special train will end its 3,000 mile trans-Canada journey.

The returning prisoners were brought from Japan aboard the American troopships, the Admiral Hugh Rodman and the Ozark.

Carrying the largest single group of released prisoners from Japan yet to arrive in Eastern Canada, the special train began its trip from Vancouver almost a week ago and has already carried nearly 200 men to their homes in the prairie provinces and Ontario.

According to information received last night, 10 of the homeward-bound men missed the train after a stop-over in Winnipeg and were placed aboard the regular east-bound train from there. As luck will have it, these men will arrive at Windsor station at 11:15 this morning, more than five hours before their comrades arrive at Park Avenue station. No information as to the identity of the early arrivals was available from army public relations officers last night.

Names and addresses of the men aboard the train from Montreal and district, including the Eastern Townships, follow:

Captain Stanley M. Banfill, Montreal and East Angus; Captain Everette E. Dennison, 188 Quebec Street, Sherbrooke; Lt. W. B. Bradley, Sherbrooke; Pte. Maurice Bissonnette, Vaudreuil; Rfmn. Ronald Claricoates, 20 Lawford Avenue, Sherbrooke; Rfmn. Earl E. Davidson, South Durham; Pte. Charles J. Dicks, Montreal’ Cptl J. E. Badger, Montreal; Rfmn. George Baker, Lachine; L.-Cpl. W. C. Henderson, Waterloo; Sgt. L. C. Doull, 444 Lindsay Street, Drummondville; Rfmn. J. Kelso, Verdun; Pte. D. W. Moffett, Montreal; QMS. V. J. Myatt, Montreal; Rfmn. D. Branier, Warwick; Sgt. A. H. Brown, Montreal; L.-Cpl. Leonard Cotton, Montreal; Sigmn. R. Demours, Montreal; Rfmn. K. F. Dawe, Verdun; Rfmn. S. Disensi, Montreal.

[No date nor credit – but this article is with bundle of Sherbrooke Daily Record ]

Oct 2/45

[presumably again from Sherbrooke Daily Record]

(Also appeared in the Globe and Mail on 3 Oct)

Canadians Reach Pacific Ports From Jap Camps

San Francisco, Oct. 2 (AP)

The first large unit of Canadian prisoners of war – 244 enlisted men and one officer of the Winnipeg Grenadiers and Quebec Rifles, who were captured Christmas Day, 1941, at Hong Kong – arrived here today on the U.S.S. Ozark, a Pacific fleet minelayer.

Capt. John Anthony Reid, 32, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps officer, who had been attached to the Winnipeg Grenadiers, said the returned Canadians were in “fairly good shape, although lacking stamina.”

The captain, 5 Schofield Ave., Toronto, said the Canadians had suffered during imprisonment from beriberi, pellagra, dysentery and pneumonia, but since being released had gained back their average weight and now were in much improved condition.

Tales of harsh treatment, shortages of food and medical supplies were related by the Canadian soldiers, all of whom had been found in camps on the main Japanese island of Honshu.

Sgt. Ernest Neal, 45, Fort Frances, said the Japanese made his men work barefooted and without proper clothing in winter unloading coal.

Rfmn. Frederick Charles Mason, 25, Oshawa, who worked in a shipyard, said his group received no soap, towels or hot water for bathing and claimed the lice, insects and fleas in living quarters made living miserable.

“We almost lost hope,” said Pte. Clarence Stewart, 25, Winnipeg. “It is impossible to tell how down in the mouth we were.”

Others at Victoria. Victoria, Oct. 2. (CP)

Bearing 10 Canadian and 289 British servicemen liberated from Jap prison camps, the American transport S.S. General Longfitt will tie up Wednesday night at the Government graving dock near H.M.C.S. Naden, an army spokesman said today.

Army officials were completing final arrangements for the arrival of the Longfitt, first of the vessels which will dock here during October with thousands of survivors of Jap internment.

Canadian Army men who will come here on the Longfitt include Rfmn. Gerald Sunstrum, Niagara Falls, Ont.

It was also announced that the 316 Canadian Army men who arrived in San Francisco today aboard the American ships Admiral Bowen and Ozark would reach Victoria Friday.

Oct 3/45 Sherbrooke Daily Record


Rifleman Roland Leon Lapalme Among Canadian Prisoners Brought to Guam From Japanese Camps Now on His Way to E.T. Home

Guam, Oct. 3.

All but 100 of the 779 Canadian prisoners brought here from Japanese camps are now on their way home and included among them is an Eastern Townships man Guam records show was officially listed as dead. He is Rifleman Roland Leon Lapalme, who now is on his way to Bishopton, Que., where his sister resides.

The 779 total includes 20 Canadian servicemen held for a time at a staging camp at Saipan, and 20 civilians, all missionaries except for one merchant seaman. The Canadian at Saipan are all homeward bound but one.

The prisoners still here each received $100 yesterday following the arrival from Manila of three additional Canadian repatriation officers. Arrangements are also being made to bring mail from Manila for the prisoners, who will be here a few days longer.

There has been no word her about a group of approximately 150 Canadians scheduled to sail from Nagasaki September 21 for Manila or Guam. These are believed to have been the last group of Canadians in Japan.

Oct. 3/45 – Sherbrooke Daily Record


Mrs. Leslie W. Shore, of Riverbend, has been informed by the Director of Records, Ottawa, that her husband, R.S.M. Leslie Walter Shore, Royal Rifles of Canada, who was taken prisoner by the Japanese at the fall of Hong Kong, is safe in Allied hands.

A veteran of World War I, R.S.M. Shore is a native of England, and lived in the Eastern Townships for some time. He was associated with the Price Brothers Company from 1924 until the time of his enlistment in July, 1940.

Oct 5/45 - Sherbrooke Daily Record

Photograph with title – E.T. Men Back From Jap Camps

Description below:

Back on Canadian soil for the first time in almost four years, these men of the Royal Rifles of Canada stepped off the Great Northern train at Vancouver Tuesday on their way home. After being outfitted in new Canadian battledress, the men will go directly home as they do not have to report to their district depots until their leave is over.

Front row (left to right); Rfn. M. J. Cemeau, Campbellton, Restigouche, Que.; Sgt. C. Conway, Compton County, Que.; Rfn. B. P. Duplassie, Upper Hill, Charlette City, N.H.; Rfn. E. Cote, Drummond County, Que.; L/Cpl F. Dey, New Carlisle, Conna Co., Que.; Rfn. L. Johnson, West Bathurst, N. B.; Rfn. R. N. Cyr, New Richmond, Que.; Cpl. A. J. Russell, Quebec City; Rfn. L. R. McFawn, Fredericton, N.B.;Rfn. E. Demers, Drummondville, Que.

Second row (left to right); Pte. O. E. McDavid, Matapedia, Que.; Pte. W. J. Smith, Winnipeg, Man.; Rfn. W. N. Hamilton, Blacklands, N.B.; Rfn. W. W. Mackinnon, Escuminae, Que,; Cpl. P. O. Pelletier, Donnaconna, Que.; Rfn. J. Provencher, Richmond, Que.; Rfn. I. Pete, Cullingans, N.B.; Rfn. L. O. Lockham, Devee, N.B.; Rfn. A. Girard, West Quebec; Rfn. E. S. Innes, St. John, Nfld.; Rfn. R. A. Smith, Scotstown, Que.

Back row (left to right); Rfn. A. K. Pryce, Sherbrooke; Sgt. A R. Nolan, Leggieville, N.B.; Rfn. A. Trahan, South Durh;am, Que.; Rfn. E. Lavillots, Megusha, Que.’ Rfn. A. G. Roberts, Little Gaspe, Que.; Cpl. R. B. Patton, St. Johns, Nfld.; Rfn. W. Cyr, Quebec City, P.Q.; Rfn. L. Valcourt, Rfn. A. H. Barrieault, Bonaventure County, Que.; and Rfn. E. Cullerton, Bonaventure, Que.

Oct. 10/45 – Sherbrooke Daily Record

Liberated P.O.W.’s Home From Japan

Number of Eastern Townships Men Who Were Prisoners of Japanese Since Fall of Hong Kong Garrison Included in Contingent Which Reached Montreal Yesterday Afternoon – Former Richmond Man Recalls Days in Prison Camp.

Victoria, Oct. 12. Crowds that rushed the gate at the government drydock, knocking guards off their feet and delaying the unloading of the American troopship S.S. Gosper last night gave 551 British and Canadian liberated prisoners from Japan, including a number from the Eastern Townships of Quebec, the most rousing welcome yet tendered a troopship arriving. Here. Mrs. C.F. Rowe, of Dawson Creek, B.C. flew here to meet her brother, Major Wells A. Bishop, of Bury, Que. Canadians aboard the vessel included Captain Edmund L. Hurd, Bulwer, Que.; James G. Heath, Richmond; Rfmn. Elvin E. Herring, Scotstown; Rfmn. Clarence Hunt, Bury’ Rfmn. Richard C.F. Lafoe, Richmond, Que.

San Francisco, Oct. 12 – (CP) The following men from the Eastern Townships were among 70 repatriated Canadian prisoners of war who landed here yesterday aboard U.S.S. Rixey; Cpl. W.A. Dobb, Sherbrooke; Rfmn. S. B. Henderson, Richmond; Rfmn. E. Olson, Bury; Cpl. L. G. Wood, Lake Megantic; and Rfmn. Gordon MacIver, Scotstown.

Twenty liberated prisoners of war from Japan from the Montreal area, which includes the Eastern Townships, arrived in Montreal by special train yesterday afternoon and were met by the most riotous welcome ever accorded to returning troops.

Included in the group who were officially welcomed by officers of Military District No. 4, the St. Jerome Military Band and members of the Red Cross Corps, were Lt. W. B. Bradley, son of Dr. F. H. Bradley and Mrs. Bradley, of Sherbrooke; Capt. Stanley M. Banfill, of East Angus and Montreal; Capt. Everette E. Dennison, of Sherbrooke; Rfmn. Ronald Claricoates, of Sherbrooke; Rfmn. Earl E. Davidson, of South Durham; Sgt. L.C. Doull, of Drummondville; L.Cpl. W. C. Henderson, of Waterloo; and Sgt. James E. Badger, Montreal, formerly of Richmond.

With the words, “We don’t like rice,” scrawled on the coaches, the train pulled in and the Canadian heroes disembarked into a crowd which bore down on them to shake hands with the men of the “C-Force,” the unit which fought against odds of almost ten to one in defence of Hong Kong and who have been prisoners of war since Christmas of 1941 when they were trapped without water at Stanley Fort and forced to surrender to the Japanese.

Heading the group as they arrived in Montreal were Col. J. H. Price, M.C., Commanding Officer of the Royal Rifles of Canada, and Lt.-Col. W.J. Home, M.C., Commanding Officer of “C-Force.” Speaking of the officers and men under his command, Lt.-Col. Home said, “If it were possible to choose the force again, I could not hope to pick a better group of men. They fought splendidly and have behaved wonderfully all the way through.” Both he and Col. Price continued on to Quebec later yesterday evening.

Leaving Yokohama on September 8th aboard two American troopships, the Admiral Hugh Rodman and the Ozark, the returning men landed at San Francisco on October 2nd after short stop-overs at Guam and Pearl Harbor. They proceeded by train to Victoria and boarded their special train last Sunday. All appear in excellent condition in spite of the ordeal they have been through and credit this to the wonderful food they have had for the past two months. Although very little in way of Red Cross supplies sifted through to them in the Japanese camps, they have nothing but praise for the treatment they have received from that organization since their release.

Sgt. James Badger settled back in a deep comfortable chair at his home on Park Avenue in Montreal yesterday afternoon and in an interview reminisced on the days when he had had to catch rats and snakes and grasshoppers to eke out the meagre ration of rice doled out to him and his companions in the prison camps of Hong Kong and Japan.

Born and raised on a farm in Richmond, Sgt. Badger joined the Royal Rifles of Canada in September, 1940, and with them arrived safely at Kowloon on the Chinese mainland opposite Hong Kong on November 16, 1941. On December 7 the unit proceeded to Hong Kong.

On the declaration of war, Sgt. Badger was attached to a platoon on the coast opposite Kowloon to guard against paratroop landings, but no paratroops came. Instead, on the night of December 17, came an overwhelming Japanese invasion army which forced coast defenders across the rugged mountainous spine of the Island to Stanley Fort. On the way across, the Japs took over the reservoir which supplied water for the whole island and on Christmas Day, after four days without water, the garrison was forced to surrender.

For nine months, Sgt. Badger along with 1,400 other Canadians was imprisoned in North Point Camp on the island of Hong Kong, then he was moved to the Shamshuipo Barracks at Kowloon. It was here, during the winter of 1942-43, that more than 100 Canadians died of diphtheria in the almost wrecked buildings. After 60 had died, the Japanese brought in small amounts of serum which, said Sgt. Badger, was doled out only to critical cases. Besides the diphtheria the camp was ridden with dysentery and beri-beri.

The sergeant, who had beri-beri in the feet at that time, said that the sharp knife-like pains could only be stopped by numbing the feet in icy water. This process, which took abut an hour, allowed two hours sleep and then had to be repeated. This went on all winter on a ration o rice, sweet potato tops and sour bread.

On August 15, 1943, began the move to Niigata prison camp in Japan proper, 250 miles north of Tokyo. To begin with, 500 men were crammed into the hold of a small freighter and such was the congestion that only by taking turns could the men lie down. Many were sick with dysentery and the air in the hold was hot and fetid. After three days of this, the ship stopped at Formosa where it remained for six more days. Then as a final hellish stroke of sheer sadism, the holds were half filled with coal and for the remaining six days of the trip to Osaka, the men rode between the coal and the scorching deck.

Landing at Osaka on September 1, almost too sick and tired to move the prisoners were loaded onto a train, again in a frightfully cramped space and taken to the Niigata labor camp where, on September 6 they began work in a foundry. During the first winter there, 68 men died of pneumonia and eight more were killed when the shack in which they were sleeping collapsed on top of them. Twenty other men were seriously injured in this accident.

At the foundry where they worked, many of the men were unmercifully beaten for trivial offences. One man was beaten unconscious for spilling a drop of the medicine he was being given for dysentery; another went insane after being flogged for stealing a handful of beans from nearby freight sheds. The Japanese used almost anything they could lay their hands on for these beatings – sticks, rubber-shoes, rifle-butts or sword scabbards.

It was during this period, when he was working nine and ten hours a day on a daily ration of less than a pound of food, that Sgt. Badger and other prisoners took to catching rats in home-made traps and cooking them over charcoal stolen from the foundry. Cats, dogs, snakes and grasshoppers were also caught and eaten by some prisoners.

On August 11, 1945, work at the foundry stopped and all civilians were evacuated from the town – rumours were heard of the atomic bomb. On August 16 the population moved back and Japanese soldiers hinted at surrender. August 17 the Jap commandant released official word of the surrender and immediately all Japanese soldiers and officers became ridiculously polite, bowing and smiling whenever they passed one of their former prisoners.

American planes soon found the camp and dropped tons of food, clothing, boots and cigarettes in 90 gallon drums. On September 5, the prisoners went by train to Tokyo, riding 25 in a carriage where before there had been 100. An electric railway took them to Yokohama and the long sea journey began, back to Canada and home.

Oct 11/45 – Sherbrooke Daily Record

Two photographs with descriptions as noted – captioned ‘Returning Home From Hong Kong’

Many Eastern Townships men liberated from Japanese prison camps are included in the some 400-odd Canadians, fully re-outfitted with Canadian Army uniforms, including their service ribbons and the Hong Kong battle patch who recently arrived at Gordon Head, B.C., and started the last lap of their journey homeward from Vancouver when they crossed from Victoria to the mainland by steamer and boarded trains for their homes across the Dominion.

Repatriated P.O.W.’s from this area are expected in Montreal tonight aboard a special train. At top, part of the Canadian contingent is shown marching to the steamer at Victoria, with Lt.-Col. John H. Price, Quebec, of the Royal Rifles of Canada, leading the parade.

A group of Royal Rifles officers, including Lt. W.B. Bradley, son of ex-Mayor Dr. F. H. Bradley and Mrs. Bradley, of Sherbrooke, (third from right), are shown below studying a sign-post which refers to a spot which has bitter memories for them – Hong Kong, 5,000 miles – now far behind them.

Left to right in the group are Capt. W. P. LeBoutillier, Ottawa; Lt.-Col. J. H. Price, Quebec’ Major C. A. Young, Quebec; Lt. Bradley; Lt. C. A. Blaver, Toronto; and Capt. W. F. Clarke, Tudor City, N.Y.

Oct 13/45 - Sherbrooke Daily Record

Photograph with caption that reads:

Thanksgiving had a special significance in the home of the Boissonneaults at Danville. A son, Adrien, had returned home over the week-end from Japan where he had been a prison of war since 1941 and as they sat down to Thanksgiving dinner, his father and moth, brothers and sisters were a very grateful family. Rifleman Adrien Boissonneault, along with four others o his buddies of the Royal Rifles of Canada, arrived at the Canadian National Railways’ Central Station travelling across Canada from Vancouver on the “Continental Limited.” His parents were on hand to greet him as the photograph shows. His regimental chums were: Riflemen H. Chicoine, Barnchois, Gaspe Co., Que.; M.B. Brown, Hampton, N.B.; R. Chamberlain, Campbellton, N.B., and B.T. Cole, Sussex, N.B. They left for their homes on the “Ocean Limited.”



Eight liberated prisoners of war from the Far East, whose homes are in the Eastern Townships, are scheduled to arrive in Montreal shortly before noon today. Names and addresses follow;

Rfmn. K. I. Frost, Danville. Rfmn. C. Nicholson, Scotstown. Lt. J. C. Gilbert, Asbestos. Lt. J. E. Smith, Richmond. Sgt. H. C. Simpson, Drummondville. CSM C. A. Royes, en route Bury. Rfmn. E. E. Smith, Trenholme. L.-Cpl. McIver, Scotstown.

Oct 18/45 – Sherbrooke Daily Record

Diary of RRC Man Reveals Jap Brutality

Guam, Oct. 18 – In a terse factual diary scrawled in spare moments in a cheap scribbling book, RSM. Leslie Shore of the Royal Rifles of Canada has put on record the day-to-day drabness and horror of life in a Japanese prison camp.

The Quebec City man wrote his first entry in the autumn of 1943, about eight months after he arrived at a camp near Tokyo, following the fall of the Hong Kong garrison. The diary ended last month after the Japanese surrender.

Describing the scant rations, the brutal treatment by guards, and frequent deaths of Canadian prisoners from mistreatment and malnutrition, the diary, through its very laconism, tells one of the most graphic stories yet heard about the Japanese.

“Men steadily losing weight and strength . . . Men taken out for run to baseball field. Great number had to fall because of bad feet . . . Two men caught going through garbage this morning . . . Fifteen hundred letters came in. Only a few given out in evening . . . Men slapped around by Japanese workman who was drunk . . . Every man has had a great deal of sickness in the last 32 months . . . Twelve men stayed in because of no boots . . .”

Shore told of how he and his mates saw Allied carrier aircraft raiding the Tokyo area last August, and “had to take to the bush three times” on their way to work one day.

Finally the entry of last August 15: “Heard wonderful news that fighting had stopped and truce exists between Allies and Japan. Surprising how well Nips took the news at the plant, though not so well in camp. The camp staff could not take it.”

Oct 1945 – Sherbrooke Daily Record

Photograph titled – A Long-Delayed Reunion – Caption reads: Lt. William B. Bradley, of Quebec with his wife and their daughter, Louise, photographed with his parents, Dr. and Mrs. F. H. Bradley, at their home on Wolfe Street. Lt. Bradley, who served with the Royal Rifles of Canada at Hong Kong, has just arrived back in Canada after three years and nine months of internment in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.

Life In Japanese Internment Camp Is Described By Lt. W. B. Bradley

A tour of the Sherbrooke Internment Camp, where almost four hundred German merchant seamen are living well under the only Works Programme in operation in P.O.W. camps in Canada, and an interview within the same week with Lt. William B. Bradley, Royal Rifles of Canada, son of Dr. and Mrs. F.B. Bradley, of Sherbrooke, who has just returned to Canada following three years and nine months of internment in Japanese camps today provided a sharp study in contrast.

Taken by the Japanese after desperate fighting against hopeless odds with the famous Quebec regiment at Hong Kong, Lt. Bradley spent five days at Stanley Fort, on the southern tip of the island, before being marched fifteen miles with a large group of British, Indians and Canadians to North Point Camp, where he remained until Labor Day, 1942, when he was removed by truck to Bowen Road Hospital in Hong Kong.

During the two months that he was there, internees at the North Point Camp were moved across the harbour to Shamshuipo.

On release from hospital, Lt. Bradley re-joined his fellow prisoners at the new camp, built by the British around 1932 to hold two battalions.

Living conditions there were distinctly crowded. In a hut that should have been accommodating thirty-six, seventy-five Allied service men were jammed in with oil drums, stored in prisoners’ living quarters by the Japanese. The number thinned out, however, as groups of prisoners were sent to Japan.

Men at the camp received seven and a half Red Cross boxes each during their period of internment, and one personal parcel each, with the exception of six, of whom Lt. Bradley was one. Cigarettes were received from the Royal Rifles Auxiliary, but were bartered for food with the Formosan guards.

Japanese underwear was distributed to the prisoners on half a dozen occasions. This was the only clothing provided. Men sold their personal effects, including their uniforms, for food, leaving themselves with almost nothing.

They had a garden, but no tools, seeds or fertility. They had a few chickens, but nothing to feed them, and any eggs laid, sold to the guards brought only a fraction of what they were worth.

Meals were deadly monotonous. Prisoners filed through the kitchen, where food was prepared by their own men, received their portion ladled out “sometimes into lampshades, or whatever they were eating from,” then proceeded back to any available eating spot.

There was no mess or dining hall. For breakfast there was rice gruel, “very little, and of the very poorest quality,” and for the noon and evening meal there was “rice and greens,” steamed rice with either carrot tops, chrysanthemum leaves, sweet potato, tops or melons. There was some fish for a short period.

“There was no intercourse with the outside,” Lt. Bradley stressed but the Chinese women were “really simply wonderful.” At a great risk and leaving themselves vulnerable to sordid humiliation, they would bring food to the prisoners within the camp.

Japs allowed the prisoners to buy the “Hong Kong News,” an English publication put out by the Japanese. “It was solid propaganda,” Lt. Bradley remarked. “One week, Churchill was Roosevelt’s stooge, and the next, Roosevelt was Churchill’s.”

Earlier, a Lieutenant’s pay was 25 yen a month. This was raised to 58 later, but in the meantime, inflation had set in, and the sum was practically worthless – it took fifty-two yen to buy a pound of rock salt that they wouldn’t put on the streetcar tracks in Sherbrooke.

Lt. Bradley discussed the works programme arranged by the Japanese for their captives. Fifty men, with one Allied officer, who didn’t work were sent out on assignments that didn’t always conform to the International Law. Prisoners helped to build the airport at Kai Tak; they moved oil drums and bombs; and dug tunnels for underground Japanese food stores. On two occasions they were away from the ramp, building a garden in the enclosure of the Hong Kong Race Club and in a section of the New Territories.

“Occasionally we played softball, and the British played cricket,” said Lt. Bradley. The equipment was “scrounged” at the camp. There were “extremely good” theatricals, once every five weeks, and a library of 2,000 books “saved us all from going crazy.” There were no magazines or radios permitted.

“The treatment our men received was the same as that of the guards if they committed equivalent offences. The least infraction was punishable, of course, but the Formosans got the same treatment as we did. I saw no real atrocities where I was.”

The Canadians had a hospital within the camp, with Canadian doctors in attendance.

“They did all that was humanly possible, with no equipment, drugs or co-operation. Major Crawford, Captain Banfill, Captain Grey and Captain Reid were simply wonderful, and deserve high praise. Our Japanese doctor, Captain Saito, considered an ace war criminal, visited the camp every four months.” He conducted vague examinations.

On one occasion, to determine who was able to go to Japan, this doctor lined the men up on one side of the street, and if they were able to walk to the other side without stumbling, they were termed fit.

Prisoners in Shamshuipo Camp learned of the end of the war two days after the official surrender.

“We had a strong suspicion, however. As the work party was returning to camp on the day that the war ended Portuguese girls ran up to them telling them the news. They were brushed off by the guards. The next day the same thing happened, only more so.”

Finally a student in the camp translated a smuggled Chinese newspaper, and the news was definite. Men ordered the Japanese, who had suddenly become very polite, out of the camp, and the prisoners had an impressive ceremony. A Union Jack, concealed throughout the period of internment, and a white ensign, made at the camp, were raised over the Canadian hut.

Allied aircraft dropped food, medicine and pamphlets instructing the men to remain in the camp. Before they were liberated by a British fleet under Admiral Harcourt, however, they brought a great quantity of food from the Chinese and fed themselves well for the first time in years.

Lt. Bradley was sent to Manila, where he was completed equipped, then set sail for San Francisco aboard an American transport. From San Francisco he proceeded by train to Seattle, then to Victoria by boat, and then – Home.

Asked how the Japs should be educated to take their place in the family of the world, Lt. Bradley replied that it should be left to MacArthur – “he has a good head.”