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Winnipeg Free Press (?) October 1945

Five Hong Kong Veterans Arrive

Two Grenadier veterans of Hong Kong, Pte. Fred G. Gard, Fisher Branch and Pte. A. Schnell, 245 Sherbrook street, their friendship cemented by long years in the same Jap prison camps, arrived in Winnipeg with three other Grenadiers Wednesday night.

Gard and his buddy, Schnell, worked on Jap airports, in the shipyards and in coal mines. "I was slapped dozens of times by brutal guards," he said when relating his experiences, "and I had everything in the way of sickness but dysentery, including pneumonia." The veteran, who enlisted Sept. 14, 1939, was able to get some extra food on the black market. Pte Gard was met at the C.P.R. station by his parents Mr. and Mrs. P. Gard, of Fisher Branch and a host of relatives from Winnipeg.

It was a happy moment of reunion when Pte. Schnell stepped off the same train with Gard. He was the last of six Schnell boys to return from overseas. He was met by his brother, Sgt H. Schnell. The veteran Grenadier checked off four Jap prison camps, places of toil and beatings, Shamshuipo, North Point, Yokohama, and Sendai where he and Gard were confined. "In the coal mines at Sendai was the toughest of all," Schnell said "Everything was done with the shoulders. There were no tools at all."

When the veteran was stricken with malaria, the Japs doled out a few pills for a remedy. "It was up to yourself to pull through," he said. Schnell intends to take up Diesel engineering.

Pte. E. W. Query, 21 year-old Hong Kong veteran, 646 McDermot avenue, was swept off his feet by fond family embraces when he arrived on the 7:15 p.m. train over the C.P.R. He was met by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Query, and a legion of happy relatives.

Was Not Sick at All

"I was one of the more fortunate" smiled Query. "I was not sick at all." He was imprisoned in Yokohama and Sendai, where for two years he worked in the shipyards and during the last four months of the war, in the coal mines. His weight dropped from 160 to 120 pounds. Query made a prediction when he said: "I'm staying home for 40 years."

Pte. F. W. Poitras said that he had fared a little better in the Sendai prison camp than most of the Grenadiers who were imprisoned in other Japanese camps. He arrived at the C.P.R. station at 7:15 p.m., and when interviewed was trying to contact his sister, Mrs. B. Giles, of 674 Victor street, with whom he lived before he enlisted.

"The treatment wasn't too bad at Sendai," Pte Poitras said, "if you could stay on your feet and avoid being beat up by the prison guards."

A grandmother's kiss brought Pte C. R. Trick, of Stonewall, to the realization that he was finally home when he arrived at the C.N.R. station at 7:05 p.m. Asked by his grandmother, Mrs. S. J. Trick, how he felt, he answered , "I don't feel too bad now, Granny."

At the station to meet him, besides his grandmother, were his mother, Mrs. C. S. Trick and his wife.

Pte. Trick served his imprisonment at Yokohama 3D camp, and when asked about the treatment accorded prisoners, he turned to embrace his wife, saying with finality, "I want to forget all that."