Individual Report: A9220 George MACDONELL

1st Bn The Royal Rifles of Canada


General Information

Rank: First Name: Second Name:
Sergeant George Stuart
From: Enlistment Region: Date of Birth (y-m-d):
Stratford ON Western Ontario 1922-08-05
Appointment: Company: Platoon:
Platoon Sergeant D 18 Plt

Transportation - Home Base to Hong Kong

Members of 'C' Force from the East travelled across Canada by CNR troop train, picking up reinforcements enroute. Stops included Valcartier, Montreal, Ottawa, Armstrong ON, Capreol ON, Winnipeg, Melville SK, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, and Vancouver, arriving in Vancouver on Oct 27 at 0800 hrs.

The Winnipeg Grenadiers and the local soldiers that were with Brigade Headquarters from Winnipeg to BC travelled on a CPR train to Vancouver.

All members embarked from Vancouver on the ships AWATEA and PRINCE ROBERT. AWATEA was a New Zealand Liner and the PRINCE ROBERT was a converted cruiser. "C" Company of the Rifles was assigned to the PRINCE ROBERT, everyone else boarded the AWATEA. The ships sailed from Vancouver on Oct 27th and arrived in Hong Kong on November 16th, having made brief stops enroute at Honolulu and Manila.

Equipment earmarked for 'C' Force use was loaded on the ship DON JOSE, but would never reach Hong Kong as it was rerouted to Manila when hostilities commenced.

On arrival, all troops were quartered at Nanking Barracks, Sham Shui Po Camp, in Kowloon.


Battle Information

We do not have specific battle information for this soldier in our online database. For a detailed description of the battle from a Canadian perspective, visit Canadian Participation in the Defense of Hong Kong (published by the Historical Section, Canadian Military Headquarters).

Wounded Information

Date Wounded Wound Description References
41/12/25N/A36

Hospital Information

No record of hospital visits found.

POW Camps

Camp ID Camp Name Location Company Type of Work Reference Arrive Depart
HK-SM-01StanleyFort Stanley, Hong Kong Island20, 31, 33Capture 41 Dec 30
HK-NP-01North PointNorth Point, Hong Kong Island41 Dec 3042 Sep 26
HK-SA-02ShamshuipoKowloon, Hong Kong42 Sep 2643 Jan 19
JP-To-3DTsurumiYokohama-shi, Tsurumi-ku, Suyehiro-cho, 1-chome, JapanNippon Steel Tube - Tsurumi ShipyardsVariety of jobs related to ship building943 Jan 1945 Apr 16
JP-Se-4B OhashiIwate-ken, Kamihei-gun, Katsushi-mura, Ohashi, JapanNippon Steel Company13445 Apr 1645 Sep 15

Transport to Japan

Draft Number Name of Ship Departure Date Arrival Date Arrival Port Comments Reference
XD3ATatsuta Maru43 Jan 19, left Shamsuipo Camp, 0500 hrs; left Hong Kong 1300hrs43 Jan 22, 0400 hrsNagasaki, JapanBoarded train, arrived in Tokyo on 43 Jan 24 at 0700 hrs, boarded electric train for 10 mile ride to campTony Banham

Transportation: SE Asia to Home

Extracted from George Macdonell's book One Soldier's Story".

On the 17th of Sept, boarded the USNS HYDE. Sailed to Guam, quartered at the hospital. After convalescence boarded the USNS CATRON and sailed for San Francisco. Then to Seattle, Victoria, arriving in Toronto a week before Christmas. (Much more detail in the book)

Post-war Photo

Click for larger view


Photo from the 2009 unveiling of the Memorial Wall in Ottawa.

Decorations Received

Image Name of Award Abbreviation References Precedence Comments
Mentioned-in-DespatchesMiD37, 38, 12313Citation not found

Death and Cemetery Information

Date of Death (y-m-d) Cause of Death Death Class Death Ref
Living
Cemetery LocationCemeteryGrave NumberGravestone Marker

Gravestone Image

No information found.

Obituary / Life Story

George MacDonell, Toronto, Ontario - Mr. MacDonell is a Second World War Veteran who was a prisoner of war following the Battle of Hong Kong. Following the war and after a distinguished career in both the private and public sectors, Mr. MacDonell turned his attention to writing his memoirs. In 2000, he published This Soldiers Story and in 2002, a greatly expanded version renamed One Soldiers Story. Mr. MacDonell has distributed his books to schools, groups and the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association, where they may be purchased on the associations Web site. Whenever requested, Mr. MacDonell makes himself available to deliver presentations to schools and groups. During the Year of the Veteran in 2005, Mr. MacDonell participated in a pilgrimage to Hong Kong. He and five of his comrades watched as youth buried a Remembrance Capsule at Sai Wan Cemetery, where 283 Canadians are laid to rest. Mr. MacDonell wrote the foreword to a booklet, Passing the Torch, our Youth Remembers Hong Kong, which captures the activities and memories of the trip. He also authored his own recollections, The Last Goodbye.

Links

See the HKVCA Suggested Reading page for information on George's books:

General Comments

This veteran was interviewed by Veterans Affairs. To view, visit the VAC Video Gallery page and use the search tool. Note: VAC moves pages around constantly, so you may have to work to find the video. Currently the best way to access the Hong Kong veteran interviews is to select the "Heroes Remember" category, then use the advanced search option and click on the "Hong Kong" campaign option.


End of Report.

Report generated: 26 Sep 2020.


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Additional Notes

(These will not be visible on the printed copy)

  1. Service numbers for officers are locally generated for reporting only. During World War II officers were not allocated service numbers until 1945.
  2. 'C' Force soldiers who died overseas are memorialized in the Second World War Book of Remembrance and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial, both sponsored by Veterans Affairs Canada. Please use the search utility at VAC to assist you.
  3. Some birthdates and deathdates display as follows: 1918-01-01. In general, this indicates that we know the year but not the month or day.
  4. Our POW camp links along with our References link (near the bottom of the 'C' Force home page) are designed to give you a starting point for your research. There were many camps with many name changes. The best resource for all POW camps in Japan is the Roger Mansell Center for Research site.
  5. In most cases the rank displayed was the rank held before hostilities. Some veterans were promoted at some point prior to eventual post-war release from the army back in Canada. When notified of these changes we'll update the individual's record.
  6. Images displayed on the web page are small, but in many cases the actual image is larger. Hover over any image and you will see a popup if a larger version is available. You can also right-click on some images and select the option to view the image separately. Not all images have larger versions. Contact us to confirm whether a large copy of an image in which you are interested exists.
  7. Related documentation for information published in this report may be available. Researchers have added significant content on some 'C' Force members in the public group "Hong Kong Veterans Tribute" on Facebook, which you can search by using the member's service number. Feel free to contact us if you would like us to search our offline archives.
  8. We have done our best to avoid errors and omissions, but if you find any issues with this report, either in accuracy, completeness or layout, please contact us using the link at the top of this page.
  9. Photos are welcome! If a photo exists for a 'C' Force member that we have not included, or if you have a higher quality copy, please let us know by using the Contact Us link at the top of this page. We will then reply, providing instructions on submitting it.