Individual Report: E30230 Peter COUGHLAN

1st Bn The Royal Rifles of Canada

General Information

Rank: First Name: Second Name:
Rifleman Peter Gordon
From: Enlistment Region: Date of Birth (y-m-d):
Pointe A La Garde QC Eastern Quebec 1916-07-23
Appointment: Company: Platoon:

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

Hospital Information

Name of hospital Date of admission Date of discharge Comments Reference

POW Camps

Camp ID Camp Name Location Company Type of Work Reference Arrival Date Departure Date
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 2642 Sep 28

Other Military Service

No related information found. Please submit documents to us using the contact link at the top of this page.

Death and Cemetery Information

Date of Death (y-m-d) Cause of Death Death Class Death Ref
1942-09-28DysenteryDied while POW
Cemetery LocationCemeteryGrave NumberGravestone Marker
Cape Collinson Road Chai Wan Hong Kong ChinaSai Wan War CemeteryVIII. B. 3.NA

Gravestone Image

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Obituary / Life Story

E30230 Peter COUGHLAN Mrs. Gertrude Coughlan of Nouvelle has just received word that her husband, Rfm. Gordon Peter Coughlan, of the Royal Rifles of Canada, previously reported a prisoner of war after the fall of Hong Kong, had died of dysentery on September 28th, 1942, about two years and six months ago. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. George Coughlan of Campbellton.

Peter Gordon Coughlan was born on July 23rd, 1916 in Bathurst New Brunswick. His father was George Coughlan & mother was Sarah (nee Benwell) Coughlan. He was the 3rd child in a family of a total of six (6) children. The oldest was Hazel, then Walter, then my dad Peter, then I am not sure if it was Margaret or David (Margaret died accidentally when she was sixteen years old) and last was Randolph. The family lived in Campbellton, New Brunswick where his mother had a convenient store in her home. He married Gertrude Helen Gough in 1936 and their 1st child Gordon Ronald was born July 1st, 1937, 2nd child Francis Albert Roderick was born July 30th, 1938 and then a daughter Marie Gloria on March 1st, 1940. He joined the Royal Riffles in 1940 and spent time training in Newfoundland and then was sent overseas to Hong Kong where he died a prisoner at Camp Sham Shui Po on September 28th, 1942.

He was buried on September 29, 1942 and one of the prisoners who had to bury him was his brother-in-law Albert Rose.

I was told that he was wounded by a bullet that passed through his left hand and out below the elbow.

A picture of our dad with his medals was on the wall of our home in Nouvelle and then in Cornwall Ontario after we move there in 1949. After we were all grown and moved from the family home our mother passed the picture onto the eldest in the family and after Ron died in 2014, it was passed on to Rod where it hangs today in his home. Rec’d from Gloria Coughlan June 2018.

Links and Other Resources

There may be more information on this individual available elsewhere on our web sites - please use the search tool found in the upper right corner of this page to view sources.

Facebook has proven to be a valuable resource in the documentation of 'C' Force members. The following link will take you to any available search results for this soldier based on his regimental number. Note: results may be contained within another related record. Facebook Search Results

Related documentation for information published in this report, such as birth information, discharge papers, press clippings and census documents may be available via shared resources in our HKVCA Vault. It is organized with folders named using regimental numbers. Use the first letter of the individual's service number to choose the correct folder, then scroll to the specific sub-folder displaying the service number of your interest.

General Comments

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End of Report.

Report generated: 27 May 2024.

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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 Books 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: 1918-00-00. 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. In some cases the References displayed as part of this report generate questions because there is no indication of their meaning. They were inherited with the original database, and currently we do not know what the source is. We hope to solve this problem in future.
  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.