|Rank:||First Name:||Second Name:|
|From:||Enlistment Region:||Date of Birth (y-m-d):|
|Gaspé QC||Eastern Quebec||1918-11-24|
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.
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).
|Camp ID||Camp Name||Location||Company||Type of Work||Reference||Arrive||Depart|
|HK-SM-01||Stanley||Fort Stanley, Hong Kong Island||20, 31, 33||Capture||41 Dec 30|
|HK-NP-01||North Point||North Point, Hong Kong Island||41 Dec 30||42 Sep 26|
|HK-SA-02||Shamshuipo||Kowloon, Hong Kong||42 Sep 26||43 Aug 15|
|JP-To-5B||Niigata-Rinko||Niigata-ken, Nakakambara-gun, Ogata-mura, Japan||Marutsu, Rinko Coal, Shintetsu||Stevedore labor at port of Niigata (Marutsu), primarily foodstuffs; mining coal (Rinko Coal ) and labor at a foundry (Shintetsu)||4, 34||43 Sep 03||45 Sep 05|
|Draft Number||Name of Ship||Departure Date||Arrival Date||Arrival Port||Comments||Reference|
|XD4B||Manryu Maru||43 Aug 15||43 Sep 01||Osaka, Japan||Brief stopover in Taihoku (Taipei), Formosa (Taiwan); then 2 day stopover at northern point for stool tests||Tony Banham|
Hong Kong Repats in 'Frisco
Caption: Members of the Quebec Royal Rifles and the Winnipeg Grenadiers were among 244 Canadian prisoners of war aboard the U.S.S. Ozark when she docked in San Francisco. Above, left to right, fron row, are: Rfn. L.A. Cunning, Gaspe, Que.; Pte. Arthur Diehl, Winnipeg; Pte. John Humicky, Winnipeg; Rfn. George LeBlanc, Quebec. Back row, left to right: Rfn. Isaac Comeau, Maltempagua, N.B.; Sgmn Jack Rose, Vancouver; Cpl. E.A. Dayton, Chilliwack, B.C.; L/Cpl. Sam DiSensi, Winnipeg; and Rfn. L.J. Cotton, Montreal.
From Len Cotton (son): This photo entitled "Hong Kong Repats in 'Frisco" figures in to what Dad had described as his trip home on a US military ship where he had been assigned a US seaman to help him with whatever he wanted. He stated that, while in San Francisco, they had been met by the President of the USA and Shirley Temple and been given a new dollar bill for a souvenir and been offered automatic US citizenship if he wanted that, but Dad decided to keep on going home to Canada. He did not like the train trip home to Montreal from Vancouver because the high number of soldiers on the train made them feel like they were in a cattle car.
From Len Cotton (son): This photo taken in 1946 shows my dad in Montreal with his future wife, Irene Collette. They lived there for many years before moving to Moncton NB in 1988
|Date of Death (y-m-d)||Cause of Death||Death Class||Death Ref|
|1999-03-07||Heart Attack||Post War|
|Cemetery Location||Cemetery||Grave Number||Gravestone Marker|
|Nepean Ontario Canada||Capital Memorial Gardens||Yes|
No information found.
No information found.
No specific links found. 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.
Other comments from Len Cotton (son):
Pre- and Post-war, we all knew him as Leonard (Len), but the army knew him as Joseph. His birth certificate shows him as Joseph Leonard Cotton and the government would not stray from that. All boys in Quebec in the old days were baptized and named Joseph plus whatever followed, and the girls were named Mary/Marie plus whatever followed - my mom's full name, for instance, was Marie Irène née Collette Cotton.
Wounds - Dad once told me his watch had been shot by a sniper and he still had bits of the watch or bullet shrapnel in his wrist 'til the day he died that had not all come up through. That's not making any reference to his medical/psuchological condition as the result of being a PoW for those 4 years, but that's a whole other story.
Hospital Visits - Dad spent many years visiting the Queen Mary hospital in Montreal after the war, and my brother Doug remembers him having had something like a month or so stay at the hospital when we were very young. As for prison camp, I or Doug have a copy of a note by Dr. Ken Cambon (now deceased) for a medical visit. Dad also mentioned that her had been under the medical care of Japanese doctors and nurses while he was at a foundry in Niigata and that he had been told that it had been close but had pulled through over the course of a number of weeks.
Cremation was chosen. The niche # 4001 and the door code is 243. Grave marker was purchased but not used.
End of Report. Report generated: 01 Jun 2020.
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