Individual Report: H41687 Harold ATKINSON

1st Bn The Winnipeg Grenadiers


General Information

Rank: First Name: Second Name:
Private Harold Angus Martin
From: Enlistment Region: Date of Birth (y-m-d):
Winnipeg MB Manitoba 1922-02-14
Appointment: Company: Platoon:
D 16 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
41/12/19N/A
44/01/01Broken Pelvis due to roof collapse

Hospital Information

Name of hospital Date of admission Date of discharge Comments Reference
HK-UNKN/AN/A

POW Camps

Camp ID Camp Name Location Company Type of Work Reference Arrive Depart
HK-NP-01North PointNorth Point, Hong Kong IslandN/AN/A
HK-AS-01Argyle StreetKowloon, Hong KongN/AN/A
HK-SA-01ShamshuipoKowloon, Hong KongCapture42 Jan 22
HK-NP-02North PointNorth Point, Hong Kong Island3342 Jan 2242 Sep 26
HK-SA-02ShamshuipoKowloon, Hong Kong42 Sep 26 43 Aug 15
JP-To-5B Niigata-RinkoNiigata-ken, Nakakambara-gun, Ogata-mura, JapanMarutsu, Rinko Coal, ShintetsuStevedore labor at port of Niigata (Marutsu), primarily foodstuffs; mining coal (Rinko Coal ) and labor at a foundry (Shintetsu)4, 5, 3443 Sep 0245 Sep 04

Transport to Japan

Draft Number Name of Ship Departure Date Arrival Date Arrival Port Comments Reference
XD4BManryu Maru43 Aug 1543 Sep 01Osaka, JapanBrief stopover in Taihoku (Taipei), Formosa (Taiwan); then 2 day stopover at northern point for stool testsTony Banham

Transportation: SE Asia to Home

No information found.

Post-war Photo

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Death and Cemetery Information

Date of Death (y-m-d) Cause of Death Death Class Death Ref
2002-03-02Post War
Cemetery LocationCemeteryGrave NumberGravestone Marker
Mapleton Manitoba CanadaSt.ClementsYes

Gravestone Image

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Obituary / Life Story

HAROLD (HARRY) ANGUS MARTIN ATKINSON On March 2, 2002 at the Concordia Hospital. Harry Atkinson, aged 80 years, widower of the late Penny Atkinson, who predeceased him in 1989. Harry was born in Selkirk, MB. He leaves to mourn his passing his two sons, Dennis (Rene) of Edmonton, AB, and Bill (Angie) of Winnipeg; his two daughters, Lori (Doug) Smith of London, ON, and Pat Atkinson (Garry) of Winnipeg, and daughter-in-law Linda; his grandchildren, Christopher (Michael), Jennifer (Paul), Kelly, Michael, Amy and Kyle; his special companion Marge Dwyer and her family; numerous nieces, nephews, other family and a host of friends. Harry was predeceased by his two sisters and one brother. Harry was employed with Robinson Little Ltd. for many years, retiring as Development Representative in 1979. Harry enjoyed hunting and fishing, bowling and golfing and was a member of Rossmere Golf and Country Club. He was a lifelong member of the Northwest Travelers Association. Harry served with the Winnipeg Grenadiers in Bermuda, Jamaica and fought in the Battle of Hong Kong, after which he survived as a POW in Hong Kong and Niagata, Japan until the end of the war. Harry represented the Hong Kong Veterans Association as President of the Manitoba Branch and as their last National President, in which position he secured significant gains for its members, after years of negotiating with the Federal Government. Even at the last moments, Harry displayed strength and determination which had been his hallmark throughout his life. His family will remember him as a caring, devoted father and grandfather who showed his love through the countless things he did for them. A memorial service will be held for Harry at Sturgeon Creek United Church on Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m. Reverend Gordon Shields officiating. The family would like to thank the staff at Concordia Hospital N3 East, for their caring, as well as the Oncology Department at the Concordia Hospital. Also their heartfelt thanks to Dale Atkinson for his tributes to Harry. www.geocities.com/atkinson_family_newsletterI index.html NEIL BARDAL INC. 949-2200

Links

Interview with Harry Atkinson

1997 Interview

Harold ATKINSON noted on Selkirk Manitoba Ancestry

General Comments

I have been fortunate to go on a Hong Kong Pilgrimage with my dad, Harry Atkinson, WG. In the year 2000. I actually looked at it with trepidation. The knowledge I would be sharing some powerful memories with my dad. Those memories he told to me as a child.

I found the grave marker in Sai Wan cemetery of my uncle, dad's brother. And to that moment I had never thought of him as my cousin's Ronnes' dad. Always I had thought of him as my dad's brother. THAT feeling I had always held in the distance till the moment of seeing his name on that gravestone. That feeling overtook me- swamped me!

Briskly walking around the trails and the mountains dad had always called hills which I could easily call mountains! Actually seeing and touching the pill box close to where my uncle was wounded was overpowering. Standing on the remaining foundation of a building some of the Winnipeg Grenadiers were held when first captured was all consuming. I watched as my brother stepped into a pile of freshly dropped rice from some lunch time picnickers. Dad laughed grimly at my brother's upset at his sticky shoe and declared '50 years ago that would have been a feast'.

During the playing of the last post in Yokohama British Commonwealth Cemetery I looked up and saw our cadets whom had escorted us from Canada. Putting the cadets side-by-side, in my mind with C-Force. Those veterans with us that day. And those 137 Canadians buried there we had come to visit.

I was able to capture the physical part of the pilgrimage on camera. But the turmoil, the highs and lows within my head could not be so easily captured. Something happened to me in Hong Kong. Something that still lives within me, I felt connected with THE spirits- dad's, his brother's, many others, who have been in Hong Kong and Japan since the day they died defending Hong Kong. That something will always be a part of me. (submitted by daughter Lori Atkinson Smith)

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: 21 Jul 2019.


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Additional Notes

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  1. Service numbers for officers are locally generated for reporting only. During World War II officers were not allocated service numbers until 1945.
  2. 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.
  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 (home page - scroll down) 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.
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