Individual Report: X30 Uriah LAITE

Canadian Chaplains Service


General Information

Rank: First Name: Second Name:
Honourary Captain Uriah
From: Enlistment Region: Date of Birth (y-m-d):
Vancouver BC British Columbia 1896-05-28
Appointment: Company: Platoon:
Protestant Padre Bn HQ Attd WG

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
41/12/22N/A

Hospital Information

Name of hospital Date of admission Date of discharge Comments Reference
HK-QMH12/22/1941N/A

POW Camps

Camp ID Camp Name Location Company Type of Work Reference Arrive Depart
HK-SA-02ShamshuipoKowloon, Hong Kong44 May 1145 Sep 10

Transportation: SE Asia to Home

No information found.

Post-war Photo

Click for larger view

Honorable Captain Uriah ​Laite, MC DD, Chaplain, Winnipeg ​Grenadiers, ​POW in Hong Kong and Japan 1941 to 1945.​ "In every respect this good man possessed the finest qualities of his cor​ps and cannot be too highly commended for his courage and selfless devotion to duty.​" (MC citation​)​

Decorations Received

Image Name of Award Abbreviation References Precedence Comments
Military CrossMC37, 38, 12305

MC Citation

Honorary Captain Honorary Captain Laite was Regimental Chaplain to the Winnipeg Grenadiers at Hong Kong in December 1941.

On 18 December at Wong Nei Chong Gap he was with a small group of men holding a position which denied the use of the main road across the Island to the Japanese. Early on the morning of 19 December the enemy attacked this area and the position was cut off from all contact. Practically all personnel at Wong Nei Chong were casualties, including officers. Water, food and ammunition were rationed. No medical personnel were present. Due to the strategic value of the position it was constantly under attack, but due to the determination and gallantry of the defenders, held out for three days until 22 December when, with all ammunition, food and water gone, no further resistance was possible. Of a total of approximately forty, thirty-six were wounded.

During this long and trying period Honorary Captain Laite tended the wounded night and day without medical supplies, as well as giving spiritual and moral comfort. Undoubtedly his efforts not only saved some lives, but assisted materially in the recovery of health of many of these men. Due to his efforts in interceding with the Japanese after the capitulation of the post; many of the wounded were taken prisoner instead of being murdered on the spot, as the Japanese intended to murder all those who could not walk. The Japanese were so impressed with the good work of Honorary Captain Laite in attending to the wounded that they released him and directed him to return to the Battalion Headquarters.

Throughout the term of imprisonment, Honorary Captain Laite worked tirelessly for the benefit of his men, frequently endangering his health by close contact with the many dangerous diseases ravaging the prisoners of war. In every respect this good man possessed the finest qualities of his corps and cannot be too highly commended/or his courage and selfless devotion to duty.

Death and Cemetery Information

Date of Death (y-m-d) Cause of Death Death Class Death Ref
1979-08-12Post WarNAC, RG24, Vol.12705
Cemetery LocationCemeteryGrave NumberGravestone Marker
Burnaby British Columbia CanadaOcean View Cemetery

Gravestone Image

No information found.

Obituary / Life Story

No information found.

Links

Padre Laite's diary

General Comments

No comments found.


End of Report.

Report generated: 24 May 2022.


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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: 1918-00-00. 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. 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.
  8. Our librarians have collected thousands of documents from Facebook and other resources. When requested, we will provide any additional information we have on an individual in the form of a zip (compressed) file and make it accessible from the Individual Report. Use the Contact Us form to request an offline search.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.