"though mortal memories may fade or die, their identity remains immortal." Senator Macdonald speaking during the ceremony at Sai Wan Bay War Cemetery.

Cdn. Forces Photos

Joining with the Hong Kong Veterans Association, the Government of Canada honoured, on December 8 in Hong Kong and on December 12 in Japan, the nearly 700 Canadians who died 25 years before in the Battle of Hong Kong, or later as prisoners of war.

The Government party also visited Korea for a ceremony honouring those Canadians who gave their lives in the Korean operation of 1950-53, thereby becoming the first of the participating nations to hold a commemoration ceremony for its dead of that operation.

The government was represented by Senator the Honourable Ross Macdonald, PC, QC, LL.D, a World War I veteran, who was head of the official delegation. Other members were Paul Pelletier, deputy minister of Veterans Affairs, who acted as chairman at each ceremony; Brig. J.N. Crawford, senior Canadian medical officer in Hong Kong and now deputy Minister of National Health, who represented the Canadian forces; and A.H. Delbridge, Winnipeg, president of the Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada.

The delegation was accompanied by a military contingent, which included 22 of the 24 still-serving members of C-Force, as the Canadians who served at Hong Kong were known, and Sergeant G.N. Osborn, son of CSM John Robert Osborn, VC, a World War I veteran who won the Victoria Cross posthumously for his valour with the Winnipeg Grenadiers at Hong Kong. Contingent members who were not survivors of the Battle were veterans of the Korean War.

Other members of the contingent were Lt-Col. Joseph Cardy, Protestant chaplain; Lt-Col. J.J.L. Latraverse, Roman Catholic chaplain; and Major J.R. Bishop, who commanded the contingent.

To provide the maximum “Canadian content" for the ceremonies, a flag party and a firing party were incorporated into each programme. Near the end of the ceremony in Sai Wan Bay War Cemetery, the name of each Canadian Hong Kong survivor present was called and in tum, each moved to the front of the Cross of Sacrifice for a final salute to his fallen comrades.

A guard of honour for that ceremony was provided by the Hong Kong Regiment, successor to the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps that fought with the Canadians 25 years ago, and music was provided by the band of the Welch Regiment. In the United Nations Memorial Cemetery at Pusan, a guard of honour and a band were provided by the Republic of Korea Army. The ceremony at Hodogaya War Cemetery, Yokohama, Japan, was a “family'' affair without a guard, a band, a firing party or uniforms.

During the Sai Wan Bay and Hodogaya ceremonies, Last Post and Reveille were sound by Frank Ebdon, Delhi, Ont., with the bugle carried by the Winnipeg Grenadiers during the Battle of Hong Kong.

During the laying of the wreaths at each of these ceremonies, W.R. Maltman, another member of the Hong Kong Veterans pilgrimage, piped a lament. A bugler and piper of the Canadian Forces performed those functions in Pusan.

His Excellency Sir David Trench, Governor of Hong Kong and Lt-Gen. Sir John Worsley, Commander British Land Forces, were among the dignitaries who attended the Sai Wan Bay ceremony; and a representative of the Province in which Hodogaya Cemetery is situated sent a representative to lay a wreath during the ceremony there.

Among the many dignitaries at the Pusan event were General Chas. E. Bonesteel III, C-in-C UN Command; the Hon Sung Eun Kim, ROK Minister of Defence; Lt-Gen. (rtd.) II Hwan Kim, President of the Korean Veterans Association; and Mr. Kap Chong Chi, Executive Director of the United Nations Korean War Allies Association.

The Hong Kong Veterans Association Pilgrimage, headed by W.S. Ashton, left Canada on November 28, and returned on December 14. Altogether 50 Canadian survivors of the Battle of Hong Kong attended the services at Sai Wan and Hodogaya war cemeteries.

"Our presence here this morning," said Senator Macdonald at one of the ceremonies, “demonstrates that Canada and Canadian veterans remember the fallen; not only at cenotaphs and memorials in our own country, but also in the places where they fell and are buried.”

Frank Ebdon, Delhi, Ontario, a member of the Pilgrimage, sounded "Last Post'' and “Reveille" at the ceremonies in Hong Kong and Japan, using the bugle carried by the Winnipeg Grenadiers 25 years before.

Paul Pelletier, Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs, presided at all ceremonies. At right are Lt.-Cols. J. Cardy and J.J.Ļ. Latraverse, Protestant and Roman Catholic chaplains respectively; behind the headstone, members of the Hong Kong Veterans Association Pilgrimage. W.Ş. Ashton, Pilgrimage Committee Chairman, is directly behind the middle headstone.

Brig. J.N. Crawford, a Hong Kong veteran now Deputy Minister of Health, represented the Canadian Forces at the ceremonies. Sentry is one of the 24 survivors of the Battle still in the Canadian Forces.

Cdn. Forces Photo