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Shipboard Activities

Heroes Remember

Shipboard Activities

Some of the fellows had never fired a Bren Gun. We did some Bren Gun training, some Bren Gun firing. None of us had ever seen a knee mortar, a two-inch mortar or even a three-inch mortar. We'd heard stories about them. They had dummy drill on mortars, there was no mortar bombs to practice with. We kept in shape, we could run the deck, we had boxing matches with gloves on but that's about all. It was an uneventful trip in that sense. We weren't advised as to where we were going. I don't think before Hawaii, it was after we stopped in Hawaii to fuel up that we were told we were going to Hong Kong. We were told it was going to be a garrison type job. This was the message we got from our platoon officers, this is what they were told. It would be very similar to the job we had been doing in Jamaica and that's about it.

Mr. Atkinson describes dummy training with mortars and doing some PT during the voyage to where they later learn will be Hong Kong.

Harold Atkinson

Harold Atkinson was born on February 14, 1922 in Selkirk, Manitoba. He had three siblings. His father, a First World War Veteran, died when he was nine. His family lived on relief, seven dollars a week, and he helped by delivering papers. He finished grade nine, and then in 1940 enlisted. Mr. Atkinson was eighteen when he joined the Winnipeg Grenadiers. He served in Jamaica, guarding German and Italian nationals at an internment camp. He returned to Canada and then went to Hong Kong with his unit. Mr. Atkinson fought against and was taken prisoner by the Japanese. As a prisoner, he heard several comrades bayoneted to death. Mr. Atkinson worked at Kai Tak airport and in North Point Camp's diphtheria ward. In Omini, Japan he worked as a stevedore at the shipyard. When the war ended, Mr. Atkinson was fortunate enough to be flown home.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Harold Atkinson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

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