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Psychological Consequences of Disease

Heroes Remember

Psychological Consequences of Disease

It's a theory I have knowing the figures. We had, let's we'll put our people into three classifications. We had young single men, some of them from as young as 16, even up to 30 that were single. We had a group of married men from the age of, even some down as low as 20, not that many with kids but from 25 to 40 that had young families back home and then we had the older group, some of them, a couple of them even up into their 60's in the Grenadiers that had, were married but their families were all grown up. Now out of that group, my thinking is the largest group of deaths stemmed in that married group from 21 to 40 who had young families at home. Those things were, they were thinking about it the same time they were sick, am I going to get home and see Mum. All I had at home was my mother and step father and sisters and I didn't have the same worry my brother had, he was married and had a family. He died in camp.

Mr. Atkinson translates his hospital experiences into the theory that married men who had left young families behind were the least likely to survive disease.

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
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

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