Language selection


Duties in Jamaica

Heroes Remember

We did some garrison duties but not much. One duty we had was ship search detail, which meant we had to go out with the customs guys and guard the customs guys while they were searching all non-British ships that came in. Our main duty was guarding an internment camp with some local internees and quite a number of Germans from North Africa that had been captured in the fighting there and shipped over to Jamaica for safe keeping. They ate the best of everything because they had excellent German chefs there and they were given an allowance, I don’t remember the details, how much money they got or anything but they had an allowance and they were allowed to buy almost anything they wanted in the way of food or wine or beer within reason, I suppose. I never saw them actually get drunk or anything. Interviewer: So life as a prisoner for them as internees was fairly good. Ya, that’s why the first day or so we were prisoners ourselves, we weren’t that greatly worried, at least I wasn’t.

Mr. Gyselman describes his responsibilities while serving in Jamaica, including searching foreign vessels for German sympathizers and performing guard duty at a camp for German internees.

Harry Gyselman

Harry Gyselman was born on February 11, 1920 in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. His father left the insurance business to farm, but went broke during the depression. After his father’s death, Mr. Gyselman worked odd jobs to support his family. Initially interested in joining the Air Force, he opted to join a friend who was enlisting with the Winnipeg Grenadiers. Mr. Gyselman was a truck driver during the battle of Hong Kong, and was in the POW camp in Niigata, Japan when the war ended. He has the distinction of being the first Canadian POW to reach mainland North America after the war.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 10, 2000
Person Interviewed:
Harry Gyselman
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Truck Driver

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: