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Mean Guards and the Kamloops Kid

Heroes Remember

Mean Guards and the Kamloops Kid

Normally, they didn’t seem to bother you too much until, if you did something wrong or they notice you or if you lag behind when you are marching to or from places and that they’d hit you or club you with a rifle, things like that. Like one day we were on, each morning and each night we had to be counted and I remember one day they had made a mistake. They had a section of a building they used as a hospital and it was only extreme cases that went into that building and they had a mix up. It was I think there was one more man in the hospital than they figured on so that made it one short in the line up and this officer, because of that he punched our officer and kicked him and finally he put his foot behind him and tripped him to knock him down and then he put the boots to him while he was down and this is pretty hard on us because there was nothing we could do. We had guards standing there with their rifles ready for the first person to move. Of course, we had been told ahead of time not to do any of this thing and things like that are pretty hard to take. This is a guy we call the Kamloops Kid. He was a Japanese that lived in Kamloops and went to Vancouver University and went over to Japan just before the war started and as I understand he was hung after the war. But he was pretty bad, he would come around and he didn’t have an accent really and he would say something about the Japs and you would come back with an answer that usually he didn’t like, then he’d pick you out to beat up on you and this was the type of guy he was so you always had to watch what you were doing and be wary of him.

Mr. Gerrard generalizes about rough treatment by the guards and then singles out the Kamloops Kid as a brutal disciplinarian. He expresses a frustration shared by all the prisoners who witnessed his malicious behavior; being under threat of certain death if they tried to intervene.

Horace Gerrard

Although born in England on January 19, 1922, Mr. Gerrard's family emigrated to Red Deer, Alberta where his father died when he was six years old. Once he was old enough, he hunted game to help feed his family as well as cutting wood for heat. Mr. Gerrard left school after grade nine, working at odd jobs. He joined the 78th Field Battery as a reserve when he was sixteen. He later joined the permanent force in 1939 with the 5th Heavy Battery. Eventually Mr. Gerrard joined the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, with whom he served in Hong Kong. He worked with both British and Canadian battalions during the Battle of Hong Kong, before being taken prisoner by the Japanese.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Horace Gerrard
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Royal Canadian Signals Corps

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