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From Hong Kong to Yokohama

Heroes Remember

From Hong Kong to Yokohama

There was a hospital ship and we got on board and we thought oh wow, things are looking up, its gonna be nice and then they let us down the hold and I was one of the first ones to go down the particular hold I was in and I went down there and it was wooden floor and there was some small rooms around the outside so I just went into one of these rooms and there was bunks in it so I got myself a bunk and then more men keep coming down and coming down until finally there was only room to sit on the bunk and then they were all sitting on the floor and it ended up you were sitting on the floor and one had to sit in between the legs of the one in front and this is how it was and you end up you are just packed in there like sardines. Luckily the ship, we were only two days at sea cause I don’t think we could have stood it for much longer. There were no washrooms down there and it was pretty bad you either had to stand or sit. It was pretty hopeless and when you don’t have much meat on your bones, it’s pretty hard sitting on a wooden floor, I’ll tell ya. Then we got to Nagasaki and we were taken and put on the train right away then we traveled by train up to Yokohama.

Mr. Gerrard describes the overcrowded and uncomfortable conditions in the hold of the hospital ship which transports him to Japan.

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
Royal Canadian Signals Corps

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