Language selection


Stolen Thread

Heroes Remember

We had a lot of gimmicks we did like something, we had Koreans there that there were some volunteers who got treated quite well and then there was other Koreans that were forced labor who got treated not much better than we did and they learned that their air hoses, if you took the outside rubber off, the string underneath made good thread. Well we got one set of clothes when we arrived in Japan and we never got any more so you can imagine what they were like working in the shipyard all this time and so we would see these Koreans, they would walk along chop a hose, chop a chunk out of a hose and then walk on, so then we’d get a chunk of it and do the same thing and you had to do this before the guy at the other end of the machine would find out what was the matter with his air supply, but things like that were amusing in some ways, you know, but that’s how we got our thread to fix our clothes with.

Mr. Gerrard describes following the lead of some Korean internees who cut out pieces of air hose and used the thread lining the hose to mend their clothing.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: