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Impressions of Hong Kong

Heroes Remember

Impressions of Hong Kong

Hong Kong was a, oh it was an amazing place. The Japanese had come down through from Nanjing, through the interior of China and there was hundreds of thousands of Chinese had fled ahead of the Japanese armies into the city of Hong Kong where they all felt they'd be safe as a British possession, and oh, the place was just alive with people, it was unbelievable. We'd never seen anything like this in our lives. There were so many people in Hong Kong that there was no housing for them, they were sleeping on little mats up and down all the streets. It was really something, it was amazing, especially to us boys. And, of course, we were having a great time because the Canadian dollar was so much higher than the Hong Kong dollar, and things were so cheap that we... this was something new to us, it was great, you know. It was wine, women and song, it was really something. Guys were all young and eager and willing, go downtown, get a little tanked up and get a little mischief and stuff but these military police guys of our own men, they were good with our own guys, you know. They did, they weren't all out for charging you and all that kind of crap, you know, they'd get you back to your barracks and everything went quite smoothly. It was a good system, a good setup.

Mr. Flegg describes the overcrowding in Hong Kong, but still being able to enjoy the wine, women and song. He describes the Canadian provosts as being very understanding when men became drunk or unruly.

Aubrey Flegg

Aubrey Flegg was born on October 18, 1917 in Welland, Ontario. His father moved the family to Northern British Columbia when he was three. Mr. Flegg describes living on a “stump farm”, and working from a very early age. Leaving home at sixteen, he trapped in winter and felled timber during warmer months. Mr. Flegg was married with a young family when the war started, but he enlisted out of patriotic duty. He joined Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, and later reinforced the Winnipeg Grenadiers, thinking he would be going to Europe. Instead, Mr. Flegg found himself trying to defend Hong Kong from the Japanese against overwhelming odds. Imprisoned for four years, he survived the ravages of disease, starvation, abuse and forced labor in both North Point and Sham Shui Po Camps and the Oyama mines. Mr. Flegg offers an impassioned story of the Hong Kong experience.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Aubrey Flegg
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

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