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Desperate Thirst

Heroes Remember

And we had to go up to what they call Wan Chai Gap and that was up above us. And Wan Chai Gap, that's where the Japanese were there and they took us. And course it was hot, and the guys had nothing to eat and nothing to drink and it was not the food so much, it was the drink. And we got across to some Japanese guy that we were thirsty, we needed water. And they got one of these little 1500 weight trucks that, four-wheel drive, that had this gas tank on the back of them. So they drained the gas out of that. But they took this truck and they went down the mountain and they got water up and we all had mess tins and stuff and we could turn the taps on the back of this thing to get our water out. Oh, you never tasted anything like that in your life. They never took the gas out of that thing. We're drinking this water and all this gas in it. You want to try and drink some water that’s out of a gas tank, man that's horrible tasting stuff. That was what we had. But the guys were so damn thirsty we were drinking all this junk, you know.

Mr. Flegg describes being provided water by their Japanese captors. It is delivered in an unwashed gasoline drum. Despite the contamination, the men are so thirsty, they drink it anyway.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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