Language selection


Rotten Fish and Maggot Soup

Heroes Remember

Rotten Fish and Maggot Soup

It was a big civilian company who owns the big mines there. And they were supposed to give us a soup every day for noon. Well one day, some Japs come up there and they said they had pickled fish, they had these big barrels cut in half, half a barrel, and they had five of these half barrels full of fish. And they wanted to know if we wanted these fish, you want to bet we want them. So they brought them up to the mines up the top there in the truck and they dropped them off at our cook shack. In the morning, we all knew they were coming, we knew they were coming for a couple of days. Here they are, we all come look at them. Every one of them tubs is moving on top, white maggots about three quarters of an inch long. You take that there, the maggots on top there were at least two inches thick of maggots. This one guy screams out, oh I'll never forget his name, his name was Ross, Corporal Ross. Ross says, “We ain't gonna eat the maggots. We gotta take 'em off.” “No, No!” Everybody was shouting, “We can't do that, we’ll eat them.” So as a prison camp it don't matter what you do, we vote on everything, everything you would vote. “We hold a vote on it.” A hundred and twenty-three vote, one man vote we didn't eat them, a hundred and twenty-two voted we eat them. We stirred them things all up, the fish were like that, you grab a handful of them fish they were like salve, they were so rotten, they'd squeeze between your fingers and we stirred them maggots, they went in the big soya’s (sp) and we cooked them and we had them for our bowls of soup. And we ate them bloody maggots.

At the mine, Mr. Flegg's work crew 'feasts' on a soup made from rotten fish and maggots.

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
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: