Language selection


Giving Up

Heroes Remember


This video contains graphic content that may offend some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

Well a lot of our guys would die dead on the job, they'd die. The fellow would lay down and he'd say, “Piss on them, the hell with them. They can go to hell, I've had it with these so and so’s.” And he'd lay down and two or three guys of us, we would grab him by the limbs and we'd slap him around, “Come on Joe, get up, you can make it, come on, get up Joe, you know you've got it, what it takes, you'll make it.” We'd get the guy up on his feet and we'd shake him a little bit. “That's better, you're awake.” If the guys back, he's one of us, but if a guy didn't have enough will power in him to get up, you know what, that joker died within an hour right there. They died! Sounds hard to believe. The will to live is gone. You know when your will to live is gone, it won’t take you long to die, not when you're in the condition that we were in.

Mr. Flegg comments on how fragile life could be for those who were overworked and starving.

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: