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Flea Bitten

Heroes Remember

We got up to Japan there were no bed bugs. We got something a hell of a lot worse, fleas! Where we laid on them tatami, them rice mats to sleep, they house them things, they live in there. Fleas by the millions. You'd wake up in the morning, you laid on this side at night, you were so dead that you woke up that way, the same, you never moved all night. When you woke up in the morning, you had little red marks, you’ve seen these here charts where they test you for color for your eyes, the little red spots. You looked like that with them little red spots that size all the way up your body, on both sides of you, from the fleas biting you at night when you're sleeping. When you're awake, they're biting you, you throw back that blanket you had and you see about a hundred of them, they all, they can leap that high, and they're gone. There in the tatami, they're gone! You can't ever get one. I don’t know if I ever caught a flea, millions of them, I don’t think I ever caught one yet. But they sure leave their brand on you every night.

Mr. Flegg talks about a pest unique to Japan - fleas, and how it was impossible to get rid of them.

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

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