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They Started to Holler “misu...misu” Part 1

Heroes Remember


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They Started to Holler “misu...misu” Part 1

The morning that we were taken prisoner was Christmas morning, around 7 o’clock, and we were called into the hospital, by the captain, I think his name was Captain Black; not sure on that. Anyone of us who had arms were to turn them in, which we did, because it was a hospital. We turned in the arms and we waited inside until there was a Japanese came to the door. They banged on the door, and of course it was open. The captain did his best to try to stop them from coming in, in force. But it was useless and he was shot actually. Then they rounded us all up in the hospital. It was an upstairs and they started, we actually, they bayoneted some of the people that were in the beds, and those that weren’t bayoneted, who were able to walk around, one of them, each one that was able to do so helped another one up the stairs into a room, but before going up the stairs there was a couple of Japanese at the front of the line, and they were counting, and they started to come down the line, and of course when they got, they would get to a certain, I think they were counting up to ten and at the tenth one, they’d pull them out. So when they got to us, there were two of us together, so I was wondering what was going to happen, but they just went and took the person behind, just lucky. But what was happening is they, apparently, one of the soldiers’ brother was killed the night before and he was taking one, he’d take one out of each ten and they’d go out and shoot them. We went up the stairs, got into this room and there were two doors, one there and one there. It wasn’t a big room. We were so crowded that you couldn’t sit. The person that I had was wounded in the arm and he kept passing out and there was so little room that I had to push his head in between his legs to get the blood back into his head because he couldn’t sit down. There was no way he that he could sit down. So as he passed out, you got him back and then he was alright for a little while but it got so hot in there that the temperature must have been well in excess of 110. About mid afternoon someone said, “How do you say ‘water’ in Japanese?”, so someone said misu. There were some people there that knew Japanese. They started to holler misu, misu so everybody started hollering misu, so the door opened and when the door opened, there was a table with a machine gun on the table aimed in the room, at the room. The Japanese said, “Misu? misu

Mr. Babin describes being taken prisoner, and horrific treatment by Japanese captors

Alfred Joseph Babin

Alfred Joseph Babin was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, on October 15, 1921. He was one of five children. His father was a carpenter. Mr. Babin completed grade 8, but left school to work at the local 5 & 10 to help support his family. When old enough, he enlisted, citing better income as his reason. He first joined the New Brunswick Rangers, but quickly transferred to the Carleton and York Regiment. Basic training only consisted of infantry drills. He then joined the Royal Rifles, performing guard duties at the airbase in Gander, Newfoundland. After arriving in Hong Kong, Mr. Babin was volunteered as an ambulance driver, in which capacity he served until Hong Kong surrendered. Mr. Babin recalls in clear detail, life in the POW camps and slave labour in the coal yards near Niigata. After safely returning to Canada, Alfred Babin remained in the Canadian Armed Forces as a member in the military band.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Alfred Joseph Babin
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada
Ambulance Driver

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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