Language selection


They Started to Holler “misu...misu” Part 2

Heroes Remember


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

They Started to Holler “misu...misu” Part 2

So he called out, you know one of the guys to come out and the door closed, and not too long after that there were screams, it was just terrible and finally someone came at the door, one of the soldiers came to the door and he threw in a can of evaporated milk, inside. So we passed it around to the guys that were wounded and of course nobody wanted to go out when they opened the door and said, “Misu”, nobody wanted to go. So the next morning when they let us out of the room, sorry not next morning, it was actually that night, this fellow was head down on the stairs and his stomach had been ripped open and his eyes had been gouged out. He was in terrible shape, he was dead of course but terrible. Of course there were people that were dying of the smell. You can’t imagine the smell of dried blood in the heat, it was sweet sickening smell. It was terrible, really terrible. I’ll never forget that. It stayed with me for years and is still with me now. Anyway we managed to get something to eat and we were under guard all the time but they were outside, they weren’t inside. They decided to make a bonfire and burn the bodies. They were given the order by the Japanese. So we took mattresses out and we built a bonfire about the size of this room, about that high, and got it going, a rip roaring fire, and we started burning bodies. I’ll never forget the first body we threw on that pile of mattresses, the fellow who was with me, I said, “Ok, on the count of three”, we had the bodies on the stretcher, we slung them up on the pile and when he landed on the fire, there was a “mmmph” you know from the air was expelled from the lungs, and this fellow thought he was still alive. Anyway the body turns blue and the back arches and so on. So you can imagine this was our initiation into this sort of thing. We burned about roughly about 70 or 75 bodies. At first we were taking the name-tags off. We were collecting them but the Japanese guard came around and he gave us a hit with the rifle butt, “Dummy! Dummy!” So we couldn’t, and he took those. I don’t know what he did with them. So after that we didn’t bother, we just burned the bodies. We heard the next morning that the nurses had been of course raped and had been killed but we didn’t have anything to do with the burial, somebody else did that. No idea who did.

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

Related Videos

Date modified: