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Sendai Camp

Heroes Remember

Well we found it damn cold because Sendai in Northern Japan is about the same as it would be in B.C. In fact, it would be a little colder yet because it got down to about ten below. We had a g-string and wooden clogs on our feet, that was how we were dressed. It was an incline shaft that went down and we had to march, I think it was about a mile or two. I’m not sure, I don’t remember that too well, but I know we marched there and we went underground on a cable car like. We went down and we worked underground in the mine. I think we were down about a mile. Some was on drilling and blasting and others as cleaning up and loading it into cars and it would go on up. At the start I was on drilling and blasting, and then we had a cave-in and nobody would go and help fix it. There were some of our boys who got their legs hurt pretty bad, but we had to work under there and somebody had to fix it, had to fix that cave in. So they come and asked for volunteers to do it. And me and a lad, he was from Churchill, I don't know where he is now, Fred Wright, we volunteered to go in and shore it up and after that we were just the two of us done all the..., we done all the timbering after that, just the two of us in the mine as it went.

Mr. Lowe describes the conditions at the Sendai camp in northern Japan as well as his duties in the mine.

Garfield Lowe

Garfield Lowe was born in Cobalt, Ontario, on May 6, 1919. His mother died shortly after his birth. His father was a mine manager, but moved to Rackham, Manitoba, and setup a blacksmith shop where Garfield learned the trade from his father. Mr. Lowe was on his own at age 15, and over the next six years did a variety of jobs, including trapping skunks for two dollars a pelt, farm labourer and sawmill worker. During this time he was married and had two children. At the age of 21, he enlisted with the Winnipeg Grenadiers. After completing basic training in Sherbrooke, Quebec, he performed internment camp duty in Kingston, Jamaica, where he received extensive machine gun training (no live fire), but no infantry tactics. In Mr. Lowe’s words, the Grenadiers were reinforced with “rejects” before leaving for Hong Kong. Mr. Lowe spent time in four different camps during his incarceration, and witnessed some horrifying events which haunt him to this day.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Garfield Lowe
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

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