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Impacts of War

Heroes Remember

When I first came home from overseas, after I bought my house, I remember shingling the roof and I’d pass out and fall off and I’d wind up on the ground. I never hurt myself for some funny reason. I guess maybe 'cause I was out, and there was a crick right there beside the house, I’d go down and shove my head in the crick and I’d go back. But to walk into town, I could only walk about 600 or 700 yards and I’d have to sit down and have a rest and yet they told me there was nothing wrong with me. And that’s the way I was for about five years and then they referred me to the welfare, which hurt. I wouldn’t even come into town then. I couldn’t look anybody in the face. And it went from bad to worse. My nerves went, well they were gone when I came home from overseas, come home from Hong Kong. They put me on Valium. I was on 10 mg three times a day and I finally got it cut down to 5 mg three times a day and if I miss one I'm just a bowl of jelly.

Mr. Lowe describes some of the physical and emotional impacts of his Hong Kong service.

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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