Language selection


Defence of Hong Kong

Heroes Remember

Defence of Hong Kong

We were very ignorant us Canadians I think you know, we didn't know. One thing we knew that there was a big fort, Fort Stanley. And they had guns of all size there, 9.2's and all that. And they were going shooting every day. And we thought we had a good defence but those guns were shooting too far. One day it got closer to us as these big guns were worthless you see, so we had to fight. And it was quite the fight, day, everyday, day after day. And we are sometimes you know we were wondering why we were sent there. And very often, even after the war, we said that we were sacrificed there. And we were doomed in advance. But the war was all over the world. And in that part it was as important that we hold back the enemy as long as possible. And we were able to hold them back over two weeks, which was very important and many people don't know that. So we are very proud of that. And that was a very, as I said, something worthwhile.

Mr. Castonguay describes why it was important to defend Hong Kong. The men felt, even after the war, that they were sacrificed by being stationed in Hong Kong. They were aware of how important it was to hold the enemy back for those critical two weeks.

Bernard Castonguay

Bernard Castonguay was born in Montreal, Quebec on February 9, 1921. He was the fourth of eleven children. His father worked for CPR as a seam fitter. Mr. Castonguay left home at the age of sixteen to look for adventure. He worked as a lumberjack and on the railways. Unable to find work in 1940, Mr. Castonguay went to Quebec City and joined the Royal Rifles of Canada. He was then shipped to Gander, Newfoundland where he worked as a signalman and sentry. Afterwards, he went to St. John, NB. While in Hong Kong, Mr. Castonguay was captured by the Japanese and sent to a POW camp (Omeni) in Nagasaki, Japan to work in a coal mine. After his service, Mr. Castonguay worked with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) later becoming the Regional Director of CNIB. He also volunteered and worked with the Canadian Council for the Blind.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Bernard Castonguay
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: