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Typical Day as a POW

Heroes Remember

Typical Day as a POW

Day began at, Reveille began at six o'clock. You were given a little bowl of usually of barley and chrysanthemum tops and sometimes some tea. And at seven o'clock you were lined up on the parade square to be marched to the mine. When we got to the mine, we would be assigned to our foreman and put to work. There would be a break at noon for cold rice, sometimes depending where you were, in little wooden boxes, with maybe some Japanese pickles. We would work then til four o'clock or five o'clock in the afternoon, march back to the camp where we would be counted and where around six o'clock we would have another small bowl of usually barley. Rice was too good for us and some greens or whatever they could scrape together. Then at about nine o'clock there would be another roll call and there would be a complete accounting for all the prisoners against their records which would keep the men up, standing up for another half an hour, forty minutes. And then it would be lights out and that would be the end of the day. We worked 13 days in a row and had the 14th day off.

Mr. MacDonell describes his daily routine while working at the mine and the general treatment given by the Japanese army.

George MacDonell

Mr. MacDonell was born in Edmonton, Alberta on August 15, 1922. He lost his parents at an early age and was raised by his uncle and family. In 1939, he ran away from home and made the decision to join the army. Mr. MacDonell served as Company Sergeant Major during the Battle of Hong Kong and in 1941 was captured and was a POW for four years. Post-military, Mr. MacDonell earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto and went on to have a successful business career. Mr. MacDonell is very active in his city and very proud of having served. Mr. MacDonell is retired and resides in Toronto, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George MacDonell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada
Vehicle Technician

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