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Putting Dignity Aside

Heroes Remember

Putting Dignity Aside

We were perpetually covered with lice because we had no way of avoiding it. We tried various methods to steam them and so on but we were always lousy. You know, today a hot shower is still a great experience for me. In some ways going to work, especially in the shipyard, had some positive benefits. We became very adept thieves, we could steal food, we became black marketeers trading and selling amongst the Japanese. Now if the Japanese ever got caught or if we ever got caught it could cost you your life but when you're starving, you'd be surprised at what you will do to gain some food, even orange peels on the floor of the Japanese cafeteria. Orange peels might be hard on your dignity but you soon learn to put your dignity behind you and be grateful for the orange peels.

Mr. MacDonell talks more about daily life as a prisoner.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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