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Debilitating Health

Heroes Remember

I had dysentery. Now you got dysentery three times, the third time the padre had a talk with you to see if you wanted to leave a message for your mother because the chances of surviving the third one were practically zero. I had it once or twice. I didn't get it the third time. I received a severe beating from the Japanese which led to damage to my kidneys. The Japanese who beat me however, after the war were tried and imprisoned for long prison sentences. I had all the diseases, pellagra, wet beri-beri, I was beginning to swell up, as I mentioned earlier, I lost all feeling below my waist. I escaped pneumonia which was usually fatal. I had several terrible infections which I managed to survive. But I was one of those who didn't get the third dose of dysentery, I didn't get malaria and I didn't get pneumonia. At the end I was very close to, just fading out completely. I was getting so I couldn't walk to the mine, I didn't have the strength to walk to the mine.

Mr. MacDonell shares his countless bouts with a variety of diseases and infections.

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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