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Going to Vancouver and the HMAS Awatea

Heroes Remember

Going to Vancouver and the HMAS Awatea

Just before we were leaving, like I came back because I knew we were leaving... all bunch of them came back. And they decided that... put us under guard to keep us there. And we knew we were leaving and the people were coming in to say goodbye and they told us we couldn't have any visitors. So we told them that if we couldn't have any visitors before we left, we weren't going. They changed their mind and we got our visitors. But...I don't remember even thinking about where we were going. But... on the train, we got to Vancouver. We got on the boat, the Awatea and that night there was a bit of a riot. I missed the first part of it but the second part I was there. And some of the chaps got off the boats, and they up-anchored and pulled out about a mile into the harbour so nobody else could get off.

Mr. Whitman discusses boarding his train to leave for Vancouver and being denied visitors. After soldiers threaten to not go, their families are allowed to say goodbye. He arrives aboard HMAS Awatea just in time for another protest.

Allan Whitman

Allan Whitman was born in Bridgeville, Manitoba on February 21, 1921. His father ran a general store in which he also worked. Feeling it was his duty, Mr. Whitman enlisted with the Winnipeg Grenadiers in September, 1939 and trained at Minto and Tuxedo Barracks. In Hong Kong, he fought in D Company until his capture. Mr. Whitman became ill with dysentery, and later beri-beri, the debilitating effects of which kept him in hospital in Hong Kong until the war ended.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Allan Whitman
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers

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