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No Place To Hide

Heroes Remember

We were fortunate enough that they didn't hit us with the mortar shells they were sending over because we were on the wrong side of the hill and they were hitting the other side. So when it came time to move out and head for Stanley Fort, we had to carry our Bren Guns and as much ammunition as we could and walk down through the roads which were just like you could be walking there and the Japs are sitting on the table over there shooting at you and you were lucky if you got through. They had a small, they called it a two-pounder, it was a small cannon which could be taken all apart in about, oh three to four minutes. The fellows packed them on their backs and up the hills they went. Well here you'd hear “Boom” and you'd look up and you'd see smoke and here they were sitting on top of the hill that you were going by shooting down at ya. So there wasn't much chance we had there so finally they moved us up to Stanley Fort and there was a great target up there, it was right on top of a hill and their dive bombers would come over and saturate us with these small, they weren't a big bomb, they were probably 100 pounds or something like that. They'd rain them down and everybody would scramble but lucky enough the buildings up in Stanley Fort were all built on sort of a cement post and you could get underneath and that helped a lot.

Mr. Billson describes feeling threatened by the Japanese no matter where he was on the island. He recalls feeling particularly vulnerable at Stanley Fort.

Walter Billson

Walter Billson was born in Lennoxville, Quebec on October 2, 1914. After completing grade six, he went to work at a local garage. He also joined the Sherbrooke Regiment so he could take rifle practice. In 1940, he enlisted with the Royal Rifles of Canada and became a dispatch rider. After training stints at Valcartier, Sussex and Gander, he returned to Valcartier and was married. The next day, he was heading for Hong Kong. When the battle for Hong Kong begins, Mr. Billson, by then a Corporal, is put in charge of a Bren gun, guarding a pillbox at TaiTam gap. After being captured and imprisoned at North Point Camp, he is sent to a Japanese labor camp near the Omini coal mine. After being liberated, Mr. Billson sees the devastation of Nagasaki as a result of the atomic bomb.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Walter Billson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada
Dispatch Rider

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